Local Sentence

Local Sentence (PC 1170(h))

California Penal Code section 1170(h) is an all-inclusive provision for felony sentencing. Section 1170(h) mandates that certain felons sentenced to prison to serve their time in county jails as opposed to state prisons. It allows judges to suspend or split a prison sentence for defendants convicted of certain felonies. Such felony statutes don’t set specific terms of imprisonment. Rather, it states that punishment be made pursuant to California Penal Code 1170(h).

When a statute calls for punishment pursuant to Penal Code 1170(h), the judge can sentence the defendant to a county jail term of 16 months, two years, or three years. Generally, a felony offender will receive the middle term (two years). The higher or lower terms are only used when aggravating or mitigating circumstances are shown.

To be eligible for PC 1170(h) sentencing:

  • The punishment provision in the statute for one (or more) of the crimes must specify that defendant “shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170”
  • Defendant must not have a prior or current serious felony conviction
  • Defendant must not have a prior or current violent felony conviction
  • Defendant must not be required to register as a sex offender
  • Defendant must not be convicted of a felony and be sentenced with an enhancement for aggravated theft.

Most common PC 1170(h) eligible crimes

  • Penal Code §597(a)
  • Welfare & Institutions Code §10980(c)
  • Harbors and Navigation §665(f)
  • Penal Code §594(a)
  • Vehicle Code §10851(a)
  • Penal Code §261.5(c)
  • Health & Safety Code §11366.8
  • Penal Code §32
  • Penal Code §69
  • Penal Code §118
  • Penal Code §236, 237
  • Penal Code §368
  • Penal Code §422.7
  • Penal Code §459
  • Penal Code §477
  • Penal Code §484(a)
  • Penal Code §487(d)(1)
  • Penal Code §496(a)
  • Penal Code §503
  • Penal Code §520
  • Penal Code §529
  • Penal Code §530.5
  • Penal Code §532
  • Penal Code §550
  • Penal Code §601(a)
  • Vehicle Code §10801
  • Vehicle Code §23109(a)
  • Vehicle Code §23152
  • Penal Code §399.5(a)
  • 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


  • 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/3 Priors
  • Owning Attack Dog

For more information relating to criminal justice realignment see article below:

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