As Californians enthusiastically welcome the New Year, they must also prepare to embrace a wide-range of new laws that went into effect January 1, 2014. These laws, which are often subtly put into effect but harshly enforced by the police, will likely affect a large number of uninformed citizens living in California.
It is important that you are aware of all of the new laws that could impact your life or the lives of your loved ones. Here are six of the new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2014.
6 Important New California Laws
1. Juvenile Offenders (SB 260)-
- Newly implemented Senate Bill 260 (SB 260) will give minors who were prosecuted and convicted for serious crimes an additional chance for redemption. In the past, serious crime offenders as young as 14 years old were serving life sentences with zero chance of parole. Now, if the individual has served at least 15 years, authorities will be able to review whether or not the incarcerated minor has matured enough for parole during his or her time in jail. This new law will apply to those convicted in the past and minors that are sentenced in the future as well.
2. Wrongful Convictions (SB 618)-
- Senate Bill 618 (SB 618) will simplify the procedure involved in processing a claim for an individual who was wrongfully convicted. The practice will now be much cheaper for the individual involved as well. Those who are wrongfully convicted are eligible to receive $100 for every day that they unjustly spent behind bars.
3. Domestic Abuse (SB 400)
- California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 400 (SB 400). This bill protects victims of domestic violence from being discriminated against or terminated by their employer and also mandates the employer to supply the victim “reasonable accommodation” to ensure their safety at work. A man or woman can no longer be terminated from their place of work simply because their spouse is abusive.
4. Parolee GPS (SB 57)
- Senate Bill (SB 57) will increase the punishment for California sex offenders on parole who cut off their tracking devices. Taking effect immediately, an individual who cuts off his or her tracking device will now face a felony charge that could send the alleged individual to state prison for up to three years.
5. Teen Drivers (SB 194)-
- In 2009, California law makers outlawed the use of a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. However, drivers were legally allowed to use hands-free devices. Now, Senate Bill 194 (SB 194) prohibits the use of all hands-free devices to send or receive text messages for all drivers under the age of 18.
6. Gun Control (AB 809)-
- Governor Brown also signed California AB 809. This will require all individuals who own “long guns” (such as shotguns or rifles) to register the firearm with the Department of Justice. Their personal information will also be sent to the Department for a criminal background check. Previously, the DOJ would destroy personal information once the individual completed the check. Now, they will track the model, make, and serial number of the gun in addition to the personal information obtained.
Wallin and Klarich is the Law Firm to Call When you Have Been Charged with Any Criminal Offense
If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges in California, you should speak to one of our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have been successfully defending our clients for over 30 years. Hiring an attorney from Wallin & Klarich will insure that your legal rights will be protected.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.