New Criminal Justice Laws Going into Effect in 2020

2020 brings hundreds of new state laws for a variety of issues that impact Californians. From limits on the number of guns a person can purchase each month to a new standard for when law enforcement officers can use deadly force, there is a lot of new laws to keep up with that go into effect in 2020. Below, we review the new criminal justice laws in California that you need to know about.


This law will expand the state’s ability to confiscate guns from people who may be potentially violent. Although California already has a law that allows law enforcement, immediate family members, and roommates to request a restraining order if they believe a person may use a weapon to hurt others or themselves. Under AB-12, employers, coworkers, and teachers can now request a restraining order. This law will go into effect on September 1st, 2020.


Starting January 1st, victims of childhood sexual abuse will have until the age of 40 , or five years from the discovery of the abuse, to file civil lawsuits. In the past, the statute of limitations was age 26, or within three years from the discovery of the abuse. AB-218 also suspends the statute of limitations for three years, which means abuse victims of all ages can file lawsuits if they decide to.


Under SB-439, minors must now be 12 for them to be sent to juvenile hall. Children under 12 who commit crimes will be released to their parent or legal guardian. The law does not apply if the minor commits murder, rape or great bodily harm.


Beginning January 1st, the statute of limitations to report domestic violence to police will be extended from one year to five years. SB-273 applies to domestic violence crimes for which the statute of limitations was in effect before January 1st, 2020 and had not run out. Law enforcement will also be required to undergo additional training on de-escalation techniques and interviewing victims in a different place from the suspect.

Consult With Our Criminal Defense Team Today

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our team of experienced lawyers is committed to fighting for the rights of clients throughout Southern California. We have more than 50 years of combined experience representing clients in criminal law matters and our award-winning attorneys have secured hundreds of criminal defense case dismissals. If you find yourself facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to our law firm to speak to one of our dedicated criminal defense lawyers about your case.

To schedule a free case consultation, please call us today at (800) 462-7160. Our seasoned counsel is available to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.