With the beginning of each year come new laws, some of which may go into effect January 1st. In 2018, there are a number of laws that impact the criminal justice system that you should be aware of.
If you have been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, the best thing you can do for yourself is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, we are here to explain the law, including recent changes, and advise you of your rights and options as the law currently stands. Call us today at (559) 443-7442 to schedule a free case consultation.
New Immigration Rules
California has been vocal about becoming a sanctuary state for immigrants. Based on Senate Bill 54, state and local police forces are limited in how they can cooperate with federal immigration officials. State and local officials cannot ask about your immigration status or hold you based on a federal request unless you have been convicted of a certain crime.
If you or a relative have been stopped by the police, arrested, or brought in for questioning in an investigation, the police do not have the right to ask whether you are a citizen, have a green card, or have a visa. They are not allowed to ask questions to determine whether you are documented or undocumented.
New Gun Laws
California continues to be tough on gun control. Starting in 2018, firearms are entirely banned from schools and educational campuses in the state. School districts no longer have the right to decide whether employees with concealed carry permits can bring their weapons on the premises or not. Law enforcement officers and security guards are exempt from this ban, and official sport and activities approved by a district are also exempt. If you are a non-exempt individual and are found to have a firearm on a K-12 or college campus, you may face criminal charges.
Also new this year, you can no longer buy ammunition online or from non-licensed sources. In California, you can only purchase ammunition from a licensed vendor. If you purchase ammunition online, it must be sent to a licensed vendor, where you can then pick it up. Next year, starting in July, you will also need to go through a background check to buy ammo.
If you are convicted of a hate crime, you will lose your right to possess a firearm for 10 years.
New Juvenile Laws
As we have been progressing in the area of understanding juvenile brain development, our legislature continues to act to prevent unjust sentences for juvenile offenders. Juveniles convicted of crimes can no longer be sentenced to life without parole. Now, juveniles sentenced to life terms will be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years.
Also, cities and counties are now limited in the fees they can collect from families who have children in juvenile detention. A child’s parents or legal guardians cannot be charged for the cost of transporting minors to juvenile facilities, the children’s food, drug tests, and other items.
New DUI Laws
Ride-sharing businesses like Lyft and Uber have grown in popularity in recent years, and California has enacted a number of laws to make these services safer. Assembly Bill 2687 toughened the DUI standard for ride-sharing drivers. Now, if you drive for Uber, Lyft, or another service and are caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04 percent or higher, you can be charged with a DUI. This is the same BAC standard for commercial drivers.
Have You Been Arrested? A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one are being investigated for an offense or have been arrested, call an attorney at Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer right away. No matter where you are in your criminal matter, we will thoroughly review your case. Recently enacted laws may have changed whether your actions were illegal, or what you should expect from the criminal court process. We will explain your rights and options under the current law and fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.