AB 600 – Everything You Need To Know About The New Law

In the last few years, the California legislature has made an effort to rectify the devastating results of the state’s traditionally tough on crime policies. The laws enacted during the tough on crime era resulted in exceptionally long sentences, mass incarceration, and overcrowding of prisons. At the same time, research has shown that not only has public safety not improved, but these laws have also had an especially devastating impact on disadvantaged communities.

AB 600 was signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 8, 2023, and came into effect on January 1, 2024. The new law provides changes to PC 1172.1 and expands the authority of judges to initiate resentencing. Prior to the enactment of AB 600, courts’ authority to recall a sentence was limited to 120 days following the date of commitment to state prison or county jail or with the recommendation of the district attorney or the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Now, AB 600 allows courts to recall a sentence and initiate resentencing at any point in time, if the sentencing laws applicable at the time of sentencing have subsequently changed, including sentencing enhancement laws, strike laws, or any other sentencing rules.

In addition to allowing judges to initiate resentencing when the applicable laws have changed, AB 600 mandates judges to consider post-conviction factors, including the defendant’s disciplinary and rehabilitation record while incarcerated; the defendant’s age and time served; and whether the circumstances have changed to the point that continuous incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice.

Moreover, the law requires courts to assess whether the defendant’s constitutional rights had been violated and to determine whether the defendant had experienced physical, psychological, or childhood trauma, or if the defendant was a youth at the time of the offense, and whether any of these factors contributed to the commission of the offense.

In addition, during resentencing proceedings, AB 600 gives courts full discretion to reconsider the imposition of prior strikes. According to the legislature, courts should not only consider the Romero factors, but also PC 1385 as amended by SB 81.

Finally, AB 600 mandates presumption in favor of resentencing, which can be refuted only if the court determines that the defendant poses “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” Absent this, the legislature mandates that, if a court concludes that resentencing is appropriate, such resentencing should result in a “meaningful modification.”

Given the huge impact that a resentencing hearing could have on a defendant’s life, it is vital that you hire an experienced appeals attorney who specializes in post-conviction matters. At the Justice Firm, we understand that the attorney-client relationship is an important aspect of your legal journey and our highly skilled attorneys are here to help and answer any questions you might have.

If you or a loved one have questions about AB 600 or any other post-conviction relief options, contact our California appeals attorneys today for a case evaluation locally at (310) 914-2444 or at our Toll-Free number at (866) 695-6714, or click here.

Contact Information