January 2, 2015 By Paul Wallin

New Laws for 2015 in California

2014 was a busy year for legal reform in California. Now that the new year has finally come, here is a look at some new criminal laws that were put into place Jan. 1, 2015.

Los Angeles County’s Program for Deferral of Sentencing (AB 2124)

New laws in California 2015.
Could the new laws in California affect you?

Assembly Bill No. 2124 allows for Los Angeles County to establish a pilot program that gives superior court judges the discretion to offer diversion to those who have committed misdemeanor offenses. 1

By diverting a sentence, entry of judgment or entry of plea will be delayed so that the defendant may be allowed to complete a program such as a treatment program or a self-help course.

Upon successful completion of the program, the defendant may return to court to have the plea withdrawn and the case dismissed. 2

Reducing the Maximum Sentence of Misdemeanors to 364 Days (SB 1310)

Senate Bill 1310 will reduce the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence from one year to 364 days. 3 Such misdemeanors include offenses that are punishable by imprisonment in a county jail up to or not exceeding one year. 4

Reduce Deportations for White-Collar Crimes – Although maximum imprisonment is only reduced by a day, SB 1310 greatly reduces deportations for white-collar crimes. Under federal immigration law, a felony is a crime punishable by a year or more, in which case a noncitizen legal resident can face deportation. 5 Such deportable crimes include theft, fraud, and forgery. 6 By limiting the maximum sentence for all misdemeanors to 364 days, SB 1310 will protect 27% of immigrants from having deportation proceedings triggered for a misdemeanor conviction and will keep countless families from being torn apart by deportation. 7

Extending the Statute of Limitations on Felony Sex Crimes (SB 926)

Senate Bill 926 amends Penal Code Section 801.1 by authorizing the prosecution of felony sex offenses that were committed when the victim was under 18 years old if the case is filed any time before the victim’s 40th birthday. 8

The amendment only affects those crimes that were committed on or after Jan. 1, 2015 or those crimes for which the statute of limitations has not expired as of that date. 9 Felony sex crimes affected by this bill include rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, oral copulation, continuous sexual abuse of a child, and acts of sexual penetration. 10

Audrie’s Law (SB 838)

Senate Bill 838, also known as Audrie’s Law, gives judges the option to allow the public to view proceedings of juveniles being prosecuted on sexual assault charges where the victim is unconscious or developmentally disabled. 11

SB 838 is effective starting January 1, 2015.
SB 838 is effective starting January 1, 2015.

The law was prompted by a tragic incident in which 15-year-old Audrie Pott was sexually assaulted by three teenage boys at a high school party while she was incapacitated. The boys subsequently distributed pictures of the assault. 12

Juveniles who are convicted of sexual assault where the victim is unconscious or developmentally disabled must complete a sex offender treatment program. 13 Additionally, SB 838 increases penalties by prohibiting juveniles who were convicted of rape, sodomy, or oral copulation from having the option of paying a fine or completing community service or a treatment program to have such charges dismissed. 14

California Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010)

Senate Bill 1010, also known as the California Fair Sentencing Act, reduces the sentence for possession of crack cocaine for sale from imprisonment in a county jail for 3, 4, or 5 years to a lesser sentence in county jail for 2, 3, or 4 years. 15 Additionally, SB 1010 makes it so that anyone convicted of possessing a substance containing 28.5 grams or more of crack cocaine is not eligible for probation. 16

SB 1010 is called the California Fair Sentencing Act because it eliminates the disparity in sentencing, probation, and asset forfeiture guidelines between the possession of crack cocaine for sale and the possession of powder cocaine for sale. 17 Powder cocaine and crack cocaine are not fundamentally different drugs and have almost identical effects on the body. 18 Because crack cocaine use is far more prevalent in low-income, minority communities, far more minority defendants have been sentenced for possession of crack cocaine. The passage of SB 1010 can create more opportunities for disenfranchised communities due to the far more lenient sentencing rules, which are in line with those of possession of powdered cocaine.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one has any questions pertaining to these new laws and how they can affect your rights, contact Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending persons charged for crimes in California. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

1. [https://www.wklaw.com/how-ab-2124-affects-case-los-angeles/]
2. [Id.]
3. [SB 1310.]
4. [Id.]
5. [8 USC Section 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)]
6. [8 USD 1101(a)(43)(F)]
7. [SB 1310.]
8. [SB 926]
9. [Id.]
10. [PC 801.1]
11. [SB 838]
12. [https://www.change.org/p/state-rep-chris-holden-pass-audrie-s-law-audrie-pott-senate-bill-838]
13. [SB 838]
14. [Id.]
15. [SB 1010]
16. [Id.]
17. [Id.]
18. [“Crack Cocaine and Cocaine Hydrochloride: Are the Differences Myth of Reality?” Journal of the American Medical Association, November 20, 1996, Vol. 276, No. 19, p. 1580]

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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