The following post was published on the Mendocino District Attorney’s Facebook page:
NEW LAWS FOR 2021 emanating mostly from the California Legislature (AB/SB), but also in one circumstance from the voters (Proposition):
- Misdemeanor diversion: AB 3234 authorizes judges to offer misdemeanor diversion to most offenders. If terms are complied with, the criminal action will be dismissed and the record erased. Some domestic violence charges, stalking and registrable sex offenses are not eligible.
- Reduced sex offender registration: SB 384 could reduce those required to register for life by up to 90%. The new three-tier system defines registration requirement terms of 10 years, 20 years or lifetime, depending upon the severity of the offense.
- Banning chokeholds: AB 1196 bans choke holds and carotid holds by law enforcement.
- Restoring felon voting rights: Proposition 17 gives approximately 50,000 felons on probation the right to vote.
- False reports and harassment: AB 1775 makes false 911 calls based on someone’s race, gender, religion or other type of discrimination a hate crime.
- Capped probation terms: AB 1950 enacts a maximum one year probation term for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felony offenses, with some exceptions.
- Problem juveniles in school: AB 901 changes punishment of insubordinate, disorderly students from probation programs to community-based programs. Additional changes also strive to remove problematic students from court supervision.
- Phasing out juvenile prisons: Juvenile justice realignment bill SB 823 will replace the remaining juvenile prisons with the Office of Youth and Community Restoration. (Effective July 1)
- Hiding juvenile records: AB 2425 protects the records of juvenile offenders from public inspection.
- Sheriff oversight board established: AB 1185 empowers the establishment of a sheriff oversight board and inspector general in each county with subpoena power to help oversee the sheriff.
- California Racial Justice Act: AB 2524 allows persons charged or convicted of a crime to challenge racial bias that may have occurred in their case in order to pursue a new trial or re-sentencing.