A new year just rolled in, and with it, a number of new laws. Some of the laws went into effect on January 1, but many others will not go into effect until later in the year. Here’s a rundown of some of the new criminal laws that take effect in 2020 in California and how they may affect you.
New Gun Laws in California
In 2014, we wrote about a new law that would allow family members to report loved ones they believed to be a threat so those persons could be subjected to a one year prohibition on firearms possession. New laws that take effect in 2020 will expand the group of persons who can report someone as a threat to include employers, co-workers and teachers. The one year prohibitions can be renewed on a yearly basis for up to five years.
A major change to California’s gun storage laws means that if a child or “prohibited person” takes a firearm from your home, you can be charged with a crime and be banned from possessing a gun for the next ten years. Of course, if you did properly store your gun and it was still removed despite your best reasonable efforts, your attorney will likely be able to help you fight the charges successfully.
Additionally, now those anyone who has been banned from possessing a firearm in another state will also be banned from owning one in California.
New Criminal Justice Laws That Take Effect in 2020
Police can now only use deadly force when it is “necessary” in defense of human life rather than just “reasonable.” We previously discussed this law in detail when it was being proposed and how it may affect the court systems.
When rape kits have been collected in sexual assault cases, they must be submitted to a crime lab within 20 days and tested within 120 days.
There are also two new laws affecting the prison and jail systems in California. For one, the state can no longer use for-profit prisons. And now inmates can no longer be charged a copay for medical care or be charged fees for items determined to be medically necessary.
Changes to Domestic Violence Laws
Previously, the statute of limitations for domestic violence cases was only one years. The statute has now been extended to five years, and this will apply not only to all new cases that occur after January 1, 2020, but also cases from the last year where the statute of limitations had not yet ran out. These new laws that take effect in 2020 are also is requiring that police undergo more training on de-escalation techniques and on interviewing the alleged victims in a different room than the suspect. If you have any questions about whether this law will affect you, be sure to contact your domestic violence lawyer.
Animal Rights Laws
Trophy hunting bobcats is now illegal for the next five years and trapping any animal for fur is now against the law.
Circuses that use any animals other than horses, dogs and cats cannot operate in California.
If you have any questions about how these new laws may affect you, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation with Vista attorney Peter M. Liss.
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