In 2017 alone, the California legislature passed nearly 900 bills that Gov. Jerry Brown then signed into law. Most of them take effect in January 2018. Here is a summary of the key criminal law changes that will take effect this year:
- No California school employee can carry a concealed weapon onto campus. Before, school officials had discretion over the issue.
- Anyone who “willfully records a video” of a violent attack as an attacker or accomplice and streams it online on sites such as Facebook could receive tougher punishment. See A.B. 1542. The new law does not require a judge to hand down the tougher sentence, and applies only to the 23 existing crimes in California identified as “violent” felonies.
- No juvenile offenders will have to serve life without parole and those already behind bars would become eligible for release after 25 years. This reform is intended to ease punishment and fines for young people.
- Counties may no longer charge fees to a family for everything from detention to monitoring of juveniles. This old policy was criticized for disproportionately affecting low-income communities of color.
- It is now a misdemeanor to openly carry an unloaded long gun in public unincorporated areas outside of incorporated cities that are deemed by counties as not appropriate for such firearms. This law was requested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to expand state law that already bans openly carrying handguns in areas outside cities.
- Californians convicted of crimes that require them to get rid of their firearms must now prove they have done so before their court cases can be closed. This change is due to Proposition 63, a ballot measure that passed last November. The measure was obviously opposed by the NRA.
- Assembly Bill 41 would require law enforcement agencies to report to the state how many sexual assault kits they collected and have examined, and how many they have not. Agencies also have to explain why a rape kit was not tested. This law was opposed by the Sheriffs Association that claims testing every single rape kit will be a financial and resource burden to the state.
San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has handled all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including immigration and drug offenses. We have kept up with all the legislative changes in the criminal law sector, so that you do not have to analyze these cumbersome changes yourself. Do not try to fight your charges alone. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact our office today and ask for a free, confidential consultation to see how we may be able to put our experience to use to help you.