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New Law Reduces Drug Sentences

November 13, 2017

On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB 180 into law. SB 180 amends Health and Safety Code section 11370.2 and reduces potential sentences for many defendants who are facing certain drug offenses.
Prior to the passage of SB 180, section 11370.2 imposed on a person convicted of a violation of, or of conspiracy to violate, certain drug crimes, a 3-year sentence "enhancement" imposed consecutively to any other punishment for each prior conviction of conspiracy to violate, specified controlled substances crimes, including possession for sale and purchase for sale of opiates, opium derivatives, and hallucinogenic substances. For example, if a defendant were facing a potential 4-year sentence for possession for sale of heroin and had two prior convictions, his potential maximum before SB 180 was 10 years (4 plus 6 for the two prior convictions).

SB 180 now limits the above sentence enhancement to only be based on each prior conviction of, or on each prior conviction of conspiracy to violate, the crime of using a minor in the commission of offenses involving specified controlled substances. State Senator Holly Mitchell, one of the sponsors of SB 180, stated:

"What this bill is simply saying is, ‘If I committed a crime in the past, served my time in the past, I should not automatically, for a nonviolent drug offense have three-plus years added to my sentence when all of these other enhancements are currently on the books and the judge can use their discretion to currently augment my sentence for the current crime at hand.’”

A copy of the text of SB 180 is contained below:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB180

If you have questions about how this new law could affect your drug case, contact Chambers Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are here to help you.

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