Staying Informed: Legislature Passes Bills Affecting California Criminal Laws
The California legislature passed over 700 bills during its most recent term. Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30, 2016 to decide which bills will be enacted into law. The Sacramento Bee published a great, in-depth article breaking down many of these bills, including those that will have an effect on criminal laws and criminal procedure. Here are some highlights:
Senate Bill 1322 Prohibits Arresting or Charging People Under the Age of 18 for Prostitution.
There appears to be a subtle change in how lawmakers view prostitution and the punishments that accompany partaking in this activity. Sponsors of the bill argue that minors engaging in prostitution should offered assistance via public services to extricate them from that environment rather than simply being arrested. The bill narrowly passed in the Legislature, so it is unclear whether Governor Brown will sign it into law. A related piece of legislation, Senate Bill 1129, removes mandatory minimum jail sentences for people convicted of multiple prostitution offenses.
Senate Bill 813 Removes Statute of Limitations for Rape Allegations.
Current state law requires rape charges to be brought within ten years of an alleged sexual assault. This bill was proposed in light of sex crime victims discovering supressed memories from when they were children, but decades have gone by since the alleged act.
Assembly Bill 2466 Allows Convicted Felons who are Not in Prison or on Parole to Vote in Elections.
The California Constitution prohibits people who are in prison or on parole for a felony from voting. This makes absolutely no sense at all. People should not be punished for the rest of their lives due to a mistake made in the past. In addition to the punitive nature of current prohibition on voting, it is bad for a representative democracy. Voting is a right and there is a significant need to re-engage former inmates in society, which thereby helps cut down on recidivism.
Assembly Bill 2888 Mandates Prison Sentence for Sex Crimes when the Victim was Unconscious or Incapable of Giving Consent.
This bill is the byproduct of the rape case involving Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer who received a six-month jail sentence after raping an unconscious woman. This bill received overwhelming support in the state legislature and is likely to be signed into law by Governor Brown.
Assembly Bill 1046 Requires Mandatory Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices for all Drivers Convicted of a DUI.
This bill broadens the use of ignition interlock devices to all drivers convicted of a DUI, even first-time offenders. The current state law only mandates the installation of an ignition interlock device if you have multiple DUI convictions on your record or you were heavily intoxicated. There is talk that Governor Brown may not sign this bill into law due to the costs necessary to effectively administer the program (which is estimated to be close to $2.5 million per year).
No Matter What Criminal Law You are Charged with Violating, You Need Experienced Representation
The Law Office of Peter Berlin is dedicated to helping those who have been charged with almost any kind of criminal activity in and around Los Angeles. With nearly two decades of experience in criminal defense cases, we know what it takes to provide a strong defense against any charge. Contact us today for a free consultation at 310-289-5418.