Prop. 47 has changed the landscape because it moves in the right direction of reducing criminal punishment, as we face an overly aggressive legislature (state and federal) that over-criminalizes conduct.
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Chino, CA (PRWEB) January 12, 2016
“Prop. 47 reduces certain non-violent felonies to misdemeanors; it is retroactive, and it can have the effect of reducing sentences already being served,” said Kaloyanides, a certified specialist in criminal law and a Super Lawyers top-rated criminal defense attorney. “Prop. 47 has changed the landscape because it moves in the right direction of reducing criminal punishment, as we face an overly aggressive legislature (state and federal) that over-criminalizes conduct.”
Prop. 47 also downgraded drug possession and some theft crimes to misdemeanors, making good on its pledge to reduce prison and jail populations by thousands of inmates. In fact, according to the Reason.com article, Prop. 47 has led to the release of more than 13,000 offenders from prison and jails. Since its passage, the article reports, crime rates have gone up in California, and many law-enforcement officials blame Prop. 47 for the increase.
However, reducing the severity of punishment, adds Kaloyanides, allows the defendant to turn away from criminal conduct more easily by remaining employed, maintaining social and family support groups, and also to continue working to compensate victims. Felony convictions have much longer consequences because they affect the defendant’s ability to get and maintain a job, restrict their involvement in society and affect valuable civil rights. Furthermore, Kaloyanides contends that Prop. 47 does not affect the elements of the crime and is simply a classification and punishment change.
“Long-term studies of repeat offenders show that harsher sentences increase crime and do not deter future repeat offenders as much as we once thought,” said Kaloyanides. “Minor crimes that have minimal punishment result in lower recidivism. In fact, a study by the Stanford Justice Advocacy Project points to a recidivism rate of only 5% among those released under Prop. 47.”
As an attorney, Kaloyanides suggests anyone who might be eligible for relief under Prop. 47 request it immediately. Most public defenders are handling it for any eligible person regardless of who represented them in the past. People should also first ensure if the public defender will take care of the modification because it is free (and often the DA will stipulate to the modification).
“If there is a complication, or a time-sensitive issue, then consider hiring private counsel,” said Kaloyanides. “Public defenders are swamped and may not be able to address the relief as soon as might be needed in a particular case, then private counsel might be able to move the matter along more quickly.”
About David J.P. Kaloyanides, A Professional Law Corporation
David J.P. Kaloyanides is a California Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Fewer than 0.2% of lawyers in California are certified by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in this field of law. For 23 years, Mr. Kaloyanides has defended the rights of individuals throughout California as they face serious federal and state charges. For more information, please call (213) 623-8120. The law office is located at 15338 Central Avenue, Chino, CA 91710.
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