Fact Sheet on Penal Code § 372.5, effective Jan. 1, 2023

Post-Conviction Relief
Removal Defense
Publication Date

This fact sheet describes new Cal. Penal Code 372.5 (AB 2195). As of January 1, 2023, a California defendant who is charged with any of several drug offenses, from infractions to felonies, can ask for the drug charge/s to be dismissed and instead to plead guilty to being a “public nuisance” (Penal Code § 370). Section 372.5 provides that in this circumstance, the public nuisance offense is punishable as an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a “wobbler” offense, depending on the offense level of the drug charge that was dropped. The defense must decide to ask, and the prosecution must agree, to go forward with Penal Code 370/372.5.

The public nuisance conviction is not a conviction of a controlled substance offense (CSO) for immigration purposes. It also may help to avoid other “collateral” consequences of a drug conviction such as loss of housing or employment.