Governor Newsom recently signed AB 1950, which reduced the maximum period of probation to two years in most felony cases, and to one year in most misdemeanor cases. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2021. AB 1950 is an ameliorative sentencing enactment that should be applied retroactively to nonfinal judgments under In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, 744. Provided a case won’t be final by the law’s effective date, the issue can be raised on appeal.
Several attorneys have worked up persuasive briefing on the issue, including FDAP panel attorney Jonathan Roberts. With Jonathan’s permission, we have adapted his briefing into a sample argument that can be raised in opening and supplemental briefs.
FDAP is also providing a password-protected memo with background about the new law, and tips and strategies for raising the issue on appeal. (The password can be found in the original email sent to panel attorneys on December 14, 2020.)