Recalling of Sentencing in California – AB 2942

Fair Resentencing

Since the passing of Assembly Bill (AB) 2942 in 2018, 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 your 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 reevaluate 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

  • 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?

The good news is that DAs and prosecutors are not the only officials who can seek a recall!

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.

You May Petition CDCR For a Recall

If you or a loved one believe you should have a new sentence, you may petition CDCR. In June 2018, Governor Jerry Brown instructed CDCR to receive petitions from inmates who believed they deserve to be resentenced based on exceptional conduct during incarceration or a disproportionate punishment for their offense.

If you wish to petition CDCR for a sentence recall, you should contact a Los Angeles appeals lawyer as soon as possible. By working with an experienced attorney, you can be confident that CDCR will have a clear and accurate picture of your situation.

Now is the time to speak with a lawyer and file a petition. In California’s new annual budget, Gov. Brown provided a $2 million increase to be used for PC Section 1170(d)(1) requests for recalls and resentencing.

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 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 determine whether you may be eligible for a reduced sentence.

Judson Parker