QUESTION:

I got arrested for two counts of sales I have priors and a strike. The judges is offering 5.4 years. 2.7 is double time for my strike the rest of the time is for priors and my new charges. Since prop 57 passed should I not take the deal?

ANSWER:

I can’t quite make the math work with what you’re describing, but HS 11351 is punishable by 2, 3 or 4 years in prison. So it’s sounds like the judge is offering you something roughly equivalent to low-term on count one and one-third of low-term on count two. That is about as good as you can do with an open plea to the court. But you really need to be discussing this with your lawyer, who is in a much better position to analyze any offers when weighed against the likelihood of prevailing at trial.

Prop 57 will not affect your sentencing. However, it will make you eligible for parole earlier. Before Prop 57, you would have earned 20 percent credits because you were serving on a non-violent felony with a prior strike. Prop 57 allows CDRC to award credits at its discretion – and it’s too soon to tell how they plan to use this new discretion. But with Prop 57, as I understand it, you will be eligible for parole once you serve the high term of your principle term (without any enhancements). So, by my computations, you will probably be eligible for parole after three years – but that doesn’t mean it will be granted. Prop 57 passed less than a month ago and I’m not yet aware of any prisoner who has benefitted from it. I hope this helps a bit, but please discuss this at length with your attorney.

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