AB-124: Justice for Survivors

AB 124 (Kamlager) would give courts a holistic view of survivors and provide opportunities to consider a survivor’s age, history of trauma, and experiences throughout the legal process.


Expand Affirmative Defense

Human trafficking survivors who commit a nonviolent offense can assert an affirmative defense, allowing them to present facts which either justify or excuse their actions. AB 124 would expand affirmative defense to encompass survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual violence who are coerced to commit a nonviolent offense as a direct result of being a victim and had a reasonable fear of harm. It also expands affirmative defense for survivors of human trafficking to also apply to charges of trafficking offenses.


Meaningfully engage the impact of trauma at sentencing

AB 124 underscores the devastating impact of victimization. Recognizing the enduring toll of trauma that is felt by survivors, AB 124 creates a presumption that judges should start at the lower term when sentencing a survivor to prison.


Consider Trauma when deciding Whether To Reduce a Survivor’s Sentence

AB 124 allows courts to reduce sentencing post-conviction after considering survivor’s experiences of childhood trauma, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking as contributing factors in the commission of the offense.


Expand Vacatur

Vacatur laws – which repeal previous arrests, charges or convictions – can help recognize that survivors were not responsible for the criminalized activity they were forced to engage in. California’s current vacatur process is complicated and barriers can prevent survivors from accessing employment & housing. AB 124 expands the vacatur law to allow survivors of human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual violence to petition the court to vacate convictions and expunge arrests for nonviolent offenses related to their experiences of violence.


AB 124 creates meaningful pathways to justice

This bill would impact survivors who are facing, serving, or have served prison time.

Nothing about this bill requires leniency or a not guilty verdict.

The provisions in AB 124 are all about fact finding. It is ultimately up to a jury or judge to consider a survivor’s experiences and the facts of the case to determine whether mitigation is appropriate.


Stories

Support AB 124!

Call Governor Newsom’s Office at (916) 445-2841 

You can use this script:
Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m from [CITY/ORGANIZATION]. I’m calling to urge Governor Newsom to sign two bills into law: AB 124, to support survivors of violence, and AB 333, to reduce the harm of racist gang enhancement laws. Thank you!