On January 1st, 2022, several new laws and amendments to existing laws took effect. One example is what’s known as the “Felony Sentencing Reform” or Senate Bill 567 (SB567). Keep reading to learn how this will affect future sentences. If you are currently facing a serious crime such as a gang-related crime, contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a legal consultation.
SB567 will impact cases that come with a triad sentencing scheme
Cases affected by SB567 are those that come with a triad sentencing scheme. By triad we mean a crime that comes with three possible sentences. For example, a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon is a felony that can result in two, three, or four-year prison sentence. These three options are known as the triad.
The shortest possible sentence is referred to as low term, the middle option is mid-term, and the highest possible sentence is called high-term or aggravated term. Before SB567, a judge could decide to move from a mid-term sentence to an aggravated sentence for any reason they felt was justified.
Now that SB567 has become law, there will be dramatic changes to the way this works. Now, if the prosecutor believes a defendant should face the aggravated sentence, this must be given to the jury to decide – not the judge. The jury must find that the aggravated circumstance happened beyond a reasonable doubt and all 12 jurors must agree on that.
This is a big transition of power
This will be a significant change in that the power of aggravated sentencing is no longer in the hands of the judge but has been given to the jury. Instead of a single judge deciding that aggravated circumstances apply, now 12 jurors must all agree that this occurred.
Call today to find out how this law could help you
If you are facing a felony charge and are considering going to trial, contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 right away. We can begin by walking you through how this law could help you. Our goal is to find the best defense that results in the best possible outcome. If there is a mountain of evidence against you, this law could help significantly shorten any jail time you are required to complete.
Contact us now to request a consultation and find out how reassuring it can be to work with an experienced, aggressive, and compassionate attorney.