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New 2021 Criminal Justice Reform Bills passed in California

California’s new criminal justice reforms and laws explained by the award-winning Criminal Defense Lawyer Sam Salhab with the Law Offices of Sam Salhab

Beginning on January 1st 2021, major reforms will substantially affect the juvenile justice system, the treatment of misdemeanor offenders, law enforcement practices, the right of ex-felons, and inequitable sentencing. Additional reforms targeting bias in juror selection will become effective at a later date.

Lawmakers from both parties are seeing the value in creating a justice system that allows people to move on with their lives more easily as criminal justice reform efforts gather momentum across the country.

California took a huge leap into that future when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of 25 criminal justice reform measures into law last week. Several of the laws roll back the “tough on crime” approach that was popular across the U.S. during the 90s.

“California led the way in building new prisons and exploding prison populations. As a result, taxpayers have paid dearly, and communities have been torn apart,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener.

The following are some of the notable changes signed into law by Gov. Newsom:

  • Problem juveniles in school: AB 901 changes punishment of insubordinate, disorderly students from probation programs to community-based programs. Additional changes also strive to remove problematic students from court supervision.
  • False reports and harassment: AB 1775 makes false 911 calls based on someone’s race, gender, religion or other type of discrimination a hate crime.
  • Misdemeanor diversion: AB 3234 authorizes Judges to offer misdemeanor diversion to most offenders. If terms are complied with, the criminal action will be dismissed, and their criminal record erased. Some domestic violence charges, stalking and registrable sex offenses are not eligible. (Effective Jan. 1)
  • Capped probation terms: AB 1950 enacts a maximum one-year probation term for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felony offenses, with some exceptions. (Effective Jan. 1)
  • Banning chokeholds: AB 1196 bans chokeholds and carotid holds by law enforcement.
  • Reduced sex offender registration: SB 384 could reduce those required to register for life by up to 90%. The new three-tier system defines registration requirement terms of 10 years, 20 years or lifetime, depending upon the severity of the offense. (Effective Jan. 1)
  • Phasing out juvenile prisons: Juvenile justice realignment bill SB 823 will replace the remaining juvenile prisons with the Office of Youth and Community Restoration. (Effective July 1)
  • Hiding juvenile records: AB 2425 protects the records of juvenile offenders from public inspection. (Effective Jan. 1)
  • Sheriff oversight board established: AB 1185 empowers the establishment of a sheriff oversight board and inspector general in each county with subpoena power to help oversee the sheriff.
  • California Racial Justice Act: AB 2524 allows persons charged or convicted of a crime to challenge racial bias that may have occurred in their case in order to pursue a new trial or re-sentencing. (Effective Jan. 1

About The Law Offices of Sam Salhab
Sam Salhab is an award winning criminal defense attorney & DUI Lawyer in Fresno California with offices in Fresno and in Orange County. Sam Salhab is committed to understanding your side of the story and giving you the best possible legal advice and representation in your case. With his strong background in helping clients facing serious allegations and his concentration in the field, Sam Salhab will provide you with experienced and sound legal advice to help resolve your case with the most favorable result possible.

If you take your case and future seriously and want an attorney that does the same, call Sam Salhab today!

For more information about all the new laws in California, visit the official website of the State of California. If you have been arrested for a crime in Fresno or in Orange County, Contact The Law Office of Sam Salhab today!

You can find Sam Salhab on Google at:

Fresno Criminal Attorney

Law Offices of Sam Salhab

2300 Tulare St #120,

Fresno, CA 93721

(559) 412-9888
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