The Old Sacramento Bridge

New Laws for 2012

A number of new criminal laws went into effect in California on January 1, 2012, including:


Judges may now impose a ten (10) year driving ban on people who receive three DUI convictions in a period of 10 years.

DUI Checkpoints

Law enforcement is now prohibited from impounding vehicles at sobriety checkpoints if the driver's only offense is driving without a license. This change comes about in response to reports last year that some local police agencies were impounding unlicensed drivers' vehicles as a means of collecting revenue from the fees charged by towing companies as well as the fees charged to release the cars from storage. An unlicensed driver may now simply leave his vehicle at the checkpoint and then have the car retrieved later by a licensed driver. Police, sheriff, and CHP officers are still allowed to impound vehicles of drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended.

Cough Syrup with Dextromethorphan

Dextromethorphan, an ingredient in many cough medications, is used by some recreational drug users because of the high it produces when the drug is consumed in large quantities. Because of this, it is now an infraction with a fine of up to $250 for stores to sell over-the-counter dextromethorphan containing cough syrups to anyone less than 18 years of age.

Synthetic Cannabis

It is now a misdemeanor for anyone to sell, distribute, or possess a synthetic cannabanoid.

Open Carry of Handguns

It is now a misdemeanor to openly carry (have visible) an unloaded handgun in certain public areas. The impetus for this law was that police agencies were receiving calls from citizens reporting someone carrying a weapon when on investigation it was found out that the weapon was not loaded. Police argue that their time and resources are better spent dealing with issues that pose a real threat to citizens' safety. The new law provides exceptions for parade participants, hunters, people engaged in target shooting, and others.

Cell Phones in Prison

As evidence came to light documenting the number of state prisoners in possession of cell phones, the legislature passed a law making it illegal for prison inmates to possess cell phones and establishes penalties for doing so. In addition, anyone smuggling a cell phone into a prison can also be charged with a criminal violation. Before this, prison regulations banned cell phone possession by prisoners. The new law is meant to stiffen the penalties.

Shark Fin Ban

While "shark finning" - the practice of cutting off a shark's fin and then discarding the rest of the carcass - was already illegal in California, the sale or possession of shark fins is now banned. This new law comes as a result of concern that shark populations around the world are declining. Some Asians prize shark fins for their perceived medicinal value and as an ingredient in soup.

Client Reviews
Nancy King was patient, persistent, and polite. She followed up and kept me informed, took a lot of the stress off of me. She was very instrumental in eventually getting the case against me dismissed. It was money well spent. Linda
My son's case involved felony theft and drug charges. We were thrilled when Nancy was able to obtain a dismissal on all charges. My son's now back on track with his career. Nancy is the kind of attorney who fights hard for her clients and actually cares about them. I recommend her highly. Shawn M.
Nancy King represented me on a DUI. I was involved in an accident and had a blood alcohol level of .13/.14. Nancy King kept pushing in the negotiation process. She was able to get me a wet reckless. Nancy King is someone you can trust. She knows what she's doing and works hard for her clients. I recommend her highly. D.V.
I was wrongfully targeted by the police for a felony offense. Nancy took care of everything for me and got the police to realize that they had made a mistake. Everything was handled promptly and professionally and I was able to protect my reputation. D.B.