Being arrested on suspicion of a crime is terrifying. From intimidation to shock, those individuals in this situation undergo a roller coaster of emotions. Further, and typically for political expediency, may politicians will propose harsh penalties in an effort to appear “tough on crime.” Retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial to ensuring that individuals accused of committing crimes have the most effective counsel possible, so that they are either not convicted of crimes they did not commit or they can use mitigating evidence to reduce the impact of any penalty. In some cases, as the adage sometimes goes, the punishment may not fit the crime. Fortunately, the California Legislature is attempting to rectify some of the harsh consequences of the State’s criminal justice system.
Deadly Force by Peace Officers
Assembly Bill 392 is intended redefine the circumstances under which a homicide by a peace officer is deemed justifiable. Currently, California law deems such a homicide to be a seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and, as such, requires the action to be reasonable. Thus, a homicide committed by a peace officer is reasonable and justifiable when necessarily committed in the arrest of an individual who has committed a felony and the person is fleeing or resisting such arrest. The proposed law will deem such force justifiable if it is in self-defense or the defense of another, or when is necessary to prevent the escape of a fleeing felon whose immediate apprehension is necessary to prevent death or serious injury. Additionally, the proposed bill would make it unjustifiable if the peace officer acted in a criminally negligent manner that caused the death.
While AB 392 is still being debated, some other reforms have made it into law. A summary of these reforms are as follows:
- SBs 439 and 1391. These laws, part of a grouping known as the equity and justice package, are intended to combat inequality in the juvenile justice system. More specifically, these laws will exclude children under the age of 12 from criminal prosecution, and will prohibit 14- and 15- year-olds from being tried as adults in criminal courts.
- SB 1437. This law is intended to address mass incarceration from the felony murder point of view. Felony murder maintains that an individual who was involved in a felony in which a murder occurred would be liable for the murder. Previously, the felony murder rule made it possible for an individual without a direct role in a homicide to be charged with first-degree murder. SB 1437 removed that possibility.
- SB 10. This law ends the use of cash bail in California. Rather, courts will evaluate arrested individuals with a “risk assessment tool” based on their threat to public safety or risk of failure to appear in court, and to establish a more appropriate bail.
- SB 1421. This law requires various complaints or investigations involving law enforcement to be open and available to the public.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, regardless of severity, it is essential that you contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in responding to criminal allegations, so it is imperative not to delay. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal defense, and can use this to provide you with the most effective counsel. After an analysis of the circumstances, we can help you obtain the best possible outcome. The attorneys here are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact the Los Angeles criminal defense firm today for an initial consultation.