New laws are generally passed several times throughout the year. However, unless it is otherwise stated, the law does not become active, binding law, until January 1st of the following year. Some laws can pass sooner, and others are delayed for various reasons. The laws listed in this section apply to all people starting January 1st, 2021.
Please note, this is not an exhaustive list of new criminal laws, but are some of the most relevant to people in CA, and people involved with Criminal Law:
This new law requires jails and prison to offer inmates who are possibly pregnant or capable of becoming pregnant a pregnancy test and requires specified medical treatment and services for the county jail and state prison inmates who are pregnant. The full text of this law is here.
This new law specifics that “sexual assault” for purposes of reporting incidents of abuse under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act does not include voluntary sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration, if there is no indication of abuse, unless the conduct is between a person who is 21 years of age or older and minor is under 16 years of age. The full text of this law is here.
This law makes it a “wobblette” to knowingly use the 911 emergency system for the purposes of harassing another, and increases the penalty for this crime by up to one year in county jail, or a fine of no more than $2,000 if the harassment is also an act defined to be a hate crime or is an offense committed against a person based on their perceived race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The full text of this law is here.
This new law limits the term of probation to be no longer than two years for a felony conviction and one year for a misdemeanor conviction, unless other specified. You can read more about that new law here. The full text of this law is here.
This new law allows a person who successfully participated in the California Conservation Camp Program (Fire Camp) or a county incarcerated individual hand crew to petition for a dismissal of their conviction. This law allows the Court in its discretion and in the interest of justice, if the person is otherwise eligible for relief, to dismiss the conviction against them, and release that person from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense, except as otherwise specified. The full text of the law is here.
This new law authorized a person in a death penalty case to apply for an order directing that a hearing to determine intellectual disability be conducted as part of a habeas corpus petition, and revises the definition of intellectual disability. The full text of the law is here.
This new law makes it a misdemeanor offense for a first responder, as defined, operating under the color of authority, to use an electronic at the scene of an accident or crime to capture the image of a deceased person for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or for the genuine public interest. This of course came after the tragic events and photos published of the passing of Kobe Bryant. The full text of the law is here.
This law creates a Court initiated misdemeanor diversion program and lowers the minimum age limitation for the Elderly Parole Program to inmates who are 50 years of age and who have served a minimum of 20 years. You can read more about that new law here. The full text of this law is here.
This new law exempts certain people convicted of specified non-forcible Sex offenses involving minors from mandatory registration as a Sex Offender. The full text of the law is here.
This new law amends the crime of Price Gouging (PC 396) to 1) include where a person, contractor, business, or other entity to charge a price that is more than 50% greater than either the amount the seller paid for the goods or the seller’s costs in selling or providing the goods or services; and 2) provide that the protections against price gouging may also apply to a timeframe prior to the date as set in the proclamation or declaration. The full text of the law is here.
Many new laws can affect us in our day to day lives. Some of these laws can help us or our loved ones facing a criminal conviction, and others can help us to avoid getting arrested and charged with any new criminal offenses that have happened in 2021. Inland Empire Criminal Defense makes it a point to be up to date with all new laws and how they can help you going into the new year.
I can help walk you through these new laws, and how it will affect your pending criminal case, give me a call at 909-939-7126.