January 4, 2021 By Paul Wallin

On September 30, 2018, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 1437, which became effective January 1, 2019. This bill made changes to felony murder and murder under a natural and probable consequences doctrine. Before Senate Bill No. 1437, defendants could be charged with murder even if they were not the actual killer, did not intend to kill, or were not a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life. The California Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 1437 in order to keep defendants that met these criteria from being Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Attorneys PC 1170.95 Murder Resentencingcharged with murder.

California Penal Code §1170.95 is a section in Senate Bill No. 1437 which may allow those who were convicted of murder before the bill  had been passed to have their convictions vacated. If a defendant had been charged with felony murder or murder under a natural and probable consequences doctrine,  under Penal Code 1170.95, it may be possible for them to have their conviction  vacated, so  long as they meet at least one of the bill’s criteria which are:

  1. they were not the actual killer, 
  2. they did not intend to kill, or 
  3. they were not a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life.

What Are My Rights Under PC 1170.95?

Before Senate Bill 1437, prosecutors could convict defendants under a “natural and probable consequences” theory. Under this theory, if two people committed a felony, but only one person committed a murder during the felony, then the other participant could be charged with murder if the murder was a result of the felony occurring–even if they never actually killed anyone. Under California Penal Code 1170.95 you no longer can  be convicted of  murder just because you participated in a felony where someone was killed. 


How Can I Request Resentencing Under PC 1170.95?

To request resentencing under PC 1170.95, you must petition the court with a legal document that clearly states why you deserve a new sentence pursuant to the language of  Senate Bill No. 1437. If the court decides that you would not have been convicted under the new version of the law, then your murder conviction will be vacated and you can be resentenced on any remaining charges.  It is important to have an experienced murder defense lawyer fighting for you if you intend to file such a motion. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped scores of defendants navigate the criminal justice system for over 40 years.  For more information or to speak about your case call us for a free phone consultation.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Wallin & Klarich Today

Our law firm has been helping answer peoples questions about their present and past criminal cases for almost four decades. With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.


Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-4279 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.


AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

SCHEDULE YOUR free consultation

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.