Recalling of Sentencing in California | AB 2942

Since Assembly Bill (AB) 2942 went into effect in January 2019, California now has a broader process for reviewing and possibly recalling a person’s sentence. If you or a loved one are serving a lengthy prison sentence but believe you have been rehabilitated and should re-enter society, then California AB 2942 may help you or your loved one secure an early release.

What Does California AB 2942 Do?

California AB 2942 revised California Penal Code (PC) Section 1170(d)(1). Under the revised law, elected DAs now have the right to re-evaluate past sentences. If the DA determines that the length of the sentence no longer serves the interests of justice, then they may request resentencing for that inmate. A DA in the county in which the inmate was sentenced may bring the request to the county court. The court can then deny or allow the request.

If the court agrees to resentence the defendant, it will hold a resentencing hearing. It may provide a new sentence, so long as that term is shorter than the initial sentence. The court is required to follow the Judicial Council’s sentencing rules to mitigate the risk of disparity among sentences.

What the Court Considers For a Recall

When determining whether to recall a defendant’s sentence, the court can consider a wide range of factors, including an inmate’s behavior following conviction. Just some of the factors the court may consider include:

  • The inmate’s disciplinary history

  • An inmate’s record of rehabilitation while incarcerated

  • The passage of new laws that would have resulted in a much shorter sentence

  • Whether there is evidence that the inmate’s risk of future violence has been reduced

  • Evidence that circumstances have changed since the inmate was originally sentenced, such that continued incarceration does not serve justice

Who Can Recommend My Case?

DAs and prosecutors are now given power to request a recall under AB 2942. This can be done at any time, no matter how long it has been since the original sentence.

Additionally, the Board of Parole for state prison inmates, the county correctional administrator for county jail inmates, and the secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) may also recommend to the court that an inmate’s sentence be reviewed, although these are rare recommendations compared with those that originate with a DA.

It is important to produce a detailed petition portfolio for the DA or other officials review. Our attorneys can assist you with this.

There are No Exclusions in AB 2942!

A prosecuting agency can recommend a recall of sentence involving any type of offense, any type of sentence, and there are no requirements of time served. People serving a sentence outside of California are eligible, so long as they were prosecuted under California law and sentenced by a California court.

What Will Happen During the Hearing?

If the court decides to hear your case and recall your sentence, the court will then hold a new sentencing hearing “as if you had not previously been sentenced” Penal Code §1170(d)(1). The court can then use all of its judicial powers available at the time of the resentencing hearing, including new authority to strike enhancements under recent reforms. 

Contact a Lawyer Regarding California AB 2942

If you or a loved one have served a significant portion of a long prison sentence and believe you deserve to have that sentenced recalled and reduced, do not hesitate to contact us. Based on the newly revised Section 1170(d)(1), now is the time to petition for a reduced sentence.

Judson Parker