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New California laws for 2017

In the state of California, there will be a host new laws that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2017. Many of them are a result of the 898 pieces of legislation that was signed by the governor in 2016.

One of the new laws will ban guns that have reloading devices referred to as bullet buttons. The state of California prohibits the purchase of centerfire rifles, semi-automatics or semi-automatic pistols that do not have a fixed magazine and that have certain features, such as a collapsible stock or protruding pistol grip. Any resident that already possesses such a firearm will be required to register it with the California Department of Justice.

Residents of the state will also not be able to obtain gun loans except for certain circumstances. This includes for hunting guides and for a restricted number of family members.

The new year will also see the removal of mandatory minimum sentencing for individuals who are repeat prostitution offenders. As a result, judges will have more leeway in the sentences they levy against individuals selling sex and those who are soliciting sex.

However, individuals who are convicted of sexually assaulting a defenseless victim will be required to serve a prison term. This new law is due in part to the publicity and outrage regarding the short jail sentence that a Stanford University student received in June for sexually assaulting a woman who was unconscious. In addition, the statutes of limitations for rape cases will be eliminated so that individuals can be charged regardless of the amount of time that has passed. However, the new law is not retroactive.

Individuals accused of a crime should have legal representation. A criminal defense attorney may work to make sure a client's rights are protected during plea negotiations, criminal trials, appeals and more.

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