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Criminal Justice: Finding California State Laws

Finding California Propositions

For ballot measures voted on by California voters since 1996, browse the voter information guides at the California Secretary of State's office.

NOTE:  Be sure that the ballot measure you wish to analyze was actually passed by the voters.  Information on ballot proposition election results is available on:

Helpful Websites

Finding California Laws

California Legislative Information
An extensive database of California laws is accessible through the California Legislative Information website (1999-Present).  It also provides access to the 29 codes of California law.

The easiest way to search this database is using a Bill number. For detailed directions on finding Bill numbers and searching in California Legislative Information see the document at the top of this box.

Searching the California Legal Code(s)
To find the law in the code, you should have the legal citation for the law or at least what code it is in, e.g. Penal Code, which you can often find via a Google search. If you have this, check the box of the relevant code and type in the code section or keywords, e.g. three strikes. This will narrow your search, but you will still need to find the right sections of the code. 

Finding Older State Laws
Locating text of laws enacted prior to 1999 may be possible, though complicated, by using the website of the California State Assembly, Office of the Chief Clerk (asking for assistance is strongly recommended).

Using Westlaw
The database Westlaw has a browsable list of California laws by their popular names.  It also has a browsable/searchable topical index.  For detailed instructions for using either of these tools consult the documents at the bottom of this box.