SACRAMENTO — Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, introduced a bill Thursday that will allow individuals to be convicted for hate crimes. AB 282 prevents a misdemeanor hate crime from being eligible for diversion. Diversion allows a person to escape a conviction, avoid jail time, and have their arrest records erased.
Furthermore, it allows dangerous offenders to avoid limits on firearms possession and denies victims compensation for their injury or loss.
Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to allow diversion for any misdemeanor crime with few limitations as to seriousness, and without limits on prior convictions or prior diversions.
“In a time when our nation desperately needs healing, we must send a message that we remain tough on crime and committed to victims’ rights, especially victims of hate crimes,” said Lackey, whose 36th assembly district includes Santa Clarita. “This bill brings us one step closer to building a society we know we can and must be”
AB 282 will also exclude driving under the influence (DUI) from diversion. Assemblyman Lackey spent nearly three decades as a highway patrol officer where he monitored the roadways during the early mornings and witnessed firsthand the devastation associated with driving under the influence.
Existing law excludes misdemeanor domestic violence, stalking, and sex crimes from being eligible for diversion. AB 282 will also exclude the following crimes from eligibility for diversion:
– Child abuse
– Elder abuse
– Criminal threats to kill or inflict great bodily injury
AB 282 is pending referral to a policy committee where it is expected to be heard in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.
Assemblyman Lackey represents the 36th Assembly District, which contains portions of Kern, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties, including the communities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Quartz Hill, Acton, Boron, Littlerock, Pearblossom, Mojave, Rosamond, California City, Phelan, and Piñon Hills.