The End of Theft Enhancements in California

For decades, large thefts and embezzlements in California were subject to enhanced sentences under California Penal Code 12022.6.

However, section 12022.6 had a sunset provision ending the statute on January 1, 2018: “(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of this section be reviewed within 10 years to consider the effects of inflation on the additional terms imposed. For that reason this section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed unless a later enacted statute, which is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.”

The California Legislature passed (August 31, 2018) AB1511 to replace 12022.6 with language. This bill had no sunset clause, and, if it had become law, would have been in effect forever.

However, this bill was vetoed by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018. Therefore, as of this writing, thefts and embezzlements under California law have a maximum sentence of three years state prison.

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