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Can Prison Sentences Be Reduced in California?

Prison can be a harsh experience, and it’s one you and your lawyer may work hard to avoid. Luckily, certain cases can lead to a reduced sentence, even if you’ve already been sentenced to prison. However, eligibility depends on the nature of your criminal record

Whether you’re in custody or on parole, a sentence reduction can help you get back to work or school sooner. If you believe that your sentence is too harsh and want to know what you can do about it, contact Crowell Law Offices to discuss your options.

Who’s Eligible for Sentence Reduction?

If you’ve been convicted of a non-violent felony and have served at least half of your prison term, then you may be eligible for resentencing. However, if your crime was violent or severe, then it won’t be possible for you to reduce your sentence through this method. Criminal offenses like an assault with a deadly weapon may not be considered.

If you’re ineligible for resentencing because of the severity of your offense but feel that there were mitigating circumstances that should be considered by the judge, you can still petition to request that they reconsider their original decision if you can provide new evidence. Talk to your lawyer about defending your future and seeking out reconsideration. 

Petitions for Resentencing 

You can petition for resentencing under California’s Proposition 47, which reduces certain drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. It also allows some prisoners who are currently serving time for these crimes to have their sentences reduced and petition for release on parole or probation. 

Convicted of a misdemeanor before 2015 and serving time for that offense now? This may be an option worth exploring with your attorney. If your crime involved theft or fraud against another person, however, you’re not eligible for resentencing under this law and you’ll need to apply through a different process.

Drug Treatment Diversion Program

You may be able to reduce your sentence through California’s Proposition 36, which allows for resentencing of certain drug and theft felons who have served their time and stayed out of trouble for a number of years. 

To qualify, you must meet these requirements: 

If all these conditions are met, then you may be eligible under this law. This law gives you a chance to start fresh without the devastating penalties felony drug charges can bring. 

Seek Out a Defense Attorney’s Help 

When you’re convicted of a crime, the judge has a lot of power to decide your punishment. But that doesn’t mean you and your criminal defense lawyer have no options for defending your future. 

If you’ve been convicted of a crime and are looking to reduce your prison sentence in California, or if you’re facing a criminal trial, you have opportunities to reduce or avoid a harsh sentence. The law is complicated, but there is hope. Call Crowell Law Offices at 916-303-2800 or complete our online form, and a member of our team will get in touch with you.