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FACT SHEET

PROPOSAL TO AMEND VC 41500 AND ADD SECTION 41500.5

What is VC 41500? VC 41500 is a Section of the California Vehicle Code that requires the courts to dismiss any and all non-felony Vehicle Code violations of anyone who has been committed to CDCR. (Note: Does not cover DUI/Wet Reckless violations- or those violations incurred while on parole.) Who is eligible for relief under VC 41500? Anyone who has been committed to CDCR with outstanding Vehicle Code violations. What about persons sentenced to County Jails? VC 41500 does not apply to persons sentenced to county jail unless they are also or subsequently sentenced to CDCR. What will the proposed legislation change? The proposed legislation will expand VC 41500 to cover anyone sentenced to a county jail or alternative for a period of six or more consecutive months. In addition, the proposed legislation will add a new Vehicle Code section that will allow persons who have been incarcerated for 90 or more days in any consecutive 12 month period to have all vehicle code infractions (non-felony, non-misdemeanor) dismissed. How many people will be affected by this legislation? It is estimated that well over 12,000 formally incarcerated individuals will benefit from this legislation. Why is this necessary? The number one condition of all probation and parole conditions is to obey all laws. One of the surest ways to assist defendants in reintegration in society is to assure that they are employable and able to care for themselves and their families. A defendant who is unable to obtain a driver's license is less employable, less likely to pay child support, apt to drive despite the lack of a license, unable to obtain insurance and even more troubling, inclined to return to a life of crime - putting the greater community at risk. Not having the ability to legally drive is a major barrier to re-entry and becoming a productive member of society. The proposed legislation will remove that barrier for over 12,000 individual Statewide.

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BACKGROUND

PROPOSAL TO AMEND VC 41500 AND ADD SECTION 41500.5 Current law allows for the dismissal of any nonfelony violations of the California Vehicle Code for those persons committed to the custody of CDCR or YA. The proposal would extend eligibility to person sentenced to six months or more in a county jail or drug treatment center or other alternative to incarceration where the defendant's failure to complete such sentence would result in reincarceration. It would further grant partial relief to persons who are incarcerated for 90 or more days in any consecutive 12 months period. The current procedure for obtaining relief requires that a prisoner request assistance from CDCR staff via a CDC- GA 22. CDCR in turn determines if the GA 22 request contains the correct information and if so, fills out a CDC-1896 and forwards it to the DMV. The problem with this is that many prisoners are in housed in reception centers and/or are not in a CDCR facility long enough for the process to take place. Additionally, many of the violations which are covered by the current request may not have been submitted to the DMV pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 at the time they receive the CDC-1869 and will therefore not be dismissed. This will lead to an inability to obtain a CDL for the newly released individual. Furthermore, Section 41500 does not apply to over the 80,000 county jail inmates currently incarcerated in California. In San Francisco County alone, with an inmate population which hovers around 2200 on any given day, many hundreds of inmates each year request quasi 41500 relief directly through the courts. This is achieved via a letter sent stating their date of arrest, current charges and expected release date and requesting either a dismissal in the interest of justice, or credit for time served based on the time spent incarcerated. The letter is signed by the Sheriff's staff verifying the information and forwarding to the respective counties. In the first 11 months of 2009, over 300 such requests were made directly to the courts. About one third were granted some sort of relief, a third were denied and the remainder ignored. As with the State prisoners who were unable to get through the process while in CDC, the two hundred San Francisco county inmates whose requests were denied or ignored are now unable to obtain a CDL and legally drive. (The potential number of effected county jail inmates throughout the state could be well over 12,000) The proposed amendments to Section 41500 would address these issues by extending present Section 41500 relief to inmates sentenced to six months or more in the county jail and allowing individuals to request relief directly from the courts. Section 41500.5 would extend partial Section 41500 relief to county jail inmate removing one of the number one barriers to successful reentry. Rational for amendment to Vehicle Code Section 41500 and addition of Section 41500.5 Many inmates/prisoners serving time often face other charges or proceedings when his or her term of incarceration is completed. These are sometimes referred to as "detainers" or "holds." They can render the incarcerated's final date of release into the community uncertain, often adversely affect his security classification thereby preventing his participation in various

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programs otherwise available to other inmates/prisoners in the same facility and can negatively affect his probation and parole periods as well as his reentry into society. The policy of providing relief from such detainers is reflected not only in Vehicle Code section 41500, which is the subject of this amendment, but also in Penal Code section 858.5 (misdemeanors serving sentence-pending misdemeanor Vehicle Code violation in another county); Penal Code section 1203.2a (revocation of probation on second conviction-time limit); Penal Code section 1381 (time for trial after conviction for another offense); Penal Code section 1381.5 (asking for release of federal prisoner to stand trial on pending state charge); and Penal Code sections 1389 through 1389.8 (interstate agreement on detainers). Furthermore, it is in the public interest that courts not be burdened with the prosecution of minor cases where the defendant has already served a long county jail sentence/incarceration period regardless of ultimate conviction, or term in prison and the additional prosecution will neither substantially increase that term or facilitate the public safety or rehabilitative purpose of our criminal justice system. Finally, the number one condition of all probation and parole conditions is to obey all laws. One of the surest ways to assist defendants in reintegration in society is to assure that they are employable and able to care for themselves and their families. A defendant who is unable to obtain a driver's license is less employable, less likely to pay child support, apt to drive despite the lack of a license, unable to obtain insurance and even more troubling, inclined to return to a life of crime - putting the greater community at risk.

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PROPOSED LEGISLATION

PROPOSAL TO AMEND VC 41500 AND ADD SECTION 41500.5 It is therefore proposed that California Vehicle Code Section 41500 be amended to reflect these concerns and an additional section be codified, § 41500. Non-felony offenses of persons in custody (Proposed Amendments in bolded Italics) (a) No person shall be subject to prosecution for any nonfelony offense arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle or violation of this code as a pedestrian which is pending against him at the time of his commitment to the custody of the Director of Corrections, the Department of the Youth Authority, or upon completion of a sentence of six months or longer in a county jail or drug treatment center or other alternative to incarceration where the defendant's failure to complete such sentence would result in reincarceration. (b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, no driver's license shall be suspended or revoked, nor shall the issuance or renewal of a license be refused as a result of a pending nonfelony offense occurring prior to the time a person was committed to the custody of the Director of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority or as a result of a notice received by the department pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 when the offense which gave rise to the notice occurred prior to the time a person was committed to the custody of the Director of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority. (c) The department shall remove from its records any notice received by it pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 upon receipt of satisfactory evidence that a person was committed to the custody of the Director of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority after the offense which gave rise to the notice occurred. (d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any nonfelony offense wherein the department is required by this code to immediately revoke or suspend the privilege of any person to drive a motor vehicle upon receipt of a duly certified abstract of the record of any court showing that the person has been convicted of that nonfelony offense. (e) The provisions of subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) do not apply to any offense committed by a person while he is temporarily released from custody pursuant to law or while he is on parole. (f) The provisions of subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) do not apply if the pending offense is a violation of Section 23103, 23152, or 23153 (g) The Judicial Council shall promulgate forms and instructions for use in filing by individuals who are eligible for relief under this section. The forms shall be recommended but not mandatory. (e) Qualifying incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals may request relief under this section, directly through the department and the courts. All courts which receive a valid request under this section shall search their respective computer systems for eligible pending

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matters and dispose of appropriately. The court shall, within 15 days of receipt or the request, notify the department of the request and the department shall remove from its records any notice received by it pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 from any county in the State. § 41500.5 Infraction offenses of incarcerated persons (As proposed) (a) No person shall be subject to prosecution for any infraction, or failure to appear, arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle or violation of this code as a pedestrian which is pending against him once he has been incarcerated for 90 or more days in any consecutive 12 months subsequent to the date of the violation. (b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, no driver's license shall be suspended or revoked, nor shall the issuance or renewal of a license be refused as a result of a pending infraction occurring prior to the 90 or more days in any consecutive 12 month period of incarceration or as a result of a notice received by the department pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 when the offense which gave rise to the notice occurred prior to the incarceration period of 90 or more days in any consecutive 12 month. (c) The department shall remove from its records any notice received by it pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 upon receipt of satisfactory evidence that a person incarcerated in any correctional institution for a period of 90 or more days in a consecutive 12 month period. (d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any offense wherein the department is required by this code to immediately revoke or suspend the privilege of any person to drive a motor vehicle upon receipt of a duly certified abstract of the record of any court showing that the person has been convicted of that offense. (e) The Judicial Council shall promulgate forms and instructions for use in filing by individuals who are eligible for relief under this section. The forms shall be recommended but not mandatory. (f) Qualifying incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals may request relief under this section, directly through the department and the courts. All courts which receive a valid request under this section shall search their respective computer systems for eligible pending matters and dispose of appropriately. The court shall, within 15 days of receipt or the request, notify the department of the request and the department shall remove from its records any notice received by it pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 40509 from any county in the State.

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