With the new year comes a few new and important changes to criminal defense laws in California. These changes can have significant consequences for those accused of certain crimes in California. If you’re in this situation, then it’s important to understand these new changes and how they can play a role in your criminal defense case.
Let’s take a look at some new criminal justice laws for 2024.
AB 701: Harsher Sentences for Fentanyl Distribution
In response to the fentanyl crisis, lawmakers in California determined harsher penalties for defendants convicted of dealing or possessing a significant quantity of the drug. Now, anyone who is convicted of possessing more than one kilogram of fentanyl, with intent to sell or distribute, faces three years of prison in addition to their original sentence.
Penalties continue to scale with the weight of the drug allegedly in possession, making it possible for someone to face an additional 30 years of prison for trafficking weights exceeding 80 kilograms.
AB 600: Recall Sentencing & Resentencing
When new criminal justice laws are passed, a convicted defendant may be recalled for sentencing and have a new sentence issued. Previously, the district attorney and/or Attorney General would have to agree with the resentencing, but this is no longer so.
AB 600 provides courts with sole discretion to determine if a convicted person’s incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice. This is often relevant for cases in which the defendant’s civil rights were violated. That said, the courts may not resentence a defendant if they are otherwise determined to pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.
AB 791: No Bail for Certain Previously Convicted Defendants
After action by California lawmakers prohibited bail release for criminal defendants who were previously convicted of an offense that carried the possibility of life without parole. In other words, if you were previously convicted of a crime for which the penalty could have been life without parole, you are ineligible for bail regardless of the severity of any new charges.
SB 376: Human Trafficking Victims Allowed Advocates
Under a new law, alleged victims of human trafficking are entitled to have an advocate and support person of their choice present during any interviews conducted by law enforcement or the defendant’s attorney. Although this law was developed to protect victims of human trafficking, it can have an impact on those who are unfairly accused of this crime.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you are accused of a crime, don’t hesitate to get legal help on your side. At John Pozza Attorney at Law, PLC, we are dedicated to ensuring our clients are treated fairly by the criminal justice system. We all have certain important rights when we enter the criminal justice system, and our attorney has what it takes to help you protect your rights.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build your legal defense.