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Prop. 47--Custody Credits and Parole Period

Can excess custody credits be used to reduce or eliminate the one-year parole period required by Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (d), upon resentencing under Proposition 47?

Held: "Proposition 47, an initiative measure the electorate passed in November 2014, reduced certain drug-related and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure also provided that, under certain circumstances, a person who had received a felony sentence for one of the reduced crimes could be resentenced and receive a misdemeanor sentence. A person so resentenced is entitled to credit for time already served. Often the credit for time served will exceed the new sentence, thus entitling the person to immediate release from custody.

"Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (d), part of the same initiative measure, provides that a person who has been resentenced under the measure and given credit for time served 'shall be subject to parole for one year following completion of his or her sentence, unless the court, in its discretion, as part of its resentencing order, releases the person from parole.' We must decide whether excess credit for time served can be credited against this parole period, which could shorten it or reduce it to no parole at all.

"We conclude that credit for time served does not reduce the parole period. When it voted on Proposition 47, the electorate was informed, and it intended, that a person who benefitted from the new legislation by receiving a reduced sentence would be placed on parole for one year after completion of the reduced sentence, subject to the court's discretion to release the person from that parole." (People v. Morales (2016) 63 Cal.4th 399 (S228030).) This case was decided on 6/16/2016.

Updated: 6/16/2016

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