Violent Crime List, DNA Collection to Increase Under California Initiative

Blaming an erosion in public safety, California law enforcement and victims’ rights organizations recently introduced an initiative that would expand the list of violent crimes and make other changes. This is likely the backlash to the series of legislative changes that passed into law in 2017 that was intended to lower the state’s overcrowded prison population.

The proposed measure, backed by a state lawmakers such as Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert, could appear on next year’s November 2018 ballot. More information on this ballot initiative can be found here.

If approved by California voters, the proposed bill(s) would:

  • Add 15 new offenses to the list of violent crimes. This includes trafficking of a child, rape of an unconscious person, or assault of a police officer. Under this proposal, those convicted would no longer be eligible for early release from parole under Proposition 57, which passed in California last year.
  • Reinstate DNA collection for offenders convicted for seven drug or theft offenses. This is in reaction to the felony crimes that were reduced to misdemeanors under California’s Proposition 47, which was passed in 2014. Prop 47 had ensured that DNA samples were purged when someone’s crimes were reduced from felony to misdemeanor.
  • Create a felony for serial theft if someone is caught stealing three times for goods worth over $250. Proposition 47 had set the felony threshold for crimes like shoplifting for goods worth $950.
  • Require the state parole board to consider an inmates entire criminal history rather than its most recent offense.

Proponents of these new measures claim that the recent criminal justice policies have increased crime and emboldened repeat offenders that led to the increased crime rates in the state. It is reported that violent crime in California has increased by 13% in the past two years. However, it is debated whether this increase can be attributed to Proposition 47. Prop 47 was successful in dropping the recidivism rate to below 50%.

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has handled all types of Misdemeanor and Felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including sexual offenses and gun offenses. We have kept up with all the legislative changes in the criminal law sector so that you do not have to analyze these cumbersome changes yourself. Do not try to fight these charges alone. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact our office today and ask for a free, confidential consultation to see how we may be able to put our experience to use to help you.