Now that the new year and new decade are upon us, there are many laws in California that go into effect as of January 1, 2020. Some of these laws pertain to the state’s criminal justice system.

The following are several criminal-related laws that take effect in 2020:

  • Statute of limitations for domestic violence cases – Starting January 1, people now have five years to report domestic violence to the police, rather than one year. The new law also applies to domestic abuse crimes before the effective date. Police are now required to undergo additional training on de-escalation techniques and interviewing alleged victims in a different location from the suspect.
  • Statute of limitations for child sex abuse – Starting January 1, people who have been sexually assaulted as children have until they turn 40 years old—or five years from discovering the psychological effects of abuse—to file a lawsuit in civil court. Previously, the age limit was until 26 years old or within three years of discovery.
  • Age to enter juvenile hall – A child must be at least 12 years old to be sent to juvenile hall. Any minor under this age threshold will be released to a parent or legal guardian. However, if a minor is accused of murder, rape, or a violent crime resulting in great bodily harm, this law doesn’t apply.
  • Gun violence restraining orders – Starting September 1, if an employer, coworker, or teacher believes a fellow employee or student has the propensity for violence, he/she may petition to a judge to confiscate that individual’s firearms and other dangerous weapons. Previously, the law only applied to immediate family members and law enforcement officials.
  • Deepfake porn lawsuits – If a person’s image or likeness is digitally reproduced in “deepfake” pornography, he/she may file a civil lawsuit to recover monetary damages and even punitive damages.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Bakersfield, contact Koenig Law Office today at (661) 793-7222 to schedule a free consultation. Get experienced and award-winning legal representation on your side.