Veterans, a new California Penal Code might apply to your new criminal charges - contact me for more information -
(a) This chapter shall apply whenever a case is before a court on an accusatory pleading alleging the commission of a misdemeanor offense, and both of the following apply to the defendant:
(1) The defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military.
(2) The defendant may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her military service. The court may request, using existing resources, an assessment to aid in the determination that this paragraph applies to a defendant.
(b) If the court determines that a defendant charged with an applicable offense under this chapter is a person described in subdivision (a), the court, with the consent of the defendant and a waiver of the defendant’s speedy trial right, may place the defendant in a pretrial diversion program, as defined in subdivision (k).
(c) If it appears to the court that the defendant is performing unsatisfactorily in the assigned program, or that the defendant is not benefiting from the treatment and services provided under the diversion program, after notice to the defendant, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the criminal proceedings should be reinstituted. If the court finds that the defendant is not performing satisfactorily in the assigned program, or that the defendant is not benefiting from diversion, the court may end the diversion and order resumption of the criminal proceedings. If the defendant has performed satisfactorily during the period of diversion, at the end of the period of diversion, the criminal charges shall be dismissed.
(d) If a referral is made to the county mental health authority as part of the pretrial diversion program, the county shall be obligated to provide mental health treatment services only to the extent that resources are available for that purpose, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If mental health treatment services are ordered by the court, the county mental health agency shall coordinate appropriate referral of the defendant to the county veterans service officer, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The county mental health agency shall not be responsible for providing services outside its traditional scope of services. An order shall be made referring a defendant to a county mental health agency only if that agency has agreed to accept responsibility for all of the following:
(1) The treatment of the defendant.
(2) The coordination of appropriate referral to a county veterans service officer.
(3) The filing of reports pursuant to subdivision (h).
(e) When determining the requirements of a pretrial diversion program pursuant to this chapter, the court shall assess whether the defendant should be ordered to participate in a federal or community-based treatment service program with a demonstrated history of specializing in the treatment of mental health problems, including substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and other related mental health problems.
(f) The court, in making an order pursuant to this section to commit a defendant to an established treatment program, shall give preference to a treatment program that has a history of successfully treating veterans who suffer from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of military service, including, but not limited to, programs operated by the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(g) The court and the assigned treatment program may collaborate with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to maximize benefits and services provided to the veteran.
(h) The period during which criminal proceedings against the defendant may be diverted shall be no longer than two years. The responsible agency or agencies shall file reports on the defendants progress in the diversion program with the court and with the prosecutor not less than every six months.
(i) A record filed with the Department of Justice shall indicate the disposition in those cases diverted pursuant to this chapter. Upon successful completion of a diversion program, the arrest upon which the diversion was based shall be deemed to have never occurred. The defendant may indicate in response to a question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or diverted for the offense, except as specified in subdivision (j). A record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of a diversion program shall not, without the defendant’s consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.
(j) The defendant shall be advised that, regardless of his or her successful completion of diversion, the arrest upon which the diversion was based may be disclosed by the Department of Justice in response to a peace officer application request and that, notwithstanding subdivision (i), this section does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the arrest in response to a direct question contained in a questionnaire or application for a position as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.
(k) (1) As used in this chapter, “pretrial diversion” means the procedure of postponing prosecution, either temporarily or permanently, at any point in the judicial process from the point at which the accused is charged until adjudication.
(2) A pretrial diversion program shall utilize existing resources available to current or former members of the United States military to address and treat those suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of military service.
(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 658, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2015.)
There weren't too many traffic laws this year - only really two important ones - illegal aliens were given the right to get driver's licenses and limousines are not regulated a little more - see the Santa Cruz Sentinel's article
Street Smarts: New traffic laws for 2015
By Ramona Turner, Street Smarts
Welcome to 2015. Here are new traffic laws that aim to make roads safer for drivers and limousine passengers:
Driver license eligibility for undocumented U.S. residents — Beginning Friday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will issue driver licenses to applicants who are unable to prove they are legal residents of the US. However, these applicants are required to provide proof of identity and California residency, as well as meet all other qualifications for licensing. The law was authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who was raised in Watsonville, and adopted during the 2013 legislative year. Its goal is to increase safety on the road by ensuring that all drivers are properly trained, know state traffic laws, pass the driving test and are insured.
Limousine safety requirements modified regarding regulations and/or inspections. This law creates a modified limousine inspection program to be carried out by the California Highway Patrol. To be implemented by July 1, 2016, this law allows the law enforcement agency to collect a fee as it inspects modified limousines, defined as vehicles that seat not more than 10 passengers, including the driver, but have been modified, altered, or extended to increase the wheelbase of the vehicle, thus accommodating more passengers. These inspections will occur once every 13 months. The law also requires modified limos to be equipped with two readily accessible and fully charged fire extinguishers. Also, the driver or operator of the modified limo must notify the passengers of the safety features of the vehicle, including instructions for lowering the partition between the driver and passengers, and the location of the fire extinguishers.
This bill by State Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo was in response to a deadly limousine fire that killed five nurses on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in May 2013. The deceased were among a group of nine women celebrating the recent nuptials of one of the passengers. The bride was among those killed in the fire. The CHP ruled the fire’s cause was a catastrophic failure of the rear suspension system, in which the spinning driveshaft came into contact with the floor pan causing friction that ignited carpets, setting set the vehicle afire. The limo was legally able to carry eight passengers. Also, in June 2013, a similar incident occurred involving an eight passenger limo catching fire in Walnut Creek while carrying 10 women in their 90s. All escaped the vehicle unharmed. In these two incidents, neither limo was equipped with fire extinguishers and neither had been subject to CHP inspection.
The DMV has released the new laws to be aware of this coming New Year's Day:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2013
DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2014 LawsSACRAMENTO — With 2014 just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding motorists of some of the new laws that will become effective in the new year. The following laws go into effect on January 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted.
Bicycles: Passing Distance. AB 1371 (Bradford), known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, will require a motor vehicle driver passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction to pass with no less than 3 feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will take effect September 16, 2014.
Clean Air Vehicle Decals / “HOV Stickers.” AB 266 (Yee) and SB 286 (Blumenfield), together extend sunset dates for low emission, zero emission vehicles to operate in high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) without meeting occupancy requirements to January 1, 2019.
Commercial Driver’s License. AB 1047 (Linder) will allow the DMV to conduct the commercial drive test for the holder of an out–of–state commercial learner’s permit. The department would electronically transfer the information to the motor vehicle department in the applicant’s state of residence. AB 1047 also modifies the license class definitions to require a driver operating a bus weighing more than 26,000 pounds to hold a commercial Class B license and a driver operating a bus weighing 26,000 pounds or less to hold a commercial Class C license.
DMV Vehicle Registration Pilot Program. SB 806 (Hueso) authorizes DMV to establish a pilot program to evaluate the use of alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards, subject to certain requirements. It will also enable the DMV to experiment with electronic license plates, as well as facilitate DMV’s ability to explore cost–effective alternatives to California’s traditional metal license plate, plastic–coated registration stickers, and paper registration cards.
Registration and Vehicle Transfers Between Family Members. AB 443 (Lowenthal) prohibits the transfer of ownership of a vehicle to a relative or a revocable living trust until all parking or toll–violation fines and penalties reported to the DMV are paid by the transferee.
Teen Drivers. SB 194 (Galgiani) will prohibit a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text–based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands–free device.
Veterans License Plates. AB 244 (Bonilla) Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to sponsor a veterans’ special interest license plate and requires the DMV to issue the veterans’ plate if CalVet meets the current statutory requirements. This law creates, in addition to the current Honoring Veterans design of the Veteran’s Organization Plate, a new program to reissue the Veteran design that was issued prior to January 1, 2010. These plates are available to all vehicle owners. The Department of Veterans Affairs must secure 7,500 pre–paid applications in order for the department to implement this plate program.