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Name: People v. DeHoyos
Case #: D065961
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/30/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 9/30/2015: S228230
Summary

A defendant currently serving a sentence for an offense listed in Proposition 47 whose case was not final when Proposition 47 was enacted is not entitled to automatic reduction of felony conviction to a misdemeanor on appeal. DeHoyos was convicted of possession of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11377, subd. (a)), a felony, and granted probation. She appealed. While her appeal was pending, voters passed Proposition 47, which in part amended section 11377 to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor for qualified defendants. Proposition 47 also created a new sentencing procedure whereby a person “currently serving” a felony sentence for an offense listed in Proposition 47 may petition for reduction of sentence (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a)). On appeal, DeHoyos argued that Proposition 47 applied retroactively to her and that she was entitled to resentencing under the amended version of section 11377 without following the procedure outlined in section 1170.18. Held: Proposition 47 does not apply retroactively on appeal. Under In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, a legislative amendment that ameliorates punishment is presumed to apply to all cases not yet final unless there is a savings clause providing for prospective application. Proposition 47 lessens criminal punishment and there is no savings clause. However, the language of Proposition 47 reflects an intent for prospective, not retroactive, application because it authorizes consideration of resentencing in qualified cases and requires a thorough review of the defendant’s criminal history to allow resentencing only for those defendants whose history and risk assessment warrants it. DeHoyos was not entitled to automatic application of Proposition 47 and must follow the resentencing procedure provided in section 1170.18 by filing a petition in the trial court.