Attorney Matthew G. Kaestner

Long Beach's Criminal Law Specialist


Laws enacted by the California legislature in 2013 and taking effect in 2014include laws making it easier to cleanse a criminal record, but outlaw so called “revenge porn.” Other new laws effect the transportation of narcotics, tattoo artists, gun owners, ticket scalpers and undocumented aliens. On this page Long Beach Criminal Law specialist, attorney Matthew Kaestner, provides a brief overview of new 2014 laws.

Several laws will benefit persons who want to cleanse their criminal record for employment purposes. Several new laws will help. First, the California Labor Code was amended to prohibit public and private employers from inquiring about criminal convictions that were dismissed by way of Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4(a), 1203.45, and 1210.1. These dismissals are achieved by successfully completing probation, including Prop. 36 drug probation, and filing for dismissal. (Labor Code section 432.7)

Persons who served re-alignment county jail sentences on felonies can now petition to have their plea withdrawn and case dismissed two years after finishing their jail sentence or one year after completing a “split” sentence involving jail and supervision.

In jurisdictions where prosecutors offer a pre-filing diversion, a person who successfully completes a pre-trial diversion can apply for a partial sealing of his or her arrest record under new Penal Code section 851.87.

Persons who feel they can demonstrate complete rehabilitation after a felony conviction or certain misdemeanor sex offenses don’t need not to wait 5 years to seek a certificate of rehabilitation. In the interests of justice, a Court can grant it sooner. Penal Code section 4852.22. Read More on Expungements.

A major change in drug laws takes effect in 2014. Now transportation of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and several other specific hard drugs, requires transportation for sale. Thus the more serious punishment for transportation that was previously applied to persons who transported these drugs for personal use will be reserved for only those cases were transportation is for the purpose of sales. [Health and Safety Code sections 11352(c), and 11379(c).]

In 2014, law abiding gun owners must be more careful when storing their guns. Previous laws criminalized leaving a loaded firearm where a child could access it, resulting in the gun being used to inflict injury. Those laws now apply to allowing access causing injury by a “prohibited person,” meaning a person convicted of a felony and certain misdemeanors. Also, simply allowing children or prohibited person access to a loaded gun that doesn’t cause injury, is now a misdemeanor. Gun owners must now lock their guns away from children and prohibited persons. (Amends Penal Code Sections 25100, 25110, 25200, 26835, 32000, and 32015.)

Two laws regarding undocumented aliens have changed in 2014. Undocumented aliens can now receive driver’s licenses. Also, it is now extortion in California to threaten to disclose a person’s immigration while demanding money. (Penal Code section 519.)

In 2014, it is now a crime to distribute private pictures of a persons “intimate parts” if such distribution is intended to cause serious emotional distress and does so. It is now a misdemeanor to distribute so called “Revenge Porn.” (Penal Code section 647 (j)[4].)

To those who have ever been frustrated in their attempts to buy hot concert tickets, it is now a crime to use or sell software to prevent an “equitable ticket buying process.” Those persons grabbing all the tickets using such software are now guilty of a misdemeanor. ( Business and Professions Code section 22505.5. ) Scalpers beware!

Tattoo artists and those doing piercings must now register with their local police department as part of the new “Safe Body Art Act.” (Health and Safety Code sections 119300 to 119328.) Body artists must now follow various regulations including restrictions on work on minors and mobile facilities.

Persons accused of gang activity as a member, associate or affiliate are entitled to be given notice directly or to their parents before being placed in a gang data base. After being given notice the accused gang participant has a right to present written documentation contesting the designation. The person must be informed within 60 days of the agency’s final decision. (Penal Code section 186.34.)

Motorless bike riders are now entitled to three feet of leeway by motorists who pass them in the same direction. The so called “Three Feet for Safety Act,” makes it an infraction to pass too close to bikers. (Adds Vehicle Code section 21760, and amends Vehicle Code section 21750.)

In 2014, whether you're accused of posting an ex-lover’s naked photos on myspace, or piercing at an unsanctioned location, or something more serious, you need expert legal representation in court. Long Beach criminal law specialist, attorney Matthew Kaestner, has over 27 years experience handling criminal cases. He regularly handles serious felonies from murder to possession of drugs as well as misdemeanor matters. He is one of only four board certified criminal law specialists with offices in Long Beach. His office is at Long Beach’s World Trade Center, adjacent to the new Long Beach courthouse. Mr. Kaestner will personally take your call and handle all aspects of your case. Call him directly at (562) 437-0200.