Governor Newsom signed hundreds of new bills into law that took effect beginning this year. We will be highlighting many of them throughout the year. Here are just a few more:
SB 1228 (DNA from Rape Kits)
In 2016, a property crime case was issued against a sexual assault victim in San Francisco after she was identified through DNA evidence from a rape kit she previously submitted to. This story received media attention and resulted in outrage from the public. After this incident, San Francisco no longer allowed law enforcement to use DNA collected from sexual assault victims to be used in the investigation of unrelated crimes. Now, because of SB 1228, San Francisco’s policy applies everywhere in California. The justification is that victims of sexual assault should not be discouraged from coming forward to undergo sexual assault examinations (rape kits) to identify their attackers.
SB 1008 (Free Prison & Jail Phone Calls)
Connecticut was the first state in 2022 to make phone calls for people in its prisons and juvenile halls free. California is the second state to follow suit. Prior to SB 1008, phone calls from prisons and jails were charged, and the charges were known to be notoriously expensive. Now, it is free. Phone calls are the main, and sometimes only, way inmates can communicate with their loved ones on the outside. Depending on how long they are incarcerated, the cost to maintain that communication can really add up, driving many families into significant debt. That is no longer a concern for inmates and their families in California thanks to SB 1008.
AB 2294 (Crackdown on Retail Theft)
AB 2294 is in effect until January 1, 2026, and will allow law enforcement to put people in custody for misdemeanor retail theft if they have been arrested or convicted for theft in the last six months, or those suspected to be part of an organized retail theft crime ring. Before this law, someone arrested for a misdemeanor theft offense was nearly always released from custody on the condition they appear in court. This law illustrates the state’s intent on cracking down on retail theft.
AB 2147 (Jaywalking)
“Safe” jaywalking is officially legal. Law enforcement can no longer ticket people for jaywalking unless it is done in an “unsafe” manner. Jaywalking tickets have notoriously been given to indigent people who can’t afford to pay for them in the first place.
SB 731 (Sealed convictions)
This law provides that old convictions that were non-violent and non-sex-related are to be permanently sealed from people’s criminal records. This would apply to people who have completed their sentence and were not repeat offenders. This allows automatic relief for many, instead of people having to petition the court for their records to be sealed.
One of the things to look for in a criminal defense law firm is whether they are up to date on the law. We are. Give us a call today at (619) 295-3555 to set up a case evaluation with one of our attorneys to learn how your situation may be improved with recent legislation.
The contents of this article and blog are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.