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New State laws that impact California’s law enforcement agencies

By: Irene Hilsendager
January 5, 2018

Information received from Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety

Several new state laws were passed by the Legislature in 2017 that will impact California’s law enforcement agencies. Brief summaries of relevant new laws are outlined below for informational purposes. Unless otherwise stated, these new laws are effective Jan. 1, 2018. Please consult with your legal counsel for additional details.


AB 7 – Firearms. Prohibits the carrying of, and makes it a crime to carry, an unloaded firearm, other than a handgun, while in or upon a public place or public street within a prohibited area located within the unincorporated area of a county.

AB 41 – DNA Evidence. Requires local law enforcement to update the Forensic Evidence Tracking (SAFE-T) database on the disposition of rape kits within their custody within 120 days of the collection of the kit.  Requires that money received by the Office of Emergency Services from the Federal Office on Violence Against Women be used before money is appropriated from the General Fund for purposes of reimbursing any costs determined by the Commission on State Mandates to be mandated by the State to a local law enforcement agency by the bill.

AB 78 – Emergency Vehicle Lighting.  Reserves the use of the distinctive blue emergency lighting to public safety vessels, defined to include law enforcement, fire department, or fire protection district vessels, that are engaged in direct law enforcement activities, or public safety activities conducted by a fire department or fire protection district, as provided.

AB 90 – Criminal Gangs. Commencing Jan. 1, 2018, transfers responsibility for administration and oversight of shared gang databases from the CalGang Executive Board to the Department of Justice. Establishes policies, procedures, and oversight for the future use of shared gang databases.  Defines “shared gang database” for the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act as “a gang database that is accessed by an agency or person outside of the agency that created the records that populate the database.”  Defines “gang database” as “any database accessed by a law enforcement agency that designates a person as a gang member or associate, or includes or points to information, including, but not limited to, fact-based or uncorroborated information, that reflects a designation of that person as a gang member or associate.”

AB 133 – Cannabis Regulation. Enacts several regulatory changes to facilitate State licensing of commercial adult-use cannabis businesses beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Among its provisions, authorizes a single operator to conduct multiple and different types of commercial activities within a single licensed premises, including the possibility that both adult-use retail and medicinal cannabis sales occur at the same location; provides that applicants that submit evidence of local approval will be presumed to be in compliance with local ordinances, unless a local jurisdiction notifies the State licensing authority otherwise; requires the State licensing authority to notify local jurisdictions when an applicant submits evidence of local approval; authorizes the Bureau of Cannabis Control to establish requirements for the purchase of cannabis, cannabis products, or cannabis accessories by primary caregivers; assigns the newly-created Department of Tax and Fee Administration the responsibility for cannabis-related tax collection; increases the limit on lawful possession of concentrated cannabis from four (4) grams to eight (8) grams.

AB 255 – Sexually Violent Predators. Requires that courts, when determining the county of placement for a sexually violent predator that is not the county of domicile, to consider certain factors, such as how long the person has previously resided in or been employed in the county and whether the person has next of kin in the county.

AB 335 – Parole. Placement on Release.  Provides that inmates that are convicted of certain sex crimes that are later released on parole shall not be returned to a location within thirty-five (35) miles of the residence of the victim of or witness to that offense, if the victim or witness makes such a request and the Board of Parole Hearings or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations finds that such placement is necessary to protect the victim or witness.

AB 413 – Evidence. Allows a party to a confidential communication to record the communication for the purpose of obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to domestic violence, as specified, and the evidence so obtained would not be rendered inadmissible in a prosecution against the perpetrator for domestic violence.

AB 459 – Evidence Disclosure. Provides that public agencies are not required to disclose video or audio created during the commission or investigation of the crimes of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse that depicts the face, intimate body part, or voice of a victim of the incident depicted in the recording.

AB 493 – Immigration. Prohibits a peace officer from detaining an individual exclusively for any actual or suspected immigration violation or reporting or turning the individual over to federal immigration authorities whenever an individual is a victim of or witness to a crime, or otherwise can give evidence in a criminal investigation, without regard to whether the crime is a hate crime.

AB 529 – Juvenile Law. Requires that, if a person who has been alleged to be a ward of the juvenile court and has his or her petition dismissed, or if the petition is not sustained by the court after an adjudication hearing, the court to seal all records pertaining to that dismissed petition that are in the custody of the juvenile court, and in the custody of law enforcement agencies, the probation department, or the Department of Justice in accordance with a specified procedure.

AB 878 – Juvenile Law. Authorizes the use of mechanical restraints on a juvenile during transportation outside of a local secure juvenile facility, camp, ranch, or forestry camp, only upon a determination by the probation department, in consultation with the transporting agency, that restraints are necessary to prevent physical harm to the juvenile or another person or due to a substantial risk of flight.

AB 1312 – Interview Protocol.  Requires a law enforcement authority or district attorney to notify the victim of sexual assault that he or she has the right to request to have a person of the same gender or opposite gender as the victim of sexual assault present in the room during any interview with a law enforcement official or district attorney, unless no such person is reasonably available.

AB 1518 – Data Collection by Law Enforcement. Sets dates for the various law enforcement agencies to begin collecting the data on all stops and would make law enforcement agencies solely responsible for ensuring that personally identifiable information of the individual stopped or any other information that is exempt from disclosure is not transmitted to the Attorney General in an open text field.


SB 29 – Law Enforcement. Immigration. Commencing Jan. 1, 2018, establishes contracting restrictions and new notice and public hearing requirements for local governments and local law enforcement agencies. Among other prohibitions and restrictions, prohibits local governments and local law enforcement agencies that do not, as of Jan. 1, 2018, have a contract with the federal government or any federal agency or a private corporation to detain non-citizens for the purposes of civil immigration custody from entering into a contract with those entities to house or detain non-citizens in a locked detention facility for the purpose of civil immigration custody.

SB 40 - Domestic Violence Call Requirements. Requires that law enforcement agencies include, within their domestic violence call response policies, a statement about informing the victim that strangulation may cause internal injuries and encouraging the victim to seek medical attention.

SB 54 – Law Enforcement. Sharing Data. Prohibits State and local law enforcement agencies from using money or personnel for specified immigration enforcement purposes. Requires law enforcement agencies that elect to participate in a joint law enforcement task force to submit an annual report to the Department of Justice relating to task force operations.  Please see Client Alert Vol. 32, No. 30, available at<>, for a more detailed discussion relating to this legislation.

SB 65 – Vehicles. Alcohol and Marijuana. Penalties. Prohibits the smoking or ingestion of marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle.  Makes a violation punishable as an infraction.

SB 94 – Cannabis. Medicinal and Adult Use.  Reconciles the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 (MCRSA) with the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 ­(Proposition 64/Adult Use of Marijuana Act/AUMA).  Establishes a single regulatory structure, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) for both medicinal and adult-use cannabis, and enacts several public safety, consumer protection, and tax compliance provisions.  Incorporates various components of MCRSA, including local control, State licensing, transportation, regulation of testing laboratories, and retail security measures.

SB 204 – Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.  Enacts the Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, which would authorize the enforcement of a valid Canadian domestic violence protection order in a tribunal of this state under certain conditions.  Prescribes the criteria for a determination of the validity of a protection order under these provisions, as specified, and would authorize the registration of such a protection order in the Domestic Violence Restraining Order System.

SB 238 – Mental Health Detentions. Authorizes an arresting officer to release an arrested person from custody without taking him or her before a magistrate if the person is delivered, subsequent to being arrested, to a specified facility for the purpose of mental health evaluation and treatment and no further criminal proceedings are desirable. Requires a person arrested and released pursuant to this provision to be issued a certificate describing the action as a detention.  This bill took effect on Oct. 7, 2017.

SB 324 – Less Lethal Weapons for Custodial Officers. Limits the scope of the prohibition against carrying or possessing firearms by authorizing a custodial officer to use a firearm that is a less lethal weapon, as defined, in the performance of his or her official duties, at the discretion of the employing sheriff or chief of police, as applicable, or his or her designee.

SB 384 – Sex Offenders. Registration. Criminal Offender Record Information.  Commencing Jan. 1, 2021, establishes a three-tiered system of registration and supervision of sex offenders based upon specified criteria, including seriousness of the offense, individual risk of recidivism, and the individual’s criminal history.  Also creates procedure for sex offenders to petition the superior court for termination from the sex offender registry once the period of supervision is completed, with an opportunity for input from the district attorney.

SB 395 – Juvenile Law.  Requires children aged 15 or younger to consult with an attorney before waiving their rights and before a custodial interrogation.

SB 462 – Juvenile Record Information.  Allows records contained in juvenile delinquency case files to be accessed by a law enforcement agency, probation department, court, the Department of Justice, or other state or local agency that has custody of the case file and juvenile record for the limited purpose of complying with data collection or data reporting requirements.  Allows the juvenile court, upon the request of the chief probation officer, to authorize a probation department to access and provide data contained in juvenile delinquency case files for the purpose of sharing data or conducting or facilitating research on juvenile justice populations, as specified.

SB 497 – Storage of Weapons by Law Enforcement.  Permits a peace officer, as defined, to store a handgun in the locked center utility console of a vehicle that does not have a trunk, under specified circumstances. Also defines the terms “trunk” and “plain view” for purposes of these provisions.

SB 587 – Probation Officer Display of Blue Warning Light.  Authorizes probation officers to display the blue warning light from their emergency vehicles.

SB 654 – Local Moratorium. Gambling Tables.  Authorizes a city, county, or city and county to amend its ordinance to increase the operating hours of a gambling establishment up to twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week..