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How Can You Benefit From Proposition 47?

A man was arrested recently for the felony charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Penal Code Section 29805. The gentlemen was convicted of a felony drug offense over ten years ago. Police got a tip from another felon that he sold a gun to his buddy. The buddy was another convicted felon. Upon investigating the tip, police found the gun under the felon’s bed and arrested him. The felon was referred to a lawyer and hired the lawyer to defend him.

The lawyer who was hired took the client’s money and waited for the case to be filed as a felony. The lawyer appeared in court with the client and pled not guilty to the felony charge. At this point, the lawyer sought to get the client’s old charge reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47. At some point in the future, this will surely happen. After the case gets reduced then the lawyer will seek to settle the new felony.
By waiting until the case got filed the likely lawyer assured that he would keep his fee. He also assured that at the time the DA filed the charges, his client was still a felon. Had the lawyer gotten the Prop 47 case reduced immediately when he got hired and before the DA filed charges, the DA in fact could not have been able to file felony charges because the client would not have been a felon any longer.

As lawyers, we have a duty to zealously advocate for our clients. This duty occurs every time we undertake to represent a client. This duty applies even if it is detrimental to the lawyer’s own interests. This is to say that had the lawyer gotten the old cased reduced to a misdemeanor in a timely manner, there never would have been new charges filed against the client. The lawyer may have had a hard time justifying his fee on the case, but that is for the client and lawyer to work out amongst themselves.

I think the moral to the story is that a client should be able to trust that his lawyer has the client’s best interest in mind. The client and lawyer need to get together and formulate a plan of action to attack the client’s case in the manner that best suits the client’s needs. That should likely occur early on in the representation. Communication between attorney and client should be open and ongoing in an effort to accomplish the client’s goals as effectively and expeditiously as possible. Finding the right lawyer is the beginning of achieving those goals.

If you have questions about Proposition 47, weapons possession or any other criminal case,  Call me, Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 Email me at: or visit my sites for more information: or