New Year, New Laws in California

The new year brings a whole slate of new laws to California, ranging from responses to the #MeToo movement, to police transparency, to street vendors. Here are a few of the more interesting ones that will be keeping our courts busy in 2019.

Gun Laws

SB 1100 — Firearms Transfers
Raises the age to buy all legal firearms from 18 to 21. Californians were already barred from buying handguns until age 21. Military members, law enforcement and those with hunting licenses are exempt.

AB 3129 — Firearms Prohibited Persons
Creates a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. It only applies to convictions after Jan. 1, 2019 and is not retroactive.

Police Transparency Laws

AB 748 — Video and Audio Recordings Disclosure
Requires the release of recordings from body-worn cameras within 45 days of an incident, including if officers fired shots or if a use-of-force causes death or great bodily harm. Law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

SB 1421 — Release of Records
Will make investigations of use-of-force, sexual assault and lying while on duty open to the public. Currently, those investigation records are kept confidential.

Marijuana Laws

AB 1793 — Cannabis Convictions: Resentencing
The California Department of Justice will need to review all marijuana convictions that would be reduced or expunged due to voters approving marijuana for recreational-use in 2016. The deadline is July 1, 2019.

AB 2020 — Cannabis: Temporary Event License
Gives local lawmakers the power to license venues for temporary cannabis events. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control and law enforcement officers still can revoke a permit or end an event for any unlawful or unpermitted activity at an event.

Traffic Safety Laws

AB 1755 — Bicycle Hit-and-Run on Bike Paths
Hit-and-run laws will be expanded to include bicyclists on bike paths. That means, if a bicyclist hits a person, resulting in a death or injury, the bicyclist must stay at the scene. The bicyclist can be held accountable, CHP said.

AB 3077 — Bicycle Helmets
Anyone younger than 18 not wearing a helmet on a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates will be issued a “fix-it” citation. If the minor can show they took a bicycle safety course and has a helmet that meets safety standards within 120 days, the citation will be non-punishable.

AB 2989 — Helmets and Motorized Scooters
Helmets are no longer required for motorized scooter riders over 18 or older. Motorized scooters are also allowed on Class IV and Class II bike paths. It is still illegal to ride a motorized scooter on a sidewalk. The law also allows scooters to ride on roads with speed limits up to 35 mph.

Misc Laws

SB 10 — The End of Cash Bail
Beginning in October 2019, California will get rid of cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. Instead of putting up money to obtain their release, people charged with a felony will go through a pre-trial risk assessment. If a judge releases them, they would be supervised by a government agency or business contracted to handle that task. People arrested for most misdemeanors would be booked and released without an assessment.

AB 216 — Vote by Mail: Prepaid Postage
Voting is about to get a little less expensive. Starting next year, election officials must include a return envelope with prepaid postage when delivering vote-by-mail ballots. Local agencies can ask the state to reimburse them for the new costs.

AB 458 — Pet store operators: Dogs, cats, and rabbits
Pet stores are banned from selling a dog, cat or rabbit unless it was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter or rescue group.

SB 179 — Gender identity on driver’s licenses
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, people applying for new driver’s licenses or renewing their driver’s licenses will be able to chose female, male or nonbinary as their gender.

Yes, we have some new laws, but we still have the same old people trying to obey and enforce them…so more legal disputes are coming!  And when those nasty things affect YOUR business including landlord/tenant matters, contract issues and even collections, call on the good guy litigator Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!

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