Does California's Proposition 47 state that theft of property valued under $950 will not be prosecuted?

Friday, July 23, 2021
By Christiana Dillard

Proposition 47, passed in 2014 and on California's books for more than six years, says that a theft under the proposition's definition of shoplifting would be considered a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Contrary to a social media post -- which includes a clip of shoplifters caught on video -- the proposition does not say police would not investigate such crimes or that there would be no prosecutions.

Proposition 47, also known as The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, created a new misdemeanor offense called "shoplifting," punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.

It defines that offense as "entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours," with the value of the property stolen not exceeding $950.

Other laws -- not Proposition 47 -- cover property thefts from individuals.

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