California reduces top Misdemeanor sentence to 364 Days

Many of the Lawful Permanent Residents (i.e., green card holders) who get placed in removal/deportation proceedings end up there because they have a prior criminal offense in their record where they were sentenced to a year or more.   And that little detail right there– getting sentenced to one year or more– can make the difference between a person being able to fight their possible deportation and not being able to do so.    Many of the Immigration grounds of removal require that a sentence of “one year or more” be handed down to an alien before that criminal offense can be used to deport someone.   Worse, sometimes getting a year or more as the sentence will turn a minor misdemeanor into an “Aggravated Felony” which usually means an automatic deportation.   Luckily, the California governor signed a new law on July 22 of this year which reduced all misdemeanor sentences from 365 days (a year) to 364 days.   This small change will mean less Lawful Permanent Residents with misdemeanor convictions will end up in Removal.