Criminal Defense

2023 Changes in California Law

There are several new laws in 2023.

First, expungement relief/dismissals are now available to individuals that have served prior prison sentences under PC 1203.04, 1203.41, 1203.42. Prior to 2023, only individuals that received probation could receive relief under penal code section 1203. 4.

This year, the legislature amended the statue to allow people with prior prison sentences to apply for a receive relief.  This can be a huge benefit as you would no longer have to disclose the conviction on a job application or school application.

Dismissal / “Expungements” under PC1203.4, PC1203.41, PC1203.42, PC1203.45

Penal Code 1203.41 (SB1260), effective 01/01/23.

• Convictions resulting in prison sentences now qualify! Do not have to wait until 07/01/23.

• Can’t be on parole

• Probably can’t be on post-release community supervision.

California legislature recognizes that prison is no longer the best option. For the last 35 years judges have reflexively sent people to prison rather than treatment of other less restrictive options. Now, the courts are required to consider less restrictive options to incarceration.

PC 17.2

a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the disposition of any criminal case use the least restrictive means available.

(b) The court presiding over a criminal matter shall consider alternatives to incarceration, including, without limitation, collaborative justice court programs, diversion, restorative justice, and probation.

(c) The court shall have the discretion to determine the appropriate sentence according to relevant statutes and the sentencing rules of the Judicial Council.

The Legislature’s found that:

(a) California’s over-reliance on incarceration has failed to improve public safety while disproportionately harming vulnerable and marginalized communities.

(b) California can safely reduce the number of people behind bars by making greater use of alternatives to incarceration, which often lead to better outcomes than incarceration, including reduced rearrest rates, better economic outcomes, and reduced racial disparities.

(c) Victims and survivors of violent crime report greater satisfaction when the case is resolved through restorative justice than do victims and survivors whose case is resolved through the traditional criminal court process.

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