Legislation


CACJ is committed to providing the criminal defense bar with a much-needed voice on legislative matters. Without the tireless efforts of our CACJ lobbyist, Ignacio Hernandez, and his staff at Hernandez Strategy Group, CACJ would not be able to accomplish these momentous tasks. Ignacio Hernandez provides continuous and aggressive representation before the California legislature on issues of importance to the criminal defense bar. Please contact our Legislative Committee with any questions.

California Law Enforcement Accountability and Community Justice Act


California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), the preeminent statewide association of criminal defense attorneys in private practice and working in public defender offices has announced a package of legislative proposals to address ongoing racial bias in law enforcement and the judicial system. Sacramento-based CACJ, which was founded more than 45 years ago, aims to increase oversight of law enforcement practices and to establish stronger accountability when there are allegations of police abuse. The proposals also include a measure to prevent the unfair exclusion of people of color from jury service.

“Our criminal justice system is plagued with racial bias, from disproportionate traffic stops and arrests of people of color, to juries lacking diversity, and police abuse going unpunished” stated Eric Schweitzer President of CACJ and an attorney in Fresno, California.

CACJ’s proposed California Law Enforcement Accountability and Community Justice Act of 2020 is designed to address many of the racially-based flaws in our criminal justice system that result in the over-incarceration of people of color.

“When our cops and our courts get it wrong we end up with a system the community can’t trust and overrepresentation of people of color in jail, for too long and often for things they didn’t do” added Allison Zuvela, Vice-President of CACJ and Chief Deputy Public Defender of Yolo County in Northern California.

6/3/2020  Read the Press Release here

6/11/2020  How to diversify juries: change rules on peremptory challenges, by Brendan Woods, Alameda Public Defender on CACJ sponsored AB 3070. San Francisco Chronicle

Current CACJ Legislation


CACJ takes position on 100+ bills every year, the bills below are the Sponsored, Co-Sponsored, and Supported bills for 2020:

Sponsored Bills

AB 2154 (Wicks) Criminal law: violations punishable in multiple ways.

This bill would restore a judge’s discretion when determining a sentence for an individual accused of multiple offenses during a single act.

Status: Assembly Public Safety Committee


AB 3070 (Weber) Juries: peremptory challenges.

Would, for all jury trials in which jury selection begins on or after January 1, 2022, prohibit a party from using a peremptory challenge to remove a prospective juror on the basis of the prospective juror’s race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or religious affiliation, or the perceived membership of the prospective juror in any of those groups. The bill would allow a party, or the trial court on its own motion, to object to the use of a peremptory challenge based on these criteria. Upon objection, the bill would require the party exercising the challenge to state the reasons the peremptory challenge has been exercised. The bill would require the court to evaluate the reasons given, as specified, and, if the court grants the objection, would authorize the court to take certain actions, including, but not limited to, starting a new jury selection, declaring a mistrial at the request of the objecting party, seating the challenged juror, or providing another remedy as the court deems appropriate.

Status: 8/31/2020-Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 21. Noes 16.). In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. Assembly Rule 63 suspended. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.


SB 1107 (Bradford) Lawyer-client privilege: confidential communication.

This bill would protect attorney client privilege by ensuring that communications between an accused and their lawyer inside of court houses and inside of jails or prisons remain confidential.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee


SB 1226 (Jackson) Criminal procedure: DNA evidence.

This bill amends current law to require a court, when granting a motion for post-conviction DNA testing, to issue an order at the request of a defendant to upload a DNA sample into the state and federal databases.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee


Supported Bills


AB 723 (Bonta) County jails: prisons: incarcerated pregnant persons.

Would require an incarcerated person in a county jail or the state prison who is identified as possibly pregnant or capable of becoming pregnant during an intake health examination or at any time during incarceration to be offered a test upon intake or request, and in the case of a county jail, within 72 hours of arrival at the jail. The bill would require an incarcerated person who is confirmed to be pregnant to be scheduled for pregnancy examination with a physician, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or physician assistant within 7 days. The bill would require incarcerated pregnant persons to be scheduled for prenatal care visits, as specified.

Status: 9/8/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4:30 p.m.

AB 846 (Bonta) Public employment: public officers or employees declared by law to be peace officers.

Current law establishes the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training within the Department of Justice to perform various functions involving the training of peace officers. Current law requires peace officers in this state to meet specified minimum standards, including, among other requirements, that peace officers be evaluated by a physician and surgeon or psychologist and found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. This bill would require that evaluation to include bias against race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

Status: 8/31/2020-Action rescinded whereby the bill was re-referred to Com. on PUB. S. pursuant to Assembly Rule 77.2. Ordered to the unfinished business file. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 901 (Gipson D) Juveniles.

In a county that has not elected to participate in a truancy mediation program, current law authorizes the county superintendent of schools to petition the juvenile court on behalf of a pupil for proper disposition of a case. In a county that has not established a school attendance review board, existing law authorizes the school district to notify the district attorney or probation officer, as specified, that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of truancy or insubordination. This bill would eliminate the authority of the county superintendent of schools to petition the juvenile court on behalf of a pupil, as described above, in a county that has not elected to participate in a truancy mediation program.

Status: 8/31/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 5 p.m.

AB 904 (Chau D) Search warrants: tracking devices.

Current law authorizes a search warrant to be issued upon specified grounds, including that the information to be received from the use of a tracking device constitutes evidence that tends to show that a felony or specified misdemeanors has been committed or is being committed, tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony or those specified misdemeanors, or will assist in locating an individual who has committed or is committing a felony or those specified misdemeanors. Current law defines tracking device for these purposes as any electronic or mechanical device that permits the tracking of the movement of a person or object.This bill would specify that a tracking device includes any software that permits the tracking of the movement of a person or object.

Status: 9/8/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4:30 p.m.

AB 1145 (Garcia, Cristina D) Child abuse: reportable conduct.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to make a report to a specified agency whenever the mandated reporter, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Current law provides that “child abuse or neglect” for these purposes includes “sexual assault,”. This bill would provide that “sexual assault” for these purposes does not include voluntary sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration, if there are no indicators of abuse, unless that conduct is between a person who is 21 years of age or older and a minor who is under 16 years of age.

Status: 9/4/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 p.m.

AB 1185 (McCarty D) County board of supervisors: sheriff oversight.

Current law establishes the office of the sheriff in each county to preserve peace, and authorizes the sheriff to sponsor, supervise, or participate in any project of crime prevention, rehabilitation of persons previously convicted of crime, or the suppression of delinquency. Current law requires a board of supervisors to supervise the official conduct of all county officers and ensure that they faithfully perform their duties. This bill would authorize a county to establish a sheriff oversight board to assist the board of supervisors with those duties as they relate to the sheriff, either by action of the board of supervisors or through a vote of county residents.

Status: 8/31/2020-Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 1196 (Gipson D) Peace officers: use of force.

Current law requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy on the use of force, as specified. Current law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to implement courses of instruction for the regular and periodic training of law enforcement officers in the use of force. This bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of a carotid restraint or a choke hold, as defined.

Status: 8/31/2020-Action rescinded whereby the bill was re-referred to Com. on PUB. S. pursuant to Assembly Rule 77.2. Ordered to the unfinished business file. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 1506 (McCarty D) Police use of force.

Current law requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy on the use of force, as specified. Current law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to implement courses of instruction for the regular and periodic training of law enforcement officers in the use of force.This bill would create a division within the Department of Justice to, upon the request of a law enforcement agency, review the use-of-force policy of the agency and make recommendations, as specified.

Status: 8/31/2020-Action rescinded whereby the bill was re-referred to Com. on PUB. S. pursuant to Assembly Rule 77.2. Ordered to the unfinished business file. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 1950 (Kamlager D) Probation: length of terms.

Current law authorizes courts that have jurisdiction in misdemeanor cases to suspend the sentence and make and enforce terms of probation in those cases, for a period not to exceed 3 years, except when the period of the maximum sentence imposed by law exceeds 3 years, in which case the terms of probation may be imposed for a longer period than 3 years, but not to exceed the time for which the person may be imprisoned. This bill would instead restrict the period of probation for a misdemeanor to no longer than one year, except as specified.

Status: 8/27/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 3:30 p.m.

AB 2019 (Holden) Pupil instruction: College and Career Access Pathways partnerships: county offices of education.

This bill would expand dual enrollment opportunities to pupils in juvenile court schools by allowing county offices of education to enter into partnerships with community college districts.

Status: Assembly Higher Education Committee

AB 2077 (Ting D) Hypodermic needles and syringes.

Current law prohibits, except as specified, the sale of a hypodermic needle or syringe at retail except upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, veterinarian, podiatrist, or naturopathic doctor.This bill would repeal that provision.

Status: 9/4/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 p.m.

AB 2105 (Quirk-Silva) Criminal procedure: competence to stand trial.

This bill would authorize a court to order a defendant who is charged with a felony and who is not in the custody of the sheriff to self-surrender to a State Department of State Hospitals facility at a specific date and time.

Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee

AB 2147 (Reyes) Convictions: expungement: inmate hand crews.

Current law authorizes a court to allow a defendant sentenced to county jail for a felony to withdraw their plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty, after the lapse of one or 2 years following the defendant’s completion of the sentence, provided that the defendant is not under supervision, and is not serving a sentence for, on probation for, or charged with the commission of any offense. Current law requires the defendant to be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which the defendant was convicted, except as specified. This bill would allow a defendant who successfully participated in the California Conservation Camp Program or a county incarcerated individual hand crew as an incarcerated individual hand crew member, and has been released from custody, to petition to withdraw their plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty. The bill would make persons convicted of specified violent felonies and sex offenses ineligible for relief.

Status: 8/30/2020-Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 30. Noes 0.). In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2205 (Jones-Sawyer) Board of State and Community Corrections: membership.

This bill would add two additional members to the Board of State and Community Corrections, including a member of the public with a record of a felony conviction.

Status: Assembly Public Safety Committee

AB 2321 (Jones-Sawyer) Juvenile court records: access.

Current law requires the juvenile court to order the petition of a minor who is subject to the jurisdiction of the court dismissed if the minor satisfactorily completes a term of probation or an informal program of supervision, as specified, and requires the court to seal all records pertaining to that dismissed petition 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. Current law also generally authorizes a person who is the subject of a juvenile court record, or the county probation officer, to petition the court to seal the person’s records, including records of arrest, relating to the person’s case in the custody of the juvenile court and the probation officer and any other agencies, including law enforcement agencies and public officials. This bill would authorize a judge or prosecutor to access specified sealed records under these provisions for the limited purpose of processing the request of a victim or victim’s family member to certify victim helpfulness on specified United States Department of Homeland Security forms.

Status: 8/30/2020-Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2325 (Carrillo) Child support: suspension.

Prior law, until January 1, 2020, suspended a money judgment or order for child support for any period exceeding 90 consecutive days in which the person ordered to pay support was incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized, except as specified. Under that law, a suspended child support obligation resumed on the first day of the first full month after the release of the person owing the child support. This bill, until January 1, 2023, would reenact those repealed provisions. The bill would also require the Department of Child Support Services, in consultation with the Judicial Council, to develop forms to implement these provisions by January 1, 2022.

Status: 8/30/2020-Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 37. Noes 1.). In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 3234 (Ting D) Public Safety.

Would authorize a judge in the superior court in which a misdemeanor is being prosecuted to offer misdemeanor diversion to a defendant over the objection of a prosecuting attorney, except as specified. The bill would authorize the judge to continue a diverted case for a period not to exceed 24 months and order the defendant to comply with the terms, conditions, and programs the judge deems appropriate based on the defendant’s specific situation. The bill would require the judge, at the end of the diversion period and if the defendant complies with all required terms, conditions, and programs, to dismiss the action against the defendant, and would deem the arrest upon which diversion was imposed to have never occurred, as specified.

Status: 8/31/2020-Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 27. Noes 10.). In Assembly. Ordered to Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2338 (Weber) Courts: contempt orders.

Would permit the court to grant probation or a conditional sentence, as defined, in lieu of an order for community service, imprisonment, or both, for a party found in contempt for failure to comply with a court order pursuant to the Family Code.

Status: 8/31/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 5 p.m.

AB 2342 (McCarty D) Parole.

Would create a program under which the length of a parolee’s period of parole could be reduced through credits earned by successfully completing specified education, training, or treatment programs, or by participating in volunteer service, while adhering to the conditions of parole. The bill would make this program inapplicable to a person who is required to register as a sex offender. The bill would, if AB 1304 is enacted, additionally require this program to award credits for participation in substance abuse treatment programs, as specified.

Status: 8/31/2020-Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2542 (Kalra D) Criminal procedure: discrimination.

Would prohibit the state from seeking a criminal conviction or sentence on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin, as specified. The bill would allow a writ of habeas corpus to be prosecuted on the basis of that prohibition, and would require the defendant to appear at the evidentiary hearing by video unless their presence in court is needed. The bill would permit a defendant to file a motion requesting disclosure of all evidence relevant to a potential violation of that prohibition that is in the possession or control of the prosecutor and would require a court, upon a showing of good cause, to order those records to be released. The bill would authorize a court that finds a violation of that prohibition to impose a specified remedy. The bill would apply its provisions to adjudications and dispositions in the juvenile delinquency system. The bill would apply its provisions only prospectively to cases in which judgment has not been entered prior to January 1, 2021.

Status: 8/31/2020-Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 26. Noes 10.). In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. Assembly Rule 63 suspended. Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2425 (Stone, Mark D) Juvenile police records.

Would prohibit a law enforcement agency in any county from releasing a copy of a juvenile police record if the subject of the juvenile police record is (1) a minor who has been diverted by police officers from arrest, citation, detention, or referral to probation or any district attorney and who is currently participating in a diversion program or who has satisfactorily completed a diversion program, (2) a minor who has been counseled and released by police officers without an arrest, citation, detention, or referral to probation or any district attorney, or (3) a minor who does not fall within the jurisdiction of the juvenile delinquency court under current state law, except as specified. The bill would require the law enforcement agency in possession of the juvenile police record to seal the applicable juvenile police records and all other records in its custody relating to the minor’s law enforcement contact or referral and participation in a diversion program, as specified.

Status: 8/30/2020-Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2426 (Reyes D) Victims of crime.

Current state law requires, upon request by specified persons, that a certifying official from a certifying entity, as defined, certify “victim helpfulness” or “victim cooperation” on those supplemental forms, respectively, when the requester was a victim of a qualifying criminal activity or human trafficking, and has, is, or is likely to be helpful or cooperative regarding the investigation or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity, as specified. Current law requires the certifying entity to process those supplemental forms within 30 days of the request, unless the noncitizen is in removal proceedings, in which case the certification is required to be processed within 7 days of the request. This bill would clarify that a certifying entity includes the police department of the University of California, a California State University campus, or a school district.

Status: 8/31/2020-Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.

AB 2427 (Gipson) Elections: voter registration.

This bill would encourage community organizations to conduct voter registration drives in county jails, by requiring counties to have relevant policies. This bill would also require county elections officials to notify people released from parole that they have regained their eligibility to vote.

Status: Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee

AB 2512 (Stone, Mark D) Death penalty: person with an intellectual disability.

Current law requires the court to order a hearing to determine whether the defendant has an intellectual disability upon the submission of a declaration by a qualified expert stating the expert’s opinion that the defendant is a person with an intellectual disability. Current law defines “intellectual disability” for these purposes as a condition of significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested before 18 years of age. This bill would change the definition of “intellectual disability” to include conditions that manifest before the end of the developmental period, as defined by clinical standards.

Status: 9/4/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 p.m.

AB 2865 (Wicks) Juveniles: transfer to court of criminal jurisdiction.

This bill would require juvenile courts to conclude that a minor would not be amenable to rehabilitation through the juvenile court before transferring the minor to a court of criminal jurisdiction.

Status: Assembly Public Safety Committee

AB2978 (Ting) Department of Justice: arrest and conviction records: review.

This bill would expand to any arrest or conviction occurring on or after January 1, 1973 the requirement that the Department of Justice, on a monthly basis, review the records in the statewide criminal justice databases and to identify persons who are eligible for arrest record relief or automatic conviction record relief by having their arrest records, or their criminal conviction records, withheld from disclosure or modified.

Status: Assembly Public Safety Committee

SB 145 (Wiener D) Sex offenders: registration.

The Sex Offender Registration Act, requires a person convicted of one of certain crimes, as specified, to register with law enforcement as a sex offender while residing in California or while attending school or working in California, as specified. A willful failure to register, as required by the act, is a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the underlying offense.This bill would exempt from mandatory registration under the act a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register.

Status: 9/8/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 p.m.

SB 203 (Bradford D) Juveniles: custodial interrogation.

Current law requires, until January 1, 2025, that a youth 15 years of age or younger consult with legal counsel in person, by telephone, or by video conference prior to a custodial interrogation and before waiving any specified rights. Existing law directs a court deciding the admissibility of statements made by a youth 15 years of age or younger during or after a custodial interrogation to consider the effects of failing to provide counsel before the custodial interrogation. Current law directs the Governor to convene a panel of experts to examine the effects and outcomes of these provisions, including the appropriate age of youth to whom these provisions should apply. This bill would instead apply these provisions to a youth 17 years of age or younger, and would indefinitely extend the operation of these provisions.

Status: 9/9/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 3 p.m.

SB 592 (Wiener D) Jury service.

The Trial Jury Selection and Management Act requires all persons be selected for jury service at random and from sources inclusive of a representative cross section of the population of the area served by the court. The act specifies that the list of registered voters and list of licensed drivers and identification cardholders who are resident within the area served by the court are appropriate source lists for the selection of jurors, and further specifies that these 2 source lists, when substantially purged of duplicate names, are considered inclusive of a representative cross section of the population.This bill would deem the list of resident state tax filers as an appropriate source list for selection of jurors, and beginning on January 1, 2022, would deem the list of resident state tax filers, when substantially purged of duplicate names, to be considered inclusive of a representative cross section of the population, along with the two source lists described above.

Status: 9/9/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 3 p.m.

SB938 (Wiener) Trial testimony: expert witnesses: writ of habeas corpus.

This bill would expand the definition of false evidence in cases of false incarceration and would prevent experts from relying on circular logic in their court testimony.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB957 (McGuire) Infractions: community service: education programs.

This bill would very authorize courts to permit low-income people –people for whom payment of a fine for an infraction would cause a financial hardship –to participate in education and training in lieu of paying the fine or performing community service.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB1045 (Bradford) Criminal records: sealing.

This bill would allow a person who has had their conviction set aside and dismissed to petition to have their arrest and related records sealed.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 1064 (Skinner) Prisons: confidential informants.

Would prohibit an employee of, or private entity under contract with, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from finding any state prisoner guilty of a rules violation if that finding or decision is based on, or relies on, in whole or in part, any information from an in-custody confidential informant that is neither corroborated nor reliable. The bill would additionally prohibit an employee of, or private entity under contract with, the board from making a finding or decision about any state prisoner that is based on, or relies on, in whole or in part, uncorroborated allegations from an in- custody confidential informant that have not been found true following a disciplinary hearing at which the subject was provided notice, among other requirements. The bill would require a state prisoner to receive, 10 days before these types of proceedings, a summary notice of any information provided by an in-custody confidential informant that may be used in the decision that includes, among other things, the actual or approximate date the information was provided to the department.

Status: 8/31/2020-Read third time. Passed. (Ayes 45. Noes 7.) Ordered to the Senate. In Senate. Concurrence in Assembly amendments pending. Assembly amendments concurred in. (Ayes 26. Noes 9.) Ordered to engrossing and enrolling.

SB1076 (Bradford) Factual innocence: compensation and services.

This bill provides reentry assistance for a person whose criminal conviction was vacated by a court and who was released from custody as a result, and also provides numerous other benefits to innocent men and women whose convictions were overturned.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB1134 (Beall) Wards: probation.

This bill would limit to 6 months the period of time in which a court may place a ward of the court on probation, under the supervision of the probation officer.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

SB1137 (Monning) Habeas corpus: factual innocence.

This bill creates a more just and widely recognized standard for declaring an individual factually innocent.

Status: Senate Public Safety Committee

 

SB 1290 (Durazo) Juveniles: costs.

Would vacate certain county-assessed or court-ordered costs imposed before January 1, 2018, for the parents or guardians of wards in specified circumstances, minors who were ordered to participate in drug and substance abuse testing, and adults who were 21 years of age and under at the time of their home detention.

Status: 9/1/2020-Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 1 p.m.


Previous Legislation - 2019


CACJ takes position on 100+ bills every year, the bills below are the Sponsored, Co-Sponsored, and Supported bills for 2019:

SB 136 (Wiener D)   One-year sentence enhancement

As a follow up to last year’s reform of a prison prior enhancement, this legislation narrow’s the current one-year enhancement for each prison prior or county jail felony term to only apply to any prior sexually violent offense. 

Signed by the Governor 10-08-2019

AB 701 (Weber D)   Prisoners: exoneration: housing costs.

When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated and released from prison, the bill requires the State of California to cover the cost of the exonoree’s housing for up to 4 years.  California becomes the first state in the country with this requirement. Co-Sponsored by CACJ and Exonerated Nation.

Signed by the Governor 10-02-2019

AB 927 (Jones-Sawyer D)   Crimes: fines and fees: defendant’s ability to pay.

This bill prohibits the court in a criminal or juvenile proceeding involving a misdemeanor or felony from imposing fines, fees, and assessments, without making a finding that the defendant has the ability to pay.

This bill vetoed by the Governor.

AB 1261 (Jones-Sawyer D)   Controlled substances: narcotics registry.

This bill eliminates the requirement that individuals convicted of specified drug offenses register with local law enforcement.

Signed by the Governor 10-08-2019

SB 42 (Skinner D)   The Getting Home Safe Act.

Summary: This bill mandates that all county jails follow specified procedures for releasing a person from jail to ensure that person's safety, including providing a safe place for the person to wait after release during evening hours.

This bill vetoed by the Governor.

SB 233 (Wiener D)   Immunity from arrest.

Summary: This bill prohibits the arrest of a person for misdemeanor drug or prostitution related offenses when the person is reporting a violent crime and makes inadmissible evidence of possession of a condom to prove a violation of specified crimes related to prostitution.


Signed by the Governor 7-30-2019

SB 269 (Bradford D)   Wrongful convictions.

Summary: This bill extends the statute of limitations for when a wrongfully convicted individual can file a claim with the California Victim Compensation Board from two years to ten years after exoneration or release.

Signed by the Governor 10-02-2019

SB 310 (Skinner) Jury selection.

This bill permits a person with a prior felony conviction, who is not on active parole or community supervision or on the sex offender registry, to serve on a jury.

Signed by the Governor 10-08-2019

AB 1076 (Ting) Expungement

This legislation revamps the expungement process and requires the Attorney General to regularly review and offer relief to individuals who are eligible to be removed from the state criminal justice history database.

Signed by the Governor 10-08-2019

Previous Legislation - 2018


CACJ takes position on 100+ bills every year, the bills below are the Sponsored, Co-Sponsored, and Supported bills for 2018:

Sponsored Bills

AB 2133 Assemblymember Weber


Under existing law, the Attorney General shall furnish summary criminal history information to a public defender or attorney of record when representing a person in a criminal case. This bill would state that this authority extends to a public defender or attorney of record when representing a criminal defendant on appeal or during any post-conviction motions.

SB 1279 Senator Bradford

This bill would, with specified exceptions, limit the maximum term of imprisonment to twice the number of years imposed by the court as the base term for a person who is convicted of two or more felonies.

Co-Sponsored Bills

AB 2867 Assemblymember Gonzalez Fletcher


This bill clarifies the timing and procedural requirements of motions for post-conviction relief that are based on either a prejudicial error regarding a defendant's comprehension of immigration consequences stemming from his or her conviction, or newly discovered evidence of actual innocence.

SB 1050 Senator Lara & Senator Mitchell


This bill expands transitional services for exonerated persons such as enrollment in Medi-Cal, enrollment in the CalFresh program, referral to the Employment Development Department, and requires exonerated persons to be paid $1000 upon release from incarceration.

Priority Support

SB 1437 Senator Skinner & Senator Anderson


CACJ is supporting Senate Bill 1437 authored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (Berkeley) who is the Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee. SB 1437 received bipartisan support in its first committee. The purpose of this bill is to revise the felony murder rule to prohibit a participant in the commission or attempted commission of a felony that has been determined as inherently dangerous to human life to be imputed to have acted with implied malice, unless he or she personally committed the homicidal act.

SB 1392 Senator Holly Mitchell
Authored by prior CACJ Legislators of the Year, State Senator Holly Mitchell and State Senator Ricardo Lara, CACJ supported legislation SB 1392 aims to remove the 1 year prior felony enhancement contained in Penal Code 667.5 (b).

SB 1393 Senator Holly Mitchell


Senator Holly Mitchell, a past recipient of the CACJ Legislator of The Year award. The State Senate has already approved the measure which would restore judicial discretion to 5-year prison enhancement for a prior serious felony, and its next vote will occur in June before the Assembly Public Safety Committee. SB 1393 is sponsored and supported by dozens of organizations from across California, including CACJ.


Previous Legislation - 2017


CACJ takes position on 100+ bills every year, the bills below are the Sponsored, Co-Sponsored, and Supported bills for 2017:

Co-Sponsored Bills

SB 395 Juvenile Miranda Safeguards


Signed 10.11.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=20011


SB 395 is carried by a CACJ Legislator of the Year recipient Senator Ricardo Lara (Los Angeles). SB 395 will help ensure safeguards are in place to protect juveniles from false confessions by requiring defense counsel to be present before they waive their Miranda rights. This measure is backed by several groups including Youth Justice Coalition, Human Rights Watch, and Pacific Juvenile Defender Center.

AB 359 Jailhouse Informants


AB 359, by Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer (Los Angeles), co-sponsored by the ACLU, would provide more transparency and minimize the incentives for false testimony in the use of jailhouse informants. This bill is authored by Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (Los Angeles), a past recipient of CACJ's Legislator of the Year Award.

SB 321 Special Master for Wrongful Convictions


CACJ has joined the California Innocence Project in co-sponsoring SB 321, by Senator Bill Monning (Monterey). This measure will create a special master at the Crime Victims Compensation Board dedicated to handling wrongful convictions. The bill is designed to increase the efficiency of the claim process for exonerees.

Supported Bills

Senate Bill 180 - Repeals 3 years Sentence Enhancement for Drug Prior

Signed 10.11.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=20011

S.B. No. 180 (Mitchell)
Would limit the sentence enhancement for a person convicted of a violation of, or of conspiracy to violate, specified crimes relating to controlled substances to only be based on each prior conviction of, or on each prior conviction of conspiracy to violate, the crime of using a minor in the commission of offenses involving specified controlled substances.

Senate Bill 190 - Eliminates fee on Families for Juvenile Hall

Signed 10.11.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=20011

S.B. No. 190 (Mitchell)
Would end juvenile cost of detention, probation supervision, drug testing, electronic monitoring, and attorney’s fees in California.

Senate Bill 239 - HIV Law Reform


Signed 10.04.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19985

SB 239 by Senator Wiener (San Francisco) will modernize outdated and discriminatory HIV criminal laws by reducing several felony laws that criminalize and stigmatize individuals living with HIV down to misdemeanors. This is sponsored by a coalition of LGBT and public health organizations.

Senate Bill 384 - Tiered Sex Offender


Signed 10.04.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19985

S.B. 384 establishes 3-tiers of registration for sex offenders. California is currently one of only four other states with mandatory lifetime registration.

Senate Bill 394 - Parole for LWOP Juveniles


Signed 10.11.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=20011

SB 394 by Senator Lara (Los Angeles) will give individuals serving life without the possibility of parole who committed crimes as youth the opportunity to work for parole after serving at least 25 years in prison. This would bring California law into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016).

Senate Bill 620 - Firearm Enhancement

Signed 10.11.2017 See Press Release Here. https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=20011

SB 620 by Senator Bradford (Compton) will allow a court, in the interest of justice, to strike a sentence enhancement for using or discharging a firearm when a person is convicted for committing a felony, consistent with other enhancements.

Senate Bill 725 - Veteran Pretrial Diversion Program

Signed 8.07.17

S.B. No. 725 (Jackson)
Clarifies that military veterans who suffer from military related traumatic mental health conditions and who are before a sentencing court charged with violations of Vehicle Code sections 23152 and 23153, pertaining to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, are eligible for diversion to a treatment court.


Other Supported Bills (partial list)

A.B. No. 42 (Bonta)
Implements a more fair and effective pretrial release procedure.

A.B. No. 90 (Weber)
Provides law enforcement greater access to reliable and up-to-date crime prevention and investigation tools by implementing more oversight and regulations to the use of the CalGang database.

A.B. No. 412 (Ting)
Would allow people with no or low income to remove the Civil Assessment Fee, which penalizes individuals for their inability to pay court fines.

A.B. No. 493 (Jones-Sawyer)
Expands current law to protect an individual who is a victim or witness to a hate crime, from being detained by law enforcement for immigration purposes.

A.B. No. 529 (Mark Stone)
Requires the automatic sealing of all records of juveniles if their petition was dismissed and was not sustained by the court after an adjudication hearing.

A.B. No. 620 (Holden)
Requires CDCR to provide specified inmates with individual introspective trauma informed therapy at least 1 year prior to an offender’s minimum eligible parole date. Also, therapy to address traumatic experiences that lead to substance abuse or violent actions.

A.B. No. 665 (Levine)
Requires courts to consider Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and other service-induced mental health problems as mitigating factors for convictions that occurred prior to January 1, 2015.

A.B. No. 720 (Eggman)
Prohibits, except as specified, an inmate confined in a county jail, from being administered any psychiatric medication without his or her prior informed consent.

A.B. No. 748 (Ting)
Requires each department or agency that employs peace officers and requires those peace officers to wear body-worn cameras to develop a policy setting forth the procedures for, and limitations on, public access to recordings taken by body-worn cameras. The bill would also require the department or agency to conspicuously post the policy on its Internet Web site.

A.B. No. 878 (Gipson)
Seeks to limit the use of restraints on minor during transportation outside of a local juvenile facility, camp, ranch, or forestry camp, except as provided, or during a juvenile court proceeding.

A.B. No. 1115 (Jones-Sawyer)
Would allow a defendant sentenced to state prison for a felony that, if committed after the 2011 Realignment Legislation, would have been eligible for sentencing to a county jail, to be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she was convicted.

A.B. No. 1128 (Weber)
Would require courts to retain certain evidence from criminal proceedings for criminal cases.

A.B. No. 1320 (Bonta)
Prohibits CDCR from contracting with a private, for-profit prison on or after January 1, 2028 and would prohibit the renewal of contracts with for-profit prisons in effect on January 1, 2018.

A.B. No. 1344 (Weber)
Requires CDCR and county probation departments to provide certain voting rights information and affidavits of registration to parolees under their jurisdiction.

A.B. No. 1448 (Weber)
Establishes the Elderly Parole Program, for prisoners who are 60+ years of age and who have served a minimum of 25 years of their sentence. When considering the release of an inmate who meets this criteria, the bill would require the board to consider whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly prisoner’s risk for future violence.

A.B. No. 1639 (Eduardo Garcia)
Prohibits the Victim Compensation Board from denying an application for a claim solely because the victim or derivative victim is a person is listed in the CalGang system.

S.B. No. 8 (Beall)
Provides trial courts the discretion to order a diversionary sentence for a defendant who suffers from a mental illness when charged with a low level offense.

S.B. No. 142 (Beall)
Requires, upon the request of the defendant, the probation officer to include in his or her report whether the defendant is currently, or was at any prior time, eligible for public mental health services due to a serious mental illness or eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance due to a diagnosed mental illness.

S.B. No. 143 (Beall)
Authorizes a person who is committed to a state hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity to petition the court to have the maximum term of commitment reduced to what it would have been had Proposition 36 or Proposition 47 been in effect at the time of the original determination.

S.B. No. 237 (Hertzberg)
Allows law enforcement to transport individuals suffering from mental illness to a mental health Urgent Care Center instead of incarceration for a low level offense.

S.B. No. 355 (Mitchell)
Exempts innocent defendants from having to reimburse the court for the cost of court-appointed counsel.

S.B. No. 336 (Anderson)
Would revise the definition of exonerated for the purpose of eligibility for assistance with transitional services to include a person who has been convicted and subsequently was granted a writ of habeas corpus

S.B. No. 393 (Lara)
Provides a legal pathway to sealing an arrest record from the public if the arrest did not result in a conviction.

S.B. No. 394 (Lara)
Would remove life without parole for juveniles.

S.B. 421 (Wiener)
Establishes 3-tiers of registration for sex offenders based on specified criteria, for periods of at least 10 years, at least 20 years, and life.

S.B. No. 439 (Mitchell)
Would exclude children under 12 years old from prosecution in a juvenile court.

S.B. No. 502 (Portantino)
Establishes a recently repealed program known as the California Voluntary Tattoo Removal Program to provide funding for the removal of certain tattoos for individuals between 14 and 24 years of age who are in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or county probation departments, who are on parole or probation, or who are in a community-based program serving at-risk youth and meet specified criteria.

S.B. No. 725 (Jackson)
Clarifies that military veterans who suffer from military related traumatic mental health conditions and who are before a sentencing court charged with violations of Vehicle Code sections 23152 and 23153, pertaining to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, are eligible for diversion to a treatment court.


CACJ Opposed Bills that were Defeated

CACJ opposed measures to increase penalties and incarceration periods that failed passage include:

AB 27 would amend Penal Code 667.5 to classify all forms of “rape” as violent felonies.

AB 67 would amend Penal Code 667.5 to add additional crimes to the list of “violent felonies” therefore enhancing prison terms when new crimes are committed.

AB 745 vests local court commissioners with the authority to handle a variety of matters related to criminal cases.

S.B. No 75 which would have created an additional “violent felony” list that includes 20 felonies not on the existing list in order to exclude offenders from Proposition 57’s parole provisions and to impose a three-year sentencing enhancement.

S.B. No. 495 makes it a felony for a person, without consent, to rent a vehicle using the personal identifying information of another or an access card or access card account information of another, has been postponed until next year.

S.B. No. 757 would require a person convicted of misdemeanor solicitation of a minor to register as a sex offender for life and an adult convicted of misdemeanor solicitation of an adult or minor to give a sample to the DNA databank, failed passage.

S.B. No. 586 which would expand assault and battery penalties of a peace officer to include a federal peace officers.

S.B. No. 770 creates an additional “violent felony” list that includes 30 felonies not on the existing list in order to exclude offenders from Proposition 57’s parole provisions and to impose a three-year sentencing enhancement, has been postponed until next year.

S.B. No. 781 that would require DNA collection for misdemeanors, has been postponed until next year to work out language to only require a more narrowed list of misdemeanors.

Lobby Day


Lobby Day 2019

On June 5th 2019, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Legislative Committee Members will make their annual trip to Sacramento's State Capitol to meet with Members of both the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees, Chairs of the Appropriations Committees, as well as Leadership in both houses. Here, CACJ's Legislative Committee Members will discuss several sponsored bills, during this day-long visits play a crucial part in bringing awareness to CACJ's work while also building relationships with California's lawmakers.


Lobby Day 2017

On June 14, 2017, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Legislative Committee Members will make their annual trip to Sacramento's State Capitol to meet with Members of both the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees, Chairs of the Appropriations Committees, as well as Leadership in both houses. Here, CACJ's Legislative Committee Members will discuss several sponsored bills, during this day-long visits play a crucial part in bringing awareness to CACJ's work while also building relationships with California's lawmakers.

Lobby Day 2015

On June 10, 2015, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Legislative Committee Members will make their annual trip to Sacramento's State Capitol to meet with Members of both the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees, Chairs of the Appropriations Committees, as well as Leadership in both houses. Here, CACJ's Legislative Committee Members will discuss several sponsored legislation including assisting in the re-entry of wrongfully convicted individuals, making it a felony for peace officers to alter or destroy images/videos captured by the public and other key proposals for the 2015 session. These annual, day-long visits play a crucial part in bringing awareness to CACJ's work while also building relationships with California's lawmakers.

Lobby Day 2014

In April various members of the CACJ legislative committee arrived in Sacramento for its annual lobby day. CACJ members participated in various activities such as testifying in committee, meeting with the chief consultant for Assembly public safety, and discussing CACJ's 2014 legislative priorities with multiple legislators.
CACJ members met with the Speaker of the Assembly, John A. Perez, to discuss its legislative priorities. Speaker Perez is terming out this year and is the leading candidate to become the State Controller. CACJ not only highlighted its multiple sponsored or co-sponsored bills, but also emphasized problematic pieces of legislation CACJ hopes to defeat this legislative session.

As a result of CACJ's lobby day and continued pressure on Assemblymembers who sit on the public safety committee, CACJ defeated one of its priority oppose bills. On Tuesday, April 8, CACJ defeated Assembly Bill 1555. AB 1555, authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), increased the penalty for vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence while using a cell phone. This bill also increased the penalty for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, while using a cell phone, from 2, 4, 6 to 4, 6, 10 years of imprisonment in state prison. AB 1555 received only two supporting votes.

CACJ's consistent presence in Sacramento, as one of the leading criminal justice reform organizations, is paying dividends. Both legislators and committee consultants frequently rely on CACJ as one of the prominent voices in criminal justice reform.


Our Lobbyist


Ignacio Hernández founded Hernández Strategy Group in 2003 after having served as a Chief of Staff in both the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. As an attorney, Ignacio used to represent clients in employment discrimination, wage theft and criminal cases. He fuses his courtroom experience with his years of working in the State Capitol to effectively lobby on behalf of issues of social justice and the preservation of constitutional protections. He has successfully navigated a litany of proposals through the legislative process and has worked to stop hundreds of bills adverse to his clients’ interests. Before beginning his career at the State Capitol, Ignacio taught in the Political Science Department at San Jose State University. Currently he sits on the Public Interest Law Board of Santa Clara University School of Law.
Ignacio Hernandez
Hernandez Strategy Group, LLC

 

ignacio@hernandezstrategy.com

Hernandez Strategy Group
555 Capitol Mall Suite 610
Sacramento CA 95814

http://hernandezstrategy.com/
(916) 447-9719

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