Every year, the State of California and a number of cities enact new laws that go into effect on January 1st. The first of the year is a convenient effective date for new laws that have been signed over the past year. This year is no exception. There are a number of new traffic laws, criminal justice changes, and laws that protect the rights of those who have been convicted of a crime.
As soon as these laws go into effect, you are expected to follow them. There is a saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse. It is not a legal defense to say you didn't know about a law, even if the law just went into effect. If you are charged with a new California traffic or penal code violation, your best defense may be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you are arrested for a crime in Oakland or the East Bay, talk to an experienced California criminal defense attorney for legal advice.
New Speed Cameras in Oakland
Assembly Bill 645 establishes a pilot program for speeding cameras in six California cities, including Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco. The pilot program will be in place for five years, targeting school zones and streets with the highest traffic injuries and fatalities.
The cameras will take photos of the license plate and rear of the vehicle and are not supposed to photograph the driver. Unlike speeding tickets issued by police officers, these speeding tickets are treated more like parking tickets. You won't get points on your record for a camera speeding ticket.
The fines for these camera tickets are lower than for regular speeding tickets. There are also fine reductions available for lower-income drivers. During the first 60 days of enforcement, the cameras will only issue warnings, without fines.
Laws Against Low Riders
Lowriders have a long history among Mexican Americans in California. These customized vehicles ride lower to the ground and are often decorated with intricate and colorful designs. Some lowriders have hydraulic systems to raise and lower the vehicle with a switch.
Laws in California made it a vehicle code violation to drive a lowered vehicle, which was criticized as a discriminatory law towards Chicano culture. After the passage of Assembly Bill 436, cities and counties cannot adopt laws that ban cruising or driving low-rider vehicles.
Limited Parking Near Crosswalks
Be careful where you park near intersections. A parking spot that was okay on December 31, 2023, may no longer be okay in 2024. Assembly Bill 413 prohibits parking a vehicle within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk (or 15 feet from a curb extension).
This safety measure is known as daylighting. This is intended to make it safer for pedestrians by giving drivers an unobstructed view of crosswalks as they approach an intersection. There will be a one-year grace period. You will get a warning for now but starting in 2025, you can get a citation.
Were You Arrested for a DUI or Serious Vehicle Violation in the East Bay?
If you were arrested for a crime in the East Bay, a strong legal defense can help you avoid jail time and fines. East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 40 years of California criminal defense experience and understands how to deal with local prosecutors. Contact your local criminal defense lawyer for legal advice and representation in your criminal case.