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Important Changes To Criminal Law In 2017 and Their Impact

Criminal law is never static, because there are always changes and amendments that can alter how prosecutors pursue criminal charges, and how defense attorneys protect the rights of their clients. Here are some of the important changes to criminal law in 2017 that are noteworthy.

DUI Offenders Will Be Required To Install Ignition Interlock Devices

Under a new California law, people convicted of a DUI in 2019 must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle if they want to obtain a restricted driver’s license, or reinstate a license. An IID analyzes a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), and will not allow a vehicle to start if a driver’s BAC is above a specified limit.

Three California Bills Take On the Issue of Rape

Several state bills have helped refine the definition of rape, made prison sentences mandatory in certain rape convictions, and eliminated statute of limitations for sexual offenses. California Assembly Bill 701 extends the definition of rape to include all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault. And California Assembly Bill 2888 requires that any defendant convicted of sexually-assaulting an unconscious person serve a mandatory prison sentence. Senate Bill 813 removes the statute of limitations for rape, sexual assault, and other sex offenses committed in 2017.

New Regulations For Assault Weapons

A new California law prohibits the purchase of semi-automatic rifles, centerfire rifles, or semi-automatic pistols that do not have a fixed magazine and have a “protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock”. Anyone who owns this type of assault weapon is now required to register it.

Some Felons Now Have the Right To Vote

Assembly Bill 2466 is a new law that grants the right to vote to convicted felons who are not serving a sentence, and convicted felons who are on parole. The law was triggered by a 2014 class-action lawsuit filed by ‘low-level’ felons who were under count-supervised release programs.

Asset Forfeiture Limitations

California Senate Bill 443 limits the seizure of private property known as ‘asset forfeiture.’ State law enforcement or local cops will need a conviction to hold onto a share of property seized during federal investigations, unless the forfeited property is $40,000 or more in cash. In state cases, they’ll need a conviction to keep less than $40,000 worth of cash or property, likes homes and vehicles.

Stiffer Penalties For Date Rape Drug Possession

California Senate Bill 1182 gives prosecutors the authority to charge anyone arrested with ‘date rape’ drugs like ketamine and GHB with a felony, if they can prove that the person who was arrested intended to commit sexual assault using the drugs for that purpose.

Attorney Helping Those Charged With State and Federal Crimes

Given all these changes to criminal law in California, it is more important than ever to contact the Elden Law Group for a free consultation if you need an experienced criminal defense legal team with a proven track record of success.

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