Home>Highlight>California Democrats Introduce ‘Immunity from Arrest’ Law

California Democrats Introduce ‘Immunity from Arrest’ Law

Creating an environment in which human trafficking can thrive

By Katy Grimes, February 12, 2019 10:30 pm

State Senator Scott Wiener (Via sd11.senate.ca.gov/)

California Democrats have introduced legislation to shield a person from the consequences of crimes they commit in California, even violent ones, as long as the person reports the crimes to authorities.The language of the proposed statute appears to immunize a person from ANY crime so long as they are reporting a violation of a sex crime law. And it appears the Legislative Counsel went along with this, based on the bill language. 

California Senate Bill 233, authored by Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and coauthored by State Assembly members Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), says: “A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime …”

Sen. Wiener and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that this legislation is all about protecting victimized sex workers. However, the truth in what is being said and reported about this bill is one thing and what the actual text of the legislation states is an entirely different matter. The actual language of SB 233 would enact something completely different:

“California Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will introduce legislation Monday that would prevent law enforcement from arresting and charging sex workers who come forward as victims or witnesses to serious crimes. The proposed law, SB233, would also prevent officers from using condoms as probable cause to arrest a sex worker in any situation.

“‘Right now, we know there are sex workers who are victimized or witness crimes and are scared to come forward because they think they are going to be arrested,’ Wiener said. ‘We want to create every incentive for sex workers to feel safe in reporting crimes.’”

However, here is the actual language, in the full text of Senate Bill 233:

“An act to add Section 647.3 to the Penal Code, relating to crime.


“SB 233, as introduced, Wiener. Immunity from arrest. (emphasis mine)

“Existing law criminalizes various aspects of sex work, including soliciting anyone to engage in, or engaging in, lewd or dissolute conduct in a public place, loitering in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution, or maintaining a public nuisance. Existing law, the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (CUCSA), also criminalizes various offenses relating to the possession, transportation, and sale of specified controlled substances.

“This bill would prohibit the arrest of a person for a misdemeanor violation of the CUCSA or other specified sex work crimes, if that person is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime. The bill would also state that possession of condoms in any amount, in and of itself, is not probable cause for arrest for specified sex work crimes.

Digest Key – Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO 


SECTION 1. Section 647.3 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

647.3. (a) A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime, including a misdemeanor violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code) or a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 or of Section 372 or 653.22.

“(b) Possession of condoms in any amount shall not, in and of itself, be probable cause for arrest for a crime, including a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 or of Section 372 or 653.22.”

“As is typical, the legal drafting skills in the legislature are so poor that the end product rarely resembles what they claim they are trying to accomplish, leaving the courts to clean up the mess they made,” said Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Assistant District Attorneys. “A mess that could easily have been avoided by consulting with attorneys who actually work in the criminal justice system.”

The question is ‘is this what they really wanted?’ Was this  drafting error, or is this another attempt to undermine the criminal justice system as is the case with Assembly Bill 109, and Propositions 47 and 57 – all claimed wholesome criminal justice reforms and intent, but the results were completely different.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new Executive Order withdrawing California National Guard troops from the border with Mexico, at his press conference Monday, a member of the press asked the Governor if this order ignores documented human sex trafficking at border. Newsom pivoted from the question, referred to an article in the New Yorker, and moved on.

The intent of the bill may be to allow for sex crime whistleblowers however, the bill language is entirely different. And as one commenter on the Chronicle article addressed, “There’s a fine line between protecting victimized sex workers and creating an environment in which human trafficking can thrive.”


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25 thoughts on “California Democrats Introduce ‘Immunity from Arrest’ Law

    1. For years now, the fondest dream of the “progressives” has been to legalize prostitution because it is a “victimless crime.”
      It’s hardly that, and they know it, or should know it, but apparently they simply don’t care as they continue hell-bent on their path of destruction.

    1. They are not trafficking whores, it’s children. Men no longer want grown women for sex, they are sickly seeking from babies to 13 year olds. Sick fuckers..I pray their dick rots and falls off.

  1. Give me a freaking break.
    These crooked pedophiles and crooked Democratic leaders in California have made California look like a third world country. It’s so disgusting that people have stopped going on vacation in California because of all the thousands and thousands of homeless people and drug addicts and alcoholic’s and they are just people who don’t even work and they prey on innocent people all day and night to get their drugs or alcohol.
    And what makes it even worse is if you walk around town you will see people shooting up Dope and heroin and cocaine and fentanyl and other opiates and Xanax and whatever else they can get.
    And to top it all off 97% of the homeless people shit and piss on the side of the road.
    So Too top it all off the taxpayers in California pays over 15+ million dollars picking up trash and used needles and shit and piss monthly.

  2. Legislation is never perfect. I’m a legal sex worker in porn and I would prefer this to be a decriminalization bill or Legalization bill. Unfortunately FOSTA/SESTA was written far worst that this author and some commenters don’t understand that sex work and sex trafficking (a subset of human trafficking) are two completely different things. I volunteer with the SF mayor taskforce on human trafficking and this bill does protect sex workers by reducing the fear of reporting to the police. Remember that human trafficking is still a crime and if law enforcement focused on solving human trafficking then they will find traffickers. Unfortunately right now police arrest sex workers several times without screening them as possible victims of human trafficking. This creates a condition where human trafficking survivors distrust police more than their traffickers. With this bill survivors of sex trafficking can go to the police without fearing arrest and will be able to get emergency housing services since they were previously housed by their traffickers. Thank you Kathy Grimes, when I draft a CA prostitution decriminalization bill I will consult with attorneys who actually work in the criminal justice system. While we consult with them we might as well draft a bill to Decriminalize all drugs.

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