Stop Quoting Bills!

We are often asked to help inmates file an AB 1310 petition, an SB 94 motion, a Prop 47 petition, or some similar pleading.  We must often politely discourage this.

First, it is important to understand the terms. 

AB 1310 stands for Assembly Bill 1310 and SB 94 stands for Senate Bill 94.  Prop 47 stands for Proposition 47.  Bills are not laws.  They are proposed laws.  Propositions are not laws.  They are proposed laws.

Assembly Bill 1310 “would require the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the county correctional administrator to identify persons in custody, who, on or before January 1, 2018, suffered a conviction of those firearm enhancements.  Upon determining the person qualifies for resentencing, the bill would require the trial court to appoint counsel and authorize the court to strike or dismiss an enhancement, as specified.”

However, AB 1310 did not pass.  It is a proposed law to amend Penal Code section 1385.2, but it is not law.

Senate Bill 94 “would authorize an individual serving a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a conviction in which one or more special circumstances were found to be true to petition for recall and resentencing if the offense occurred before June 5, 1990, and the individual has served at least 25 years in custody.”

However, SB 94 did not pass.  It also is not the law.

Proposition 47 did pass, and it reclassifies certain crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies.  If a person suffers from an enhancement for a prison prior, the new law enacted by Proposition 47 may allow the enhancement to be removed and the inmate to be released early.

Second, we quote laws, not proposed laws.

Inmates who request a Prop 47 petition are often upset when they receive their documents and there is no mention of Prop 47.  Instead, the petition cites code sections, such as Penal Code section 1170.18 and Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv).  This is because Proposition 47 added section 1170.18 to the Penal Code.

Penal Code section 1170.18 is the law.  Prop 47 is simply the proposal to make the law.

Third, the law does not apply to every case.

Often, inmates will write to us requesting a petition to reduce their felony drug charge to a misdemeanor.  We want to accommodate, but we also don’t want to take their money when the inmate does not appear to qualify for the requested relief.

Prop 47 does allow some felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors, but it is not applicable if the person has prior convictions for offenses under Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to Penal Code section 290(c).

Finally, we will prepare whatever documents you like.

If we have good reason to believe that an inmate is not entitled to the requested form of relief or that the inmate is improperly citing an Assembly or Senate Bill instead of the actual law, we will suggest that the inmate consult an attorney before proceeding.  However, we are a document preparation service.  We will follow the inmate’s directions and prepare whatever documents the inmate requests.