New Laws 2020

Here are the changed laws that are relevant to criminal defense practice:

Code of Civil Procedure 203: Amended to allow those with a felony on their record who are not in prison or on parole to serve on juries.

Evidence Code 782.1: Added to prohibit the introduction of possession of a condom in a prosecution for prostitution.

Evidence Code 1043: Reduces the notice time for a Pitchess (look at bad Cop’s personnel record) to 10 days. Expands who is subject to a Pitchess motion to include supervisory police officers present at the relevant time.

Evidence Code 1162: Amended to expand the list of crimes in which identification of a person as a prostitute is inadmissible.

Government Code 15160: Prohibits law enforcement from disseminating information in the CLETS system about non-criminal information (restraining orders).

Health & Safety 11590, etc.: Repeals the laws mandating drug offender registration.

Penal Code 196 & 835a: Amends the definition of use of force to limit it to when there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the cop or another or the person who is suspected of committing murder or inflicting serious bodily injury is fleeing and his flight would result in death or serious bodily injury to another unless immediately apprehended.

Penal Code 487k: Enacted to make it a specific crime to take (steal) farm equipment.

Penal Code 520: Amends to include auto computers in definition of computer crime.

Penal Code 529: Enacted to make it a crime to impersonate a census taker.

Penal Code 600.2: Amended to make it a crime to intentionally cause injury to a guide, service, or signal animal.

Penal Code 647(j): Amended to include drones and unmanned flying devices to devices you can’t use to be a peeping tom.

Penal Code 667.5: Amended to limit the 1 year prison prior to sexually violent offenses. It previously included any felony that resulted in prison time within a 5 year period.

Penal Code 679.9-679.10: Amended to reduce the time it takes for law enforcement to process U-Visa (Domestic Violence Victims) and T-Visa (Trafficking Victims) certification and speed the information to ICE.

Penal Code 832.19: Prohibits cops from using biometric like facial recognition software in surveillance.

Penal Code 859.7: Requires cops to have a policy for photo and live lineup identifications. Requires that the policy follows certain guidelines.

Penal Code 1001.83: In an effort to stop the damage done by criminal records in child custody situations, the legislature added to allow the court’s to grant pre-plea diversion to custodial parents.

Penal Code 1016.8: Prohibits the language waiving future benefits from changes in the law in plea bargain agreements as it is against public policy.

Penal Code 4011.2-4011.3: Prohibits prisons from charging inmates for medical visits.

Penal Code 5003.1 & 9500-9505: Does away with private prisons by phasing them out.

Penal Code 11105: New forms are established to allow criminal defense attorney’s to get witness criminal records. We previously had to rely on the prosecution to turn them over. Here is a link to the new form. And here is the website explaining it.

Penal Code 12022.8: Added spousal rape to the list of crimes that the 5 year great bodily injury enhancement can be added.

Penal Code 18100-18205: Establishes the Gun Violence Restraining Order which can be obtained on a showing that the person is a danger to herself or others based on their owning or possessing a gun.

Penal Code 29825: Expands the crime of buying a gun when there is a protective order saying you can’t to out of state purchases and out of state protective orders.

Rule of Court 4.130: Allows defendants found incompetent to stand trial to be placed on mental health diversion.

If you have any questions about how the new laws affect you, please call me at 213-893-8640.


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