An unintended consequence of the passage of Proposition 47, may give rise to new legislation aimed at people charged with misdemeanor drug possession. Supporters of the proposed legislation, which would require DNA collection from persons charged with simple possession and some types of theft, say the changes are necessary to ensure that physical evidence continues to flow into state crime databases.
When Proposition 47 was enacted in 2014, the state reclassified several common but non-violent felonies as misdemeanors. The reclassification meant that local police departments no longer collected DNA samples from convicted felons as part of the adjudication process.
Supporters of the bill argue that the significant reduction in DNA collection can hamper the investigation of cold cases. These cases may sit unsolved for years awaiting a match to new profiles added via new convictions. They point to the declining number of DNA matches that have been made since Proposition 47 went into effect. Since 2014, analysts estimate that they’ve made about 2,000 fewer DNA matches because fewer new samples are being added to the state’s crime databases.
The Assembly’s Public Safety Committee has not yet moved the legislation on to the full Assembly for consideration. Opponents of the bill say that the measure, if enacted, would unfairly target minorities, who may be more likely to be arrested.
Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer
Drug possession isn’t automatically charged as a misdemeanor in California. Whether or not you receive a misdemeanor charge depends entirely upon the circumstances of your case. That’s why you need the advice and counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Los Angeles County and Southern California for nearly 35 years, and knows what it takes to defend clients successfully against criminal charges. Reclassifying certain drug crimes as misdemeanors has simply given police and prosecutors additional incentive to “upcharge” certain cases. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to protect you from aggressive criminal prosecution.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County drug possession case.
Photo Credit: University of Michigan SNRE DNA Lab, via Flickr.com