by Ivette Alé
What the passage of SB 180 (the RISE Act) means
On October 11th, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB 180 (Mitchell) into law.
What does the RISE Act do? SB 180, by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), repeals the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions (HSC §11370.2), with the exception of prior convictions involving a minor (HSC §11380). The enhancement was applied when a person is currently charged with possession for sale, sale, manufacturing, transportation, or similar drug offenses .
When does the law go into effect? The enhancement will be repealed on January 1, 2018. As of that date, prosecutors cannot charge people with the enhancement.
What happens between the time the Governor signs the bill and when it goes into effect? Prosecutors can technically still charge the enhancement for prior drug convictions until January 1st, 2018, and judges can impose them until that date. If you might be sentenced between now and January 1, talk to an attorney about continuing your case until after January 1.
What happens to those who have already been sentenced under the enhancement? Unfortunately, the RISE Act is not retroactive. With a few very small exceptions, if a person has already been sentenced under the enhancement and the conviction is final (i.e., they are no longer on appeal), they are not impacted by this reform. Here are the possibilities:
• First, if there is an error in your sentence, you can appeal your sentence. If the court on appeal agrees that there is a mistake, they will send the case back to the sentencing judge for re-sentencing.
• Second, if you have been sentenced within the last 120 days, the court has the authority to recall your sentence and re-sentence you under PC §1170(d)(1). You can invite the court to recall your sentence, although there is no formal petition/appeal. In general, this only applies to people who were sentenced by trial, not by a plea agreement, though there are exceptions.
• Third, also under PC §1170(d)(1), the CDCR or the county correctional administrator may make a recommendation to the court to recall your sentence and re-sentence you.
If you think these might apply to you, talk with an attorney about this possibility.
For More Information Contact:
Emily Harris at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Mail:1 970Broadway,Suite1125, Oakland, CA 94612
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 510-285-8231