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PC 1170(h) Felony Sentencing Laws

In 2011, California created new felony sentencing law aimed at reducing the inmate population in California's overcrowded prisons. The new law, found at penal code section 1170, allows judges to suspend or split a prison sentence for defendants convicted of certain felonies. PC 1170 also allows some prison sentences, if not suspended or split, to be served in a local county jail, as opposed to a California state prison.

A suspended sentence is a jail sentence that is not actually served so long as the defendant successfully completes an alternative sentence of mandatory supervised probation (usually three years).

A split sentence is a jail sentence that is allowed to be served partially in jail and partially out of jail on work release or house arrest (electronic monitoring).

To be eligible for the benefits of PC 1170 sentencing, the defendant must not have been convicted of a serious offense, a violent offense, or sexual offense.

A serious offense is any crime listed in section 1192.7 of the penal code. A list of serious offenses may be found at the right side of this page at Serious Crimes List. More information on 1192.7 crimes, including sentencing for PC 1192.7 crimes, may be found at serious crimes.

A violent offense is any crime listed in section 667.5 of the penal code. A list of violent offenses may be found at the right side of this page at Violent Crimes List. More information on PC 667.5 crimes, including sentencing for PC 667.5 crimes, may be found at violent crimes.

A sex offense is any crime listed in section 290 of the penal code. A list of the sex offenses that are not eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing may be found at the right side of this page at Sex Crimes List. More information on PC 290 crimes, including sentencing for PC 290 crimes, may be found at sex offender sentencing.

Note: Defendants that are convicted of crimes that are not covered by the sentencing benefits of PC 1170(h), which includes all the serious, violent, and sex crimes listed at the right of this page, might nevertheless be eligible for a probation sentence. A probation sentence is a non-prison sentence. This means that PC 1170(h) sentencing only applies to prison sentences, but the defendant might not be sentenced to prison in the first place depending on the eligibility of a probation sentence for that particular crime. For example, the crime of criminal threats (PC 422) is considered a serious offense (PC 1192.7). Therefore, if a defendant is sentenced to prison after a conviction for the crime of criminal threats he or she must serve his or her prison sentence in a state prison and may not have his or her prison sentence suspended or split pursuant to PC 1170(h). However, a conviction for the crime of criminal threats is eligible for a probation sentences despite the fact that it is not eligible for suspended or split sentence. Therefore, a defendant may be eligible for a probation sentence, as opposed to a prison sentence, upon a conviction for the crime of criminal threats. Be aware that not all crimes are eligible for probation sentences.

PC 1170(h) Eligible Crimes

  • Animal Cruelty

  • Welfare Fraud

  • DUI Boating w/injury

  • Vandalism

  • Vehicle Theft

  • Statutory Rape

  • False Compartment

  • Accessory

  • Resisting Officer

  • Perjury

  • False Imprisonment

  • Theft from Elder

  • Hate Crime

  • Comm. Burglary

  • Counterfeiting

  • Theft

  • Grand Theft Auto

  • Stolen Properly

  • Embezzlement

  • Extortion

  • False Personation

  • Identity Theft

  • False Pretenses

  • Insurance Fraud

  • Trespass w/injury

  • Own a Chop Shop

  • Speed Contest

  • DUI w/3Priors

  • Owning Attack Dog

  • PC 597(a)

  • WI 10980(c)

  • HN 665(f)

  • PC 594(a)

  • VC 10851(a)

  • PC 261.5(c)

  • HS 11366.8

  • PC 32

  • PC 69

  • PC 118

  • PC 236, 237

  • PC 368

  • PC 422.7

  • PC 459

  • PC 477

  • PC 484(a)

  • PC 487(d)(1)

  • PC 496(a)

  • PC 503

  • PC 520

  • PC 529

  • PC 530.5

  • PC 532

  • PC 550

  • PC 601(a)

  • VC 10801

  • VC 23109(a)

  • VC 23152

  • PC 399.5(a)

Note: This list represents a partial list of popular crimes eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing. There are simply too many crimes eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing to list here, including dozens of firearm, theft, and drug crimes. Also, some crimes listed above have closely related crimes that do not qualify for PC 1170(h) sentencing. For example, the crime of extortion (PC 520) is eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing but the crime of gang related extortion (also PC 520)  is not eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing. 

To learn more about suspended sentences, split sentences, PC 1170 law, probation sentences, or whether a crime is eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.

909.913.3138

References to PC 1170(h) [Abbr.]

PC 1170(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision where the term is not specified in the underlying offense shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or two or three years.

PC 1170(h)(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for the term described in the underlying offense.

PC 1170(h)(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), where the defendant (A) has a prior or current felony conviction for a serious felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 or a prior or current conviction for a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, (B) has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that has all the elements of a serious felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 or a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, (C) is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 290) of Title 9 of Part 1, or (D) is convicted of a crime and as part of the sentence an enhancement pursuant to Section 186.11 is imposed, an executed sentence for a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision shall be served in state prison. [PC 1170(h) (3)]

PC 1170(h)(4) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prevent other dispositions authorized by law, including pretrial diversion, deferred entry of judgment, or an order granting probation pursuant to Section 1203.1.

PC 1170(h)(5)(A) Unless the court finds that, in the interests of justice, it is not appropriate in a particular case, the court, when imposing a sentence pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2), shall suspend execution of a concluding portion of the term for a period selected at the court’s discretion. 

PC 1170(h)(5)(B) The portion of a defendant’s sentenced term that is suspended pursuant to this paragraph shall be known as mandatory supervision, and, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall commence upon release from physical custody or an alternative custody program, whichever is later... [Abbr.]

PC 1170(h) (6) The sentencing changes made by the act that added this subdivision shall be applied prospectively to any person sentenced on or after October 1, 2011.

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PC 1170(h): Felony Sentencing

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Abbreviated list of crimes not covered by PC 1170(h). Note: Some of the crimes listed below may be eligible for probation despite ineligibility for PC 1170(h) suspended or split sentencing.

Abbr. PC 1192.7 Serious Crimes List

  • Murder

  • Manslaughter

  • Sodomy

  • Oral Copulation

  • Attempted Murder

  • Residential Burglary

  • Arson

  • Robbery

  • Kidnapping

  • Sexual Penetration

  • Carjacking

  • Sexual Assault

  • Assault

  • Continuous Sex Acts

  • Witness Intimidation

  • Criminal Threats

  • PC 187(a)

  • PC 192(a)

  • PC 286

  • PC 288a

  • PC 664/187

  • PC 459

  • PC 451

  • PC 211

  • PC 207, 209

  • PC 289

  • PC 215

  • PC 220

  • PC 245

  • PC 288.5

  • PC 136.1

  • PC 422

Abbr. PC 667.5 Violent Crimes List

  • Murder

  • Manslaughter

  • Mayhem

  • Rape of a Minor

  • Spousal Rape

  • Sodomy of a Minor

  • Lewd Acts

  • Robbery

  • Arson

  • Sexual Penetration

  • Attempted Murder

  • Kidnapping

  • Sexual Assault

  • Continuous Sex Acts

  • Carjacking

  • Witness Intimidation

  • Residential Burglary

  • PC 187(a)

  • PC 192(a)

  • PC 203

  • PC 261

  • PC 262

  • PC 286

  • PC 288(a)

  • PC 211

  • PC 451

  • PC 289

  • PC 664/187

  • PC 207, 209

  • PC 220

  • PC 288.5

  • PC 215

  • PC 136.1

  • PC 459

Abbr. PC 290 Sex Crimes List

  • Sodomy

  • Lewd Acts

  • Oral Copulation

  • Sexual Assault

  • Sexual Battery

  • Rape

  • Incest

  • Spousal Rape

  • Pimping

  • Pandering

  • Indecent Exposure

  • Child Pornography

  • Molesting a Child

  • PC 286

  • PC 288(a)

  • PC 288a

  • PC 220

  • PC 243.4

  • PC 261

  • PC 285

  • PC 262

  • PC 266h

  • PC 266i

  • PC 314(1)

  • PC 311.11

  • PC 647.6

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PC 1170(h) Sentencing Laws

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In addition to the felonies listed in this article, our criminal attorneys represent defendants charged with misdemeanors and wobblers, including

  • Annoying a Child

  • Battery

  • Brandishing a Firearm

  • DUI Boating

  • Commercial Burglary

  • Disturbing the Peace

  • Drunk in Public

  • DUI

  • Hit and Run

  • Indecent Exposure

  • Prostitution

  • Loiter for Prostitution

  • Resisting Arrest

  • Reckless Driving

  • Shoplifting

  • Stalking

  • Statutory Rape

  • Suspended License

  • Revenge Porn

  • Hazing

  • Forgery

  • Domestic Battery

  • Conspiracy

  • Contempt of Court

  • Discharge Firearm

  • Bigarmy

  • Annoying Phone Calls

  • Credit Card Fraud

  • Attempt Crimes

  • PC 647.6

  • PC 242

  • PC 417

  • HN 655

  • PC 459

  • PC 415

  • PC 647(f)

  • VC 23152

  • VC 20002(a)

  • PC 314

  • PC 647(b)

  • PC 653.22(a)

  • PC 148(a)(1)

  • VC 23103

  • PC 459.5

  • PC 646.9

  • PC 261.5(c)

  • VC 14601

  • PC 647(j)(4)

  • PC 245.6

  • PC 470(a)

  • PC 243(e)(1)

  • PC 182

  • PC 166(a)

  • PC 246

  • PC 281

  • PC 653m

  • PC 484e

  • PC 664

More Criminal Defense Topics

  • Prop 36
  • Prop 47
  • Prop 57
  • Three Strikes Law
  • Sex Offender Registration
  • Expungements
  • Criminal Conviction & Professional License
  • Restoring Your Rights to Own Firearms
  • Serious Felonies & 1192.7 Crimes
  • Violent Felonies & 667.5 Crimes
  • Work Release & House Arrest
  • Certificates of Rehabilitation
  • DMV Hearings for DUI
  • California Pardons
  • Immigration Consequences for Convictions
  • DUI Class Lists Inland Empire
  • PC 1170h Sentencing
  • Jail & Inmate Information
  • Bail Information
  • Criminal Appeals
  • Defenses to Crime


California Penal Code 1170(h) Sentencing Realignment Information 359/281

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