California Criminal Law Update: 2021 Edition

Criminal justice reforms are long overdue in California. While 2021 brought several major criminal justice reforms in California, those changes do not solve all the issues with the state’s criminal justice system.

It is critical to consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to understand how the most recent reforms to California’s criminal justice system could affect you and your family members.

The experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley have effectively represented thousands of clients in Los Angeles and throughout California.

Our founding attorney, David S. Chesley, is widely regarded and respected in California for his professionalism and pursuit of justice for all clients. If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges, do not hesitate to speak with our criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. Note: We offer a free consultation (call 800-755-5174 today).

    Major Changes to California Criminal Law in 2021

    Key reforms to California’s criminal justice system that took effect on January 1, 2021, include:

  • California’s new sex offender registration system. Senate Bill 384 implemented a new registration system for sex offenders. California transitioned from a lifetime-based registration system to a three-tier system. Under the new system, three tiers of registration are established for 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years. The measure is said to reduce the number of individuals required to register as sex offenders for life by up to 90%.
  • California Racial Justice Act. Assembly Bill 2524 allows people convicted of a criminal offense to challenge racial bias in their case in order to pursue re-sentencing or a new trial. However, proving that you have been a victim of racial bias in your criminal case can be tricky, which is why it is advised to get legal help from a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.
  • A judge’s discretion to grant misdemeanor diversion. Assembly Bill 3234 authorizes superior court judges in California to offer misdemeanor diversion to defendants. A diverted case can be continued for no longer than 24 months. If the defendant complies with all of the terms and conditions, the arrest upon which the diversion was imposed can be erased from the defendant’s criminal record. Offenses that are not eligible for dismissal include domestic violence, registerable sex crimes, and stalking.
  • Limited maximum terms for probation. Assembly Bill 1950 reduced the maximum probation term for misdemeanors from three to one year. The new criminal law also reduced maximum probation for most felony offenses to two years.

If you are not sure how the new criminal laws could affect you or your loved ones, schedule a free consultation with our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.

Why Should You Hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you or your family member has been charged with a crime in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, it is in your best interests to speak with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights and freedom.

Many people underestimate the importance of having a knowledgeable attorney on their side when defending themselves against criminal charges. That’s why we have compiled a list of reasons why you should hire a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles:

  1. They know how the criminal justice system works
    An experienced lawyer knows the criminal justice system like the back of his hand. Criminal defense attorneys understand what defense strategies can be used to help you avoid a conviction or get the charges dismissed or reduced.
  2. They understand all legal procedures
    Defending yourself against a criminal charge is not just about standing in front of a judge and trying to prove that you are innocent. Fighting back against any criminal charge also involves a lot of paperwork and preparation, not to mention that you must stick to strict deadlines. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is well-versed with all legal procedures and will take care of filling out court documents, gathering paperwork, and collecting evidence on your behalf.
  3. They can identify weaknesses and contradictory statements
    An experienced criminal defense attorney can point out weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and identify contradictory statements in police records and witness testimonies to suppress evidence against you or get the charges dropped or dismissed.
  4. They have access to expert witnesses and professionals
    Often, defendants require the assistance of expert witnesses and other professionals to prove their case. Here at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley, our authoritative criminal defense lawyers have established access to a vast network of experts and professionals throughout California.
  5. They can get the best settlement or plea deal for you
    In some cases, accepting a settlement or plea bargain is your best choice to reduce the penalties. However, it is vital to speak with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to understand your options and ensure that you are getting a fair settlement or plea deal.
  6. They can help you reduce the criminal penalties
    The consequences of a criminal conviction can be quite harsh, which is why it is essential to hire a skilled lawyer to fight for the reduction of fines, jail or prison sentences, and other penalties. Your attorney will do whatever it takes to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss criminal charges. If that is not possible in your case, your attorney can help you get a lowered or alternative sentence.

If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges, the best thing you can do to protect your interests and freedom is to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Our compassionate and results-driven criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley offer a free consultation to advise you on your options.

The sooner you reach out to a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, the better chance you have at successfully defending yourself against the charges and avoiding a conviction. Schedule a consultation to discuss your particular case and determine the best defense strategy in your specific situation. Contact us online or call 800-755-5174 for a free case evaluation.