Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any criminal proceeding in which the defendant is charged with a violation or attempted violation of subdivision (b) of Section 209, Section 220, 236.1, 243.4, 261, 269, 273a, 273d, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, 288.7, or 289, subdivision (1) of Section 314, Section 422, 646.9, 647.6, or former Section 647a, or any crime that constitutes domestic violence defined in Section 13700, committed with or upon a person with a disability or a minor under 11 years of age, the court shall take special precautions to provide for the comfort and support of the person with a disability or minor and to protect him or her from coercion, intimidation, or undue influence as a witness, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(a) In the court’s discretion, the witness may be allowed reasonable periods of relief from examination and cross-examination during which he or she may retire from the courtroom. The judge may also allow other witnesses in the proceeding to be examined when the person with a disability or child witness retires from the courtroom.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 68110 of the Government Code, in his or her discretion, the judge may remove his or her robe if the judge believes that this formal attire intimidates the person with a disability or the minor.
(c) In the court’s discretion the judge, parties, witnesses, support persons, and court personnel may be relocated within the courtroom to facilitate a more comfortable and personal environment for the person with a disability or the child witness.
(d) In the court’s discretion, the taking of the testimony of the person with a disability or the minor may be limited to normal school hours if there is no good cause to take the testimony of the person with a disability or the minor during other hours.
(e) For the purposes of this section, the term “disability” is defined in subdivision (j) of Section 12926 of the Government Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 44, Sec. 2. (SB 130) Effective January 1, 2014.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018