2017 Significant Law Changes in California

Remember Brock Turner? California does. Turner, a student at Stanford, served a mere six months in jail after sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster; his acts were interrupted by two cyclists who detained him until police arrived. Among the progressive law changes we are seeing in 2017 are harsher sentencing for sexual assault as well as expanding the definition of what sexual assault is to protect women who are abused while unconscious. The legal definition now includes “all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault,” and those convicted for such will be ineligible for probation. The 10 year statute of limitations for rape, sodomy, lewd and lascivious acts has been removed as well.

Want to tell your friends and colleagues about this? Don’t touch your phone – not while driving that is. As of January 1, 2017, touching your cell phone for any reason while driving is illegal – so download your driving directions and your playlist before you leave home. However, you can still count on Siri as voice control commands are allowed.

Some proposed new laws did not make the cut. One in particular, known as the “tampon tax” was vetoed by Jerry Brown who cited that the revenue from diapers and feminine products is significant for California. Opponents cite this is as a gender based tax inflicted on women.

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