**Please see the legal disclaimer at the end of this post — this post does not contain legal advice**
LOS GATOS, CA. For Immediate Release. By Cody Salfen. Historically, ringing in the New Year is accompanied by a host of new laws and regulations. For Californians, 2017 is no exception. In California, for better or for worse, we welcome a plethora of new laws — some strange and many confusing — but all applicable to all Californians. Whether you’re a gun owner, a criminal defense attorney, or a licensed driver, it is important for you to familiarize yourself with the latest laws on the books. Some of the key additions to the law are summarized below.
ELIMINATION OF STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR RAPE
- Senate Bill 813 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: In rape cases, the statute of limitations is 10 years (i.e. the maximum period of time after an alleged rape that the State can prosecute someone for an alleged rape). SB 813 eliminates the statute of limitations for rape and a handful of other child molestation offenses.
SERVING ALCOHOL IN BEAUTY AND BARBER SHOPS
- Assembly Bill 1322 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: Allows barber and beauty shops to serve beer and wine within their shop so long as there is no additional charge for the alcoholic beverages. Don’t get too excited – the shop is only allowed to give you 12 ounces of beer or 6 ounces of wine.
EXPANDED ACCESS TO DIGITAL MEDIA DURING ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
- Assembly Bill 691 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This is known as the “Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” Basically, when you die, this gives more power to your heirs or the administrator of your estate to access and manage your “digital assets” (i.e. Facebook account, Twitter, digital files stored in the cloud, Dropbox files, etc.).
ELIMINATION OF SCHOOL MASCOTS WITH RACIAL NAMES
- Assembly Bill 30 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This new law is known as the “The California Racial Mascots Act.” Basically, this prohibits high schools from using the term “Red Skin” in referring to their mascot. As of now, there are four public high schools in California using the name and all four will now be subject to this new law.
REQUIRING CERTIFICATES OF AUTHENTICITY (COA’s) FOR AUTOGRAPHED MEMORABILIA
- Assembly Bill 1570 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This aims to reduce the amount of fraud in the sale of memorabilia. Specifically, any piece of memorabilia sold by a dealer in California (i.e. a signed book, an autographed basketball, a signed baseball bat, etc.), where the memorabilia is valued at $5 or more, must authenticate the item of memorabilia. There are a number of requirements for this certificate of authentication.
MANDATORY PRISON SENTENCES FOR CERTAIN SEXUAL ASSAULT CRIMES
- Assembly Bill 2888 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This prevents “probation-only” sentences for certain sexual assault crimes and essentially creates mandatory prison sentences.
MOTORCYCLE LANE SPLITTING
- Assembly Bill 51 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This bill is a bit confusing, but it basically allows the CHP to create guidelines as to when it is or isn’t safe for a motorcyclist to split lanes. This is in response to a previous battle between a citizen and the California Highway Patrol – the CHP published “guidelines” and there was an uproar of citizens who condemned these guidelines – alleging the CHP was usurping the legilslative process. AB 51 essentially empowers the CHP to (re)create these “guidelines.”
PREVENTS EMPLOYER INQUIRY INTO TO PROSEPCTIVE EMPLOYEE’S JUVENILE CRIMINAL HISTORY
- Assembly Bill 1843 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This will prevent most prospective employers from asking about an individual’s juvenile criminal history during the hiring process. This will also prevent them from using an individual’s juvenile criminal history as a factor in deciding whether to hire an individual.
INCREASES MINIMUM WAGE FOR EMPLOYEES OF CERTAIN BUSINESSES
- Senate Bill 3 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: For business with 26 or more employees, SB 3 raises the minimum wage for workers at these businesses from $10.00 per hour to $10.50 per hour.
VEHICLES AND CHILD SAFETY SEATS
- Assembly Bill 53 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This requires drivers to secure children under two years old in rear facing car seats.
ANIMALS IN PARKED CARS – NO CIVIL LIABILITY FOR RESCUER
- Assembly Bill 797 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: Allows individuals to essentially break into a parked car of to rescue an animal that is at risk for harm inside of the vehicle.
BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR RIDE-SHARE DRIVERS
- Assembly Bill 1289 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This requires background checks for drivers who work for ride sharing companies like Lyft and Uber.
INCREASED RESTRICTIONS FOR DRIVING WITH CELL PHONE
- Assembly Bill 1785 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This clarifies and replaces “the no cell phone while driving” law that was previously enacted. It prohibits drivers from using a phone while driving unless it is mounted to the dashboard and while other conditions are met. View the full text of the law for the additional requirements.
EPI-PENS – INCREASED AVAILABILITY AND LITTLE TO NO LIABILITY FOR USE
- Assembly Bill 1386 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: This allows certain public agencies and businesses to have “epinephrine auto-injector” devices on hand to rapidly respond to severe allergic reactions. Under this new provision, businesses and organizations (camps, daycares, restaurants, etc.) can have epi-pen prescriptions issued to the organization (and not just to an individual) and it also eliminates civil liability for individuals who are properly trained who may administer the epi-pen.
NEW FIREARMS LAWS FOR 2017
California has a longstanding reputation as an anti-gun state. Even with arguably strict pre-existing gun laws in place, 2017 triggers a handful of new firearms laws for Californians. Opinions aside, gun owners in California need to take notice, as many law abiding citizens in possession of certain firearms and related accessories may innocently find themselves in hot water if they don’t take certain steps in 2017. Ignorance of the law is generally no defense. Some of these laws are summarized below.
HIGH CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES
- Senate Bill 1446 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: High Capacity Magazines (in California) are ammunition magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Although high capacity magazines are already illegal for many individuals to own and possess in most contexts in California, SB 1446 tightens the restrictions and provides clarification as to who, what, when high capacity can and cannot be possessed. For the most part, this prevents the majority of individuals from owning or possessing high capacity magazines.
REPORTING LOSS OR THEFT OF FIREARM TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
- Assembly Bill 1695 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: Existing law makes it a crime to knowingly file a false report with police. However, as of January 1, 2017. However, AB 1695 makes it a crime to falsely report that a firearm has been lost or stolen where the reporting party knows this to be false. Also, AB 1695 provides that an individual convicted of violating this new law is prohibited from owning a firearm within 10 years of the date of conviction.
EXPANDED DEFINITION OF ASSAULT WEAPONS & REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
- Assembly Bill 1135 & Senate Bill 880
- These tighten the restrictions on “assault weapons” in California by re-classifying certain firearm models and designs as “assault weapons” – which triggers a slew of additional restrictions and requirements for owners of such weapons. Semi-automatic rifles with a “Bullet Button” will now be classified as “assault weapons” in California. Accordingly, after Jan. 1, 2017, firearms with a bullet button may no longer be sold in California. For individuals who lawfully purchased and owned one of these firearms (prior to Jan. 1, 2017), they must now register the firearm with the CA Department of Justice and pay a fee (approximately $20.00). Individuals who own these newly classified assault weapons have until December 31, 2017 to properly register them with the California Department of Justice.
- Also, because bullet button firearms are now “Assault Weapons” under California law, if/when you die, your successors, heirs or beneficiaries cannot “inherit” the assault weapon. Specifically, Penal Code Sections 30915 requires that “any person who obtains title to an assault weapon…” by “bequest or intestate succession” must render the weapon inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer, obtain a permit from the CA DOJ for the firearm (which is close to impossible to do), or remove the weapon from the state within a certain period after the death of the previous owner.
- Full Text of Applicable Laws:
- Assembly Bill 1141 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: As of January 1, 2017, it is illegal to loan a firearm to someone who is not an immediate family member. Limited exceptions apply.
STORING HANDGUNS IN VEHICLES
- Senate Bill 869 (Full Text – Click Here)
- Explanation: When a person leaves a handgun unattended in a vehicle (i.e. an off duty cop or CCW holder who dips into Starbuck’s for a quick cup of joe), they must lock the handgun in the trunk, in a locked container out of “plain view,” or lock it in a locked container that is out of plain view and permanently affixed to the car’s interior.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Cody Salfen is a California licensed private investigator and currently owns an operates Cody S Investigations, LLC (www.CodySInvestigations.com) – A California Private Investigation and Private Detective Agency. Cody has handled hundreds of private investigation cases, including a wide array of civil and criminal investigations ranging from minor criminal offenses such as driving under the influence to major crimes such as sexual assault and homicide and murder. In addition to handling a wide array of investigative matters, Cody has served as a Subject Matter Expert for the CA Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services on the topic of private investigations. Aside from his work as a private investigator, Cody is a licensed attorney in California and is the founding partner of The Salfen Law Firm – A Professional Law Corporation, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area (www.SalfenLaw.com). Cody is a current member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Infragard – a partnership between the private sector and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) (“…an association of persons who represent businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the U.S.”).
Visit the official Cody S Investigations, LLC website at www.CodySInvestigations.com or www.CodyPI.com. Alternatively, to speak with a member of the Cody S Investigations private investigation staff, you can call the Cody S Investigations California private detective staff at (415) 932-9278 or (408) 313-0109. Cody S Investigations, LLC provides a wide array of private investigation services throughout the State of California. Cody Salfen is a member of the following professional industry associations:
- CALI – California Association of Licensed Investigators
- PICA – Professional Investigators Association of California
- DIA – California Defense Investigators Association
- NCISS – National Council of Investigation and Security Services
- WAD – World Association of Detectives
In addition, Cody founded and operates Cody S & Associates, Inc. (www.CSI-Legal-Services.com) a security training, firearms training, security consulting, and CA Dept. of Justice and FBI approved Live Scan Fingerprinting Services.
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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website and in this blog post is NOT legal advice. It may contain errors and/or inaccuracies. Do not rely on this information and do not take any action in reliance upon information contained herein. The information contained herein is not intended to serve as a thorough representation as to the new laws and regulations in California. This is not legal advice and the author does not guarantee or warranty the accuracy, thoroughness or completeness of the information contained here. The information is subject to change at any time and may be incomplete and/or may contain errors. You should only rely on information you obtain after consulting with qualified attorney. The information upon which this information was developed may be entered poorly, processed incorrectly and generally not free from defect. Any information supplied in this post and website must be independently verified. Cody Salfen, Cody S Investigations, LLC, and all other related entities disclaim any and all civil and criminal liability that flows from your misuse or reliance upon information contained herein.