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Federal immigration authorities recently issued a directive stating that they plan to enter federal, state and local courthouses to make arrests. In response, the California State Senate approved a bill that would keep ICE agents out of courthouses if it becomes law.

Senate Bill 183 would prohibit federal immigration agents from entering state buildings to make arrests without a valid federal warrant. This means ICE agents would not be able to detain, question or conduct surveillance on anyone in buildings such as courthouses, public schools, community colleges and other state-run buildings.

Why Stop ICE from Enforcing Immigration Laws?

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While visiting his parents on break from the University of Pennsylvania, 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, who identified as gay, was reportedly stabbed more than 20 times and left to die in a park in Lake Forest. Samuel Woodward has been charged with Bernstein’s murder, which authorities believe may have been motivated by Bernstein’s sexual orientation, and has plead not guilty.

In response to this crime, California lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create sentence enhancements for murder when the crime is motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender.

Proposed Sentence Enhancements for Murder Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender (Senate Bill 971)

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Lawmakers introduce new bills every year meant to protect citizens. However, one recently proposed law meant to protect the environment has drawn a lot of attention.

Being referred to as the “Straw Law,” Assembly Bill 1884 would reportedly punish restaurant employees for providing patrons with a plastic straw for their drinks. Would California lawmakers really punish waiters for giving out straws? Let’s explore the truth about the proposed Straw Law.

What the Proposed “Straw Law” Would Do (AB 1884)

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Your child is accused of breaking the law while at school. The police arrive and begin questioning your child. Using interrogation tactics, police coerce your child into confessing to a crime he or she did not actually commit.

How can this happen? Unfortunately, minors don’t have all the same rights as adults. However, a law that took effect on January 1, 2018 amended Welfare and Institutions Code Section 625.6 to give minors under 16 years old a chance to better understand the rights that they do have. The law hopes to curtail the amount of false confessions given by minors.

What are Miranda Rights?

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Over the past several years, California lawmakers have been overhauling the state’s criminal justice system in an effort to reduce the prison population. The latest law amed to curb jail and prison overcrowding went into effect on January 1, 2018, and changed how courts deal with cases involving simple possession of drugs.

Previously, if you were arrested for simple possession (in other words, possession for personal use only), the court could implement a deferred entry of judgment under California Penal Code Section 1000. Assembly Bill 208, which took effect at the start of 2018, made changes to PC 1000 so that pretrial diversion is now an option.

What does this change in law mean? Let’s explore the difference between deferred entry of judgment and pretrial diversion.

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If you are arrested, there will be a record of your arrest regardless if you are convicted of the crime. Having an arrest record could harm your chances of getting a good job, getting admitted to the college of your choice, or being able to achieve other business successes.

Fortunately, a law that recently took effect in California called the Consumer Arrest Record Equity Act (CARE Act) may make it easier for you to seal your arrest record so that it does not impact you anymore.

What is the CARE Act? (PC 851.91)

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In 2010, California began what is being called the “justice reform era.” That is when new legislation, voter-approved initiatives, and court mandates began to make sweeping changes to the state’s justice system.

So, is California starting to see the effects of these laws? Recently, a non-profit group Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice released a study of the justice reform era to find out what impact these laws have had.breaking_handcuffs_2-300x197

Justice Reform Era Stats

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California will make sales of recreational marijuana legal on Jan. 1, 2018. So, when the law takes effect, what happens to people who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past? Thanks to a provision in California’s new marijuana laws, those convicted of nearly any marijuana offense may have the opportunity to get their conviction expunged.

New Marijuana Laws Allow Offenders to Expunge Criminal Record

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, nearly 500,000 people were arrested for marijuana crimes in California from 2006 to 2015. Those offenders now have the opportunity to clear their record or be released from custody under new California laws regarding marijuana.Possesion-of-MJ-300x200

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On Jan. 1, 2018, hundreds of new laws will go into effect in California, and they will impact every citizen in our state. Here’s a look at 10 important new California laws for 2018 that you need to know.

10. AB 1008: Ban-the-Box Criminal History on Applications

Companies with five or more employees are now prohibited from asking about a potential employee’s criminal history on job applications. Inquiring about or considering criminal history at any time DUI_Marijuana_Drugs-300x201before a conditional offer of employment has been made is now illegal under Government Code 12952.

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There’s an expression that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” However, U.S. lawmakers may not be following that old saying when it comes to “revenge hacking.”

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have co-sponsored the Active Cyber Defense Security Act (ACDC), which would essentially allow people or companies who have been hacked for data to “hack back” the hacker.

What are “Hack Back Laws?”

About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.