Chambers Law Firm can help you explore all possible options for post-conviction relief
Having a criminal conviction on your permanent record can cast a long shadow over your future, making it difficult to secure employment or professional licenses as well as affecting your reputation in the community. Fortunately, the law does provide several different options for post-conviction relief, whether you have been wrongfully convicted/sentenced or you simply need help restoring your reputation after serving your debt to society.
Featured Case Result
Post ConvictionThe client had been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole when Chambers Law Firm took the case over. After two years of court battles, multiple motions, a habeas corpus petition, and two resentencing petitions, the Client was sentenced to time served and was released from prison after 17 years of incarceration.
At Chambers Law Firm, we can assist with petitions for all kinds of post-conviction relief, including:
Appeals: If a legal error was made in the handling of your original case, and this error affected the outcome of your case, you can appeal the trial court’s decision. This may result in the conviction being overturned, in a new trial being ordered, or in an adjustment being made to an unfair sentence.
Habeas Corpus: Obtaining a writ of habeas corpus represents the last best hope for justice for individuals who are being unlawfully imprisoned or restrained. Habeas corpus is an extraordinary measure only available in specific circumstances.
Prop 47 Resentencing: If you have received a felony conviction for a drug or theft crime that is now a misdemeanor under Prop 47, you can file a resentencing petition to get the charge and sentence reduced.
Expungement: Getting a conviction expunged will remove it from your criminal record. You can honestly say you have not been convicted of that crime, and it will no longer appear on background checks run by most organizations. With the exception of certain sex crimes, most California crimes are eligible for expungement, provided you did not have to serve time in state prison, you have successfully completed all the terms of your sentence, and you are not currently charged with or on probation for another crime.
Certificates of Rehabilitation: Even if your conviction cannot be expunged, you may still be able to achieve relief through a certificate of rehabilitation. This will prevent state licensing agencies from discriminating against you based on your conviction and relieve most sex offenders from registration requirements. Depending on the nature of the original conviction, you may have to wait seven to ten years after serving your sentence to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation.
Governor’s Pardons: A governor’s pardon will not seal or destroy your criminal records, but it does offer significant post-conviction relief, including the restitution of your gun rights and the right to serve on juries.
Call Now to Learn More
At Chambers Law Firm, we are passionate about helping all our clients move on as quickly and successfully as possible after a criminal conviction. We will ensure all possible avenues for post-conviction relief are explored in your case and make sure the necessary legal paperwork is filled out correctly and on time. To learn more, call us at 714-760-4088 now and request your free initial consultation.
Convicted of a non-violent crime? Get help applying for early parole under Prop 57.
On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 57, a ballot initiative designed to promote rehabilitation by providing inmates with more incentives for education, career training, and good conduct. Under Prop 57, certain non-violent inmates who have shown they are not a danger to the public can now apply for early parole.
Who is Eligible for Early Release Under Prop 57?
Proposition 57 provides early release possibilities only for non-violent offenders. Since the California Penal Code does not specifically enumerate which offenses are considered “non-violent,” this is generally assumed to mean any offense that is not listed as a “violent felony” in California Penal Code section 667.5.
In addition, in order to be eligible for early release, inmates must have served the full term of any primary offense for which they were convicted. This means the longest term of imprisonment is included in their sentence, excluding any sentencing enhancements or consecutive sentences.
However, inmates may earn credits by demonstrating good conduct, completing educational programs or career training programs, or participating in self-help groups. These credits can be used to shorten the full term of the primary offense so that the inmate can apply for early release sooner. The credits can also help support an inmate’s assertion that he or she is rehabilitated and deserving of early parole—a decision that is still up to the parole board to make on a case-by-case basis.
Need Help with a Petition for Early Release?
The California Board of Parole Hearings is still drafting rules and regulations for Prop 57 parole hearings. At Chambers Law Firm, we are keeping up with Prop 57 changes so we can help you understand your eligibility for early release based on the most recent interpretations of Prop 57. If you are eligible for early release, we can prepare your petition and ensure it includes all relevant information that will help the parole board reach a fair decision in your case.
Call us at 714-760-4088 now to learn more.
Need help with a Prop 47 resentencing petition? Trust Chambers Law Firm
In November of 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, a ballot initiative intended to ensure more lenient and appropriate charges and sentences for certain nonviolent, low-level offenders. This will help provide these individuals with an easier path towards becoming productive members of society after a conviction.
Crimes Affected by Proposition 47
Many crimes that were previously “wobblers” and could be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors have become automatic misdemeanors under Proposition 47. This includes:
Theft crimes involving $950 or less:
- Petty theft
- Forgery involving a check, bond, note, cashier’s check, money order, etc.
- Passing a bad check
- Receiving stolen property
Drug crimes involving simple possession of:
- Concentrated cannabis
- Other drugs described in Health & Safety Code Sections 11350(a), 11377(a), and 11357(a)
These drug possession offenses now carry a maximum penalty of one year in county jail.
Start Your Resentencing Petition Now
If you were convicted of one of the above offenses before Proposition 47 passed on November 4 of 2014, you may qualify for a recall of sentence. This would change your existing felony conviction to a misdemeanor on your permanent record. If you are currently serving a sentence, your sentence may be reduced to reflect the current penalties permissible under Proposition 47. This could help you get out of jail and/or off probation faster.
Here’s how it works:
- You must file a petition for recall of sentence with the court that originally issued your sentence by November 4, 2022
- The court will review your criminal history to see if you are eligible for resentencing
- If you are eligible, the court must resentence you unless doing so would present an unreasonable risk to public safety.
When assessing the risk to public safety, the court may consider your criminal history, including the types of crimes on your record, the extent of any injuries to victims, the length of prior sentences, and your disciplinary and rehabilitation records. For best results, you should have a qualified attorney prepare your petition to make sure the court receives all relevant information that could support a successful request for resentencing.
Prop 47 Exceptions
Prop 47 is intended to provide sentencing relief for small-time criminals to get them out of the system faster and thereby aid in their rehabilitation. Therefore Prop 47’s sentencing reductions do not apply to persons who have been convicted of one or more specified serious or violent felonies, certain sex offenses, and/or crimes that require registration under Penal Code section 290 as a sex offender. Instead, these individuals are subject to the longer punishments recognized under previous law.
Get Help with Petitions for Resentencing
If you have been charged with or convicted of a crime under Prop 47’s purview, you may well qualify for a reduction in charges or sentence. The best way to figure out if you qualify is to contact an expert criminal defense attorney right now. Chambers Law Firm will be happy to evaluate your case and begin preparing your resentencing petition as soon as possible. Please contact us at 714-760-4088 now to get the process started—And remember, you only have until November 4, 2022, to file your petition.
Wrongfully imprisoned? Trust Chambers Law Firm to help you exercise your habeas corpus rights.
The doctrine of habeas corpus is an important safeguard against arbitrary and unlawful imprisonment that has been a pillar of Western law for centuries. The right to use habeas corpus to challenge a conviction or sentence is guaranteed by both the California Constitution and the US Constitution. Although obtaining freedom through a writ of habeas corpus is uncommon, if you believe you have been wrongfully imprisoned in the state of California, habeas corpus may represent your last best hope for justice.
Eligibility for Habeas Corpus
Habeas corpus is an “extraordinary remedy” that only applies in very specific circumstances. You can only bring a habeas corpus petition if:
You are “in custody”: You don’t have to actually be incarcerated to bring a habeas corpus petition. Habeas corpus is Latin for “that you have the body,” and it can apply in any situation where the government is restricting your freedom of movement due to a criminal charge or conviction, such as when you are released on bail or on your own recognizance, or when you are out on parole or probation.
You’ve exhausted the possibilities of the appeals process: Habeas corpus is a last resort designed to be used after you’ve already filed all possible appeals. It can also be used if the deadline for the appeals process has already passed and you discover new grounds for challenging your conviction.
You have valid grounds for a writ of habeas corpus: Most of the time, if the court rules against you on appeal, that is the end of the matter. However, if your appeal involved any of these serious issues, you have grounds to petition for a writ of habeas corpus:
- You were convicted under an unconstitutional law
- Your lawyer was incompetent/no lawyer was provided for you
- The prosecutor engaged in misconduct during your trial
- You were not competent to stand trial when you were convicted
- New evidence has been discovered that proves your innocence or completely disproves the prosecution’s case
- The law has changed since your conviction so that your alleged actions are no longer a crime
- Relevant evidence regarding battered women’s syndrome was not introduced at your trial
Habeas corpus can also be used to challenge inhumane conditions in prison that the prison appeals process has failed to correct, including instances of abuse or medical neglect.
Confused? Chambers Law Firm Can Help
Given the complexity of the law on habeas corpus, you need the best possible defense attorney on your case. At Chambers Law Firm, we understand the letter of the law as well as the procedures involved in petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus. You can rely on us for accurate information about your rights and eligibility as well as dedicated assistance with the entire process. We can help you seek relief in both California and federal court.
To learn more, please contact us at 714-760-4088 and request a free initial consultation.
SB 1437 Resentencing
Resentencing for Felony Murder
As part of a wave of criminal justice reform, California recently updated its felony murder rule. SB 1437 will significantly change the way that felony murders are prosecuted in the state. This law will also make certain Californians convicted of felony murder eligible to have their sentences reduced based on the updated definition of the crime.
The rules regarding resentencing for felony murder are complex. Although there has been a substantial change in the law, the felony murder doctrine has not been abandoned entirely. Instead, some people involved in felonies where a death occurs will no longer be prosecuted for felony murder.
The Chambers Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of its clients — including by advocating for those who may be eligible for resentencing under SB 1437. If you have been convicted of felony murder, we can help you navigate the resentencing process. Contact our office today at 714-760-4088 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Is SB 1437?
Senate Bill 1437 is a bipartisan bill that amends California’s felony murder rule, which holds people liable for first-degree murder if a death occurs during the commission of certain felonies, even if the person did not intend for the death to happen or assist in the killing in any way.
SB 1437 updates the centuries-old felony murder rule. Rather than holding all co-defendants in a criminal case responsible for a death, prosecutors cannot charge a suspect with felony murder “unless the person was the actual killer or the person was not the actual killer but, with the intent to kill, aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, solicited, requested, or assisted the actual killer.”
Most importantly, SB 1437 makes hundreds or even thousands of Californians eligible for resentencing. If you were convicted of felony murder under the pre-2019 law, you may qualify to have your sentence reduced based on the amendments to the law. Put simply, the crime you were convicted of may no longer be a crime — and a criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA can assist you in potentially having your sentence reduced.
SB 1437 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018. It will go into effect on January 1, 2019. Re:Store Cal offers a more in-depth examination of SB 1437, as well as a sample resentencing petition.
Eligibility for Resentencing Under SB 1437
SB 1437 is a major criminal justice reform for the state of California. However, not every person convicted of felony murder will be eligible for resentencing under this law. A skilled criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA can review your case to advise you on whether you may qualify for resentencing.
To be eligible for resentencing, you must fall into one of the three following categories:
- If you were convicted under the first degree felony murder rule, you did not kill; did not intend to kill; and did not act as a major participant in the felony with reckless indifference to human life;
- If you were convicted as an accomplice to a “target” crime under the second degree natural and probable consequences doctrine, you did not kill or act with malice in the killing; or
- If you were convicted of second degree felony murder.
If you were convicted of felony murder on another basis, then you are not eligible for resentencing under SB 1437. To determine the theory of murder under which you were convicted, contact the lawyer who represented you at trial or on appeal. The jury instructions for your case will set forth the theory of the case. If you are unsure of how to request these documents or need assistance in reviewing your case files, contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA.
The new felony murder rule does not state that all persons who were not the actual killer are eligible for resentencing. A person involved in a felony in which a death occurred is eligible for resentencing if the person:
- Did not actually kill anyone;
- Did not intend to kill, or aid or encourage the killing in any way;
- Did not act as a major participant in the felony with reckless indifference to human life; and
- The victim was not a police office who was acting in the performance of their duties or the defendant did not know of the police officer’s status and that status was not reasonably apparent under the circumstances.
Resentencing petitions must be filed in the form of declarations, under the penalty of perjury. This means that you should be cautious when deciding to file a petition for resentencing under SB 1437, and consult with a criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA prior to making a decision about resentencing.
Filing a Petition for Resentencing
Under SB 1437, a person currently serving a sentence for felony murder may file a petition for resentencing by submitting declarations regarding your conviction. A copy of this petition must be mailed to the District Attorney, or the Attorney General if that office prosecuted your case, and either to your private attorney or to the Office of the Public Defender.
Importantly, petitions for resentencing can be filed if you were convicted of felony murder with “special circumstances” that resulted in sentence of death or life without the possibility of parole. There are a number of special circumstances murders, including a finding that a person was a major participant in a felony that results in a killing, that may be eligible for resentencing. However, because SB 1437 is a new law, it is unclear how the courts will interpret SB 1437. An experienced criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA can advise you of the best course of action based on the facts of your case.
Work with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
SB 1437 offers hope to countless Californians — both those convicted of felony murder and their loved ones. It also represents progress in the move towards criminal justice reform, as it is a significant step towards more equitable prosecution for crimes.
At the Chambers Law Firm, we are fierce advocates for our clients. From the initial arrest to the final appeal, we stand by you through the process. This includes working with you on petitions for resentencing if you have been convicted of felony murder.
While not every person convicted of felony murder will be eligible for resentencing, this law offers an opportunity for hundreds (or potentially thousands) of Californians to gain freedom. We can advise you on eligibility and help you through the process. Contact our office today at 714-760-4088 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney Los Angeles, CA.
AB 1509 Resentencing
AB 1509 Resentencing Could Help Release Individuals Who Are Incarcerated for Firearm-Related Crimes
Assembly Bill 1509 is legislation that could dramatically reduce the sentencing enhancement imposed for being armed with a firearm during the commission of a crime. If passed into law, this bill has the potential to lower both future court penalties and provide resenting options for those who are already incarcerated.
The Basics of AB 1509
AB 1509 seeks, among other things, adjustments to present firearm-related sentence enhancements, which affect a substantial number of pending and completed criminal cases in California. Currently, the State can prosecute offenders under various sentencing enhancements that, although not constituting a crime in and of themselves, are deemed an “add-on” that allows for higher penalties in some situations.
Accusations that defendants and/or their accomplices were equipped with a firearm during the commission of the fundamental, or base, offense are among these enhancements. When these enhancements are determined to be “true” or a defendant admits them, the sentencing court has the authority to add additional time to a defendant’s sentence, up to a maximum of 25 years to life in some circumstances.
Assembly Bill 1509 proposes repealing all firearm enhancement-related provisions of the Penal Code and the associated grave bodily injury enhancement.
In instances involving the use of a firearm, Section 12022.53 now provides for the addition of the following enhancement terms: a ten-year enhancement for possession or use of a gun, a 20-year enhancement for firing a gun, and a 25-year-to-life term for inflicting harm or death with a gun.
AB 1509 would lower these sentences substantially, allowing for a one-year enhancement for gun ownership or use, a two-year enhancement for firing a gun, and a three-year penalty for inflicting harm or death with a gun.
When a defendant is determined to have “discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle in the commission of a crime or attempted felony,” the current law allows for a five-, six-, or ten-year sentence increase. AB 1509 would alter these terms to provide for an extra one, two, or three-year term.
If both the Assembly and Senate approve it and the governor signs it into law, it will take effect on January 1, 2022.
How AB 1509 Might Affect Currently Incarcerated Individuals
AB 1509 would apply retrospectively to all existing incarcerated individuals, including those whose cases have reached their conclusion. Because many people have been convicted under the applicable statutes, this might have a substantial influence on current prison populations.
Those who have completed their entire prison term for their base charge and are just finishing firearm enhancement time would become eligible for early release if they were not punished under any other enhancements.
Inmates who are still serving base terms will have their sentences reduced to just the base term and will be eligible for release when they are finished, and those who have received a possible life sentence due solely to the firearm enhancement time will have their sentences reduced to a determinate term.
Chambers Law Firm Can Help with Post-Conviction Relief
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime and received a sentencing enhancement, it is worth contacting Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to find out what post-conviction relief options might be available to you. We can get started with a free legal consultation to help you better understand your options.
End the Requirement for Sex Offender Registration by Filing a PC 290 Petition
If you are currently required to register as a sex offender, PC 290 might be the Penal Code change you have been looking for. As of January 1, 2021, California moved to a tiered system instead of the lifetime sex offender registration imposed on some.
Keep reading to learn about the tiers and how to file a PC 290 Petition to end your requirement to register as a sex offender. Then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to learn how we can help you.
The Basics of PC 290 Petitions
Registrants will be put into one of three Tiers based on the conviction for which they were compelled to register. The minimum length of registration varies per Tier. The “Minimum Registration Period” is used to describe the length of time it takes to register (MRP).
If a person satisfies the criteria for registration relief and has completed the required registration time for their Tier, they can ask the court to discontinue registering.
All eligible individuals may file a petition for PC 290 registration relief on or after their next birthday.
Eligibility for PC 290 Petitions
Not everyone is eligible for relief via PC 290. However, you might be eligible if:
- You have been registering for the MRP for your tier (this includes all extensions and pauses that might have occurred)
- You are not currently in custody
- You are not on parole, post-release community supervision, mandatory supervision, or probation
- There are no charges pending against you that could extend your MRP and/or change the Tier status that applies to you
- You are current on your registration
If all of the above applies to you, contact Chambers Law Firm to speak to a criminal defense attorney.
PC 290 Tiers and Minimum Registration Period for Each of Them
PC 290 created three tiers. The MRP for each of them is dependent on the case the individual is required to register for. MRPs for adult convictions are as follows:
- Tier 1: 10 years
- Tier 2: 20 years
- Tier 3: Lifetime registration is required
For juvenile courts, the MRPs are as follows:
- Tier 1: 5 years
- Tier 2: 10 years
Note that tier three does not apply to cases in juvenile courts.
Ending Your Registry Requirement is Not Automatic
It is essential to know that you cannot stop registering just because you have met the MRP for your tier, and you are not automatically taken off the registry. Instead, you must file a petition, and a judge must agree that you do not have to register. Until this happens, you are still required to register.
This is where Chambers Law Firm comes in. We can work to ensure that your petition is entered correctly to give you the best chance of success. Call us now at 714-760-4088 to learn how we can help.