This article is a non-exhaustive review of some of the new laws passed by the legislature and the voters (Prop 47) that become active in 2015. The changes that will affect the most people are Prop 47 and AB60, but there are some very positive changes for veterans this year as well.
Business and Professions Code 480 is amended to state that a professional license cannot be refused solely because of a misdemeanor that was dismissed under Penal Code 1203.4
Civil Code 1798.91.1 is added to prohibit charging a fee to remove a booking photo from online. Doesn’t say you can’t post the booking photo, just can’t charge people to remove.
Health and Safety Code 11350/11377 are amended to allow someone to possess prescription medicines when they’re picking them up for someone else.
Health and Safety Code 11351 is amended to reduce the penalty for sale of crack from 3, 4 or 5 years to 2, 3 or 4 years. Also, doubles to 28.5 grams the amount where possession makes you ineligible for probation.
Health and Safety Code 11550 is amended to repeal the mandatory 90 day jail sentence.
Penal Code 18.5 was amended to make a year jail sentence equal to 364 days. This removes most misdemeanors with a one year sentence from being federal aggravated felonies for immigration purposes.
Penal Code 19.8 was amended to allow increased fines for infractions.
Penal Code 166 has been amended to do away with the provision for misdemeanor contempt for jurors who use electronic communication or research about a case.
Penal Code 192 ‘gay panic disorder’ has been removed as a defense to voluntary manslaughter charges.
Penal Code 381d and e are added to criminalize the purchase of nitrous oxide with the intent to get high. Statute requires sellers to keep records and make them available.
Penal Code 502 is amended to differentiate between computer crimes involving private and governmental computers.
Penal Code 647 is amended to add “know or should have known” to the statute penalizing publishing lewd photos of an ex.
Penal Code 834b is repealed. This section required cops to cooperate with Federal Immigration agents.
Penal Code 977(b) is amended to allow for appearance by attorney in non-material felony matters when the defendant has given oral (as opposed to written) authority to do so.
Penal Code 1000 is amended to include diversion for a bunch of prescription drugs.
Penal Code 1000 is amended to allow for pre-trial diversion of misdemeanors for Veterans and active duty service members.
Penal Code 1170 (among others) is amended to allow pre-sentence credits for time spent on house arrest and for good time credits for post-sentence house arrest and work furlough.
Penal Code 1170.9 is amended to require additional admonitions at arraignment that will aid Veterans. AB 1110 requires that the court advise active duty military members and veterans that they have the right to request and review a judicial council form with the rights for Veterans and to request their rights through the court.
Penal Code 11106.4 is added to require law enforcement agencies to develop policies and protocols for ‘welfare checks’. Welfare checks are a detention when the cop believes the person poses a danger to himself or others. Requiring articulable facts in policies and procedures is a good thing as welfare checks are used to support stops on less than reasonable suspicion.
Penal Code 27585 is added to require handguns purchased in another state to be imported to California through a license firearms dealer.
Proposition 47 has amended a bunch of statutes to make possession of most drugs, forgery (under $950) and theft (under $950) misdemeanors.
Vehicle Code Sections 12801.9, .10, et c. were added to the Vehicle Code by AB60 allowing noncitizens to get driver’s licenses.
Vehicle Code 23550 is amended so that a separate felony as opposed to a prior felony may be used to increase sentence of felony DUI.
Welfare and Institutions Code 786 was added to allow automatic sealing of juvenile records for crimes that are not serious or violent upon completion of probation. Offenders used to have to petition the court for sealing.