New California Criminal Laws for 2019

Apr 24, 2019


California has new criminal laws which took effect starting from January 2019. Whether these laws are designed to bring fairness to offenders or sanity in the state, it is essential to have a look at them.

Police Misconduct Rules

In the past, some Californians have been subject to illegal police conduct and police brutaliyt. Sadly, evidence gathered from these investigation is often tampered with or is hidden from the public altogether. Commencing in  2019, rules state that all the investigative reports, findings, and recommendations should be made public for accountability purposes.

Elimination of Cash Bail

The California appellate court abolished the use of cash bail. The legislature took this action, allegedly, to address inequality in the cash bail system where low income offenders are stuck behind bars on minor offenses.  However, this system may lead to defendants remaining in custody for a longer period of time while their case is pending review to determine if they should be released.  In addition, certain defendants may be unable to obtain release altogether, whereas, previously they could have posted bail.  

Minimum Age for Prosecution

According to Senate Bill 439, defendants under the age of twelve years should not be prosecuted. Senate Bill 1391 also protects juveniles under the age of 15 from being tried in adult courts for any offense. This is a stark contrast to the previous law that gave courts the right to try juveniles as young as 14 years in the same courts with adults.

Marijuana Crimes

California legalized the use of marijuana in 2016. This led to confusion and protests from people who were convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past. However, the law was redesigned to allow people charged in the past for these crimes to adjust their sentences. The court can either do away with the conviction or reduce the offense level depending upon the quantity of marijuana involved. 

This is just a small taste of the various changes effecting our criminal justice system in California.  The amount of changes we’ve had over the last few years in this area have been staggering.

Attorney Michael E. Mitchell handles all major areas of criminal defense, both at the State and Federal level, including the appellate level. Contact our office to arrange a free consultation. The sooner you call after your arrest, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights and planning your defense.


Category: California Laws

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.