Governor Brown signed SB 1310 into law today. SB 1310 changes California law regarding the maximum possible sentence on a misdemeanor from 365 days to 364 days. This change will effect people who are not citizens. The lower maximum sentence will make it more difficult for immigration courts to deport non-citizens based on misdemeanor convictions.
This change in the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2015. Non-citizens who have pending cases should consider postponing resolution of their criminal cases until after this law goes into effect.
Federal law dictating when a misdemeanor offense is deportable hinges on whether or not a person was or could have been sentenced to 365 days. By changing California’s misdemeanor maximum to 364 days will hopefully prevent the deportation of non-citizens who committed non-violent offenses.