New Year, New Laws

A Brief Recap of Some of the New Laws Affecting Californians in 2020

California legislators were busy in 2019 writing hundreds of new laws that will take effect this month and in the future.  This article will touch on a few major areas that will affect Californians in 2020 and beyond.

Gun Regulations

A host of new gun laws were put into effect including limiting the people who will be eligible to buy a semi-automatic rifle.  Several new laws regarding gun violence restraining orders were put into effect including expanding who could request one.  Additionally, if you were banned by an out of state temporary restraining order, injunction of protective order from owning or possessing a gun, it will now be effective in California.  The laws regarding storage and transfer of firearms became more restrictive.

Court Programs

A new diversion program for caregivers of children was implemented under Senate Bill No. 394.  The new diversion program would allow a pretrial diversion program for primary caregivers charged with a misdemeanor or non-serious, non-violent felony not committed against the person who is in their care.

Bail and Pretrial Services

Voters will decide on November 3, 2020 whether SB 10 requiring implementation of a pretrial risk assessment tool to determine pretrial release should be implemented.  Opponents to SB 10 gathered enough signatures for a veto referendum, placing a stay on the law and allowing voters to decide whether it should remain effective.

Jury Service

Those convicted of a felony will no longer be automatically ineligible for jury service.  Under Senate Bill No. 310, the language prohibiting an ex-felon from serving as a prospective juror is deleted.  Those who are currently incarcerated, have been convicted of a felony and are on parole, under community supervision, on probation or required to register as a sex offender based on a felony conviction are still ineligible.

This is just a brief review of some of the new laws affecting California in 2020.  Check back for more information on what to expect this year and in the years to come regarding criminal justice, your rights and your freedom.

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