On July 25th, an internal memo was sent out to LAPD Commanding Officers notifying them that the police force would be decriminalizing certain misdemeanors in Los Angeles and classing them as infractions instead. Some of these misdemeanors include: driving without a license, camping on the beach, or using a fake ID to purchase alcohol.

Reducing these misdemeanors and charging them as infractions means that these violations will not show up on an individual’s criminal record and will not be counted in police department crime statistics.

The point is to hopefully, save taxpayer dollars and make the system more efficient. The majority of the offenses were often downgraded to infractions upon judicial review anyways.

Los Angeles isn’t the first city to make such changes. Sacramento and San Diego have already downgraded several misdemeanors like these to infractions as they found their coffers dwindling. The city of San Diego in particular has revised guidelines such as these, but has been careful not to compromise public safety; according to assistant city attorney Marlea Dell’Anno.

As it turns out, the city of Los Angeles’ crime rate has been on the decline lately, and dropping these misdemeanors to infractions will certainly be a positive step toward decreasing the city’s crime rate even more. It is still possible for an officer to have one of the recently downgraded crimes prosecuted as a misdemeanor, but now the officer will need to write a lengthy report detailing why.