In November of 2014, California voters voted to approve Proposition 47, which turned felony nonviolent drug and property offenses into misdemeanors. While many of California’s 58 counties have seen a steep drop in arrests since the law’s passage, other counties, including Ventura County, saw a 10 percent increase. Fresno County saw an even greater increase, with a huge 77 percent increase over the same time last year.
The reasons for this disparity are yet unclear, but the ACLU suspects that the individual decisions of police officers and courts are shaping how the law is being implemented.
While the law seems to be meeting with some resistance from law enforcement, Californians have made it clear through their votes that arrests for minor offenses are both unnecessary and a drain on the state’s resources. According to Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, the director of drug policy at the ACLU of California, California residents are more interested in helping offenders get the help they need for underlying issues like mental health problems or drug addiction.
As of June of this year, approximately 160,000 convicted individuals applied to have their sentences reduced retroactively, but statistics are not yet available for how many of those applications were approved. Funding may be lacking in parts of the state to efficiently enforce the new law.
Accused of a Crime in Ventura County? Rely on Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP for Aggressive Defense
If you have been accused of any crime, including a nonviolent drug or property offense covered by Proposition 47, it is imperative that you contact a Ventura criminal defense attorney at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. We can review your case and inform you of the legal options available to you that are in your best interests. No matter what you are facing or how complex your situation is, you can trust in our team to stop at nothing to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
Call a Ventura criminal lawyer today to request a consultation!