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What laws are most likely to affect you in 2015?

Few people in California expect that the law will stay unchanged for too long. That's because most people know that societal and political pressures are huge driving forces when it comes to bringing in new legislation and casting aside the old.

So what new laws in 2015 are most likely to affect you? Let's take a look.

  • A conviction for possessing crack cocaine has been decreased from three to five years to two to four years.
  • California law now considers non-disparagement clauses to be unenforceable. Though such agreements do not lead to criminal charges, they have been known to lead to civil litigation in cases where a customer writes a scathing review of a business on the Internet.
  • A 180-day mandatory jail sentence can be imposed on any sex offender in California who fails to get fitted for GPS monitoring when required or purposefully renders the device inoperable.
  • Police are now encouraged to "consult a state database that shows who owns guns before checking on someone who is potentially dangerous."
  • State colleges and universities are required now by law to define what it means to consent to sexual activity. The law also requires that both parties give clear, "affirmative consent" in order for the encounter to be considered legal.
  • To reduce instances of police accidentally shooting minors, manufacturers of toy guns are now required to make them in bright colors so that officers can "easily distinguish them from real firearms."
  • Juveniles who commit a crime but "complete all court-imposed orders" will enjoy having their records automatically sealed.

For those who read the Los Angeles Times article that outlines many of the new changes to the laws, you'll see that we only named a few that will have the most significance on residents here in Dublin. It's worth pointing out though that not knowing these new laws or changes to existing laws may lead to confusion and even accidental violation of the law. When these cases arise, we hope California residents will remember their rights, especially their right to an attorney who can help them through the process that is most likely to be ahead of them.

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