Archives : 2010 : September
California sex offender laws are strict. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony sex offense crime in California, besides serving jail time or completing probation, you must also register as a sex offender. California Penal Code Section 290(a)(2)(A)-(E) requires all persons convicted of sex offenses in California to register for life as a sex offender with the local police station or sheriff’s department in the city or unincorporated area where they reside. The court may order a person to register as a sex offender even if their offense was not a sexually motivated crime.
Most common sex offenses requiring registration under Section 290 include the following acts:
· Rape under Penal Code Section 261
· Sexual battery under Penal Code Section 243.4
· Lewd acts regarding minors under Penal Code Section 288
· Contributing to the delinquency of a minor under Penal Code 272
· Child pornography under Penal Code 311
· Pandering a minor under Penal Codes 266h and 266i
· Aggravated and continuous sexual assault of a minor under Penal Codes 269 and 288.5
· Incest under Penal Code 285
· Forced acts regarding oral copulation under Penal Code 288a
· Sodomy under Penal Code 286
· Acts of penetration with a foreign object under Penal Code 289
· Indecent exposure under Penal Code 314
The law states that the person must register within five days from release of custody or probation or changing their residence within or outside the city or county or their name. Transient and homeless people must continue to register every 30 days. A sex offender who attends or is living at a campus of a California state or community college or other institution of higher learning is required to register both with the campus police and the local law enforcement agency in their jurisdiction. Students or employees who reside in another state and are convicted sex offenders that are working in California or attending a California school must also register with the local law enforcement agency and the school.
All registrants must update their information every year within five working days of their birthday, and sexually violent predators must update their records not less than every 90 days. The names of juvenile registrants are not publicly disclosed on the Internet list. However, law enforcement may use their own discretion to notify the public if they believe that a juvenile sex offender in their area poses a threat to the public. Convicted felony sex offenders who willfully do not comply with the registration law can be found guilty of a felony. Convicted misdemeanor sex offenders who willfully do not comply with the registration law can be found guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation and a felony for subsequent violations.
Megan’s Law, which was signed into effect on in California by the governor on August 24, 2004, makes it possible for the California list of all sex offenders to be published on the Internet so that the public may access the information. Prior to the enactment of the Megan’s Law, the information could only be obtained by the public by visiting their local law enforcement agency to view the information or by calling a toll free 900 number. All states have some sort of Megan’s law. The intention of the law is to keep the public informed of the whereabouts of offenders that may pose a threat to them and not for harassing or committing crimes against registered sex offenders.
Dismissal of Offense After Probation and Certificate of Rehabilitation
Under California Penal Code section 1203.4, convicted sex offenders who complete their probation may apply to have their offense dismissed. However, they still must register for life. Only persons whose sex offenses are nondisclosable to the public are eligible to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation from registering as a sex offenders after 7-10 years after their release from custody, parole or probation, whichever occurs first. All other persons must obtain a pardon from the governor.
Thursday September 9, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Chelsea’s Law which allows life without parole sentences for adult sexual predators who kidnap, drug, bind, torture or use a weapon while committing a sex crime against a child. Life terms could be ordered for first-time and repeat offenders. The new law also increases other penalties for child molesters, including the requirement of lifetime parole with GPS tracking for offenders convicted of forcible sex crimes against children under 14. The new law was named after 17 year old Chelsea King, who was killed by 31 year old convicted child molester John Gardner. Gardner had been previously convicted of molesting a 13 year old neighbor in 2000 and served five years out of a six year sentence. Gardner was sentenced to life in prison in May 2010 after pleading guilty to the murder of Chelsea King and a 14 year old girl Amber Dubois. The new law will protect children against such crimes by keeping sex offenders such as Gardner in jail for a longer period of time.
State law makers and local police are also trying to keep convicted sex offenders from registering on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, where they look for victims. AB 2208 was introduced in February 2010, which if passed and enacted into law, would make it illegal for convicted sex offenders who are required to register under California Penal Code Section 290 to use social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace by making it a misdemeanor. Facebook already has The P.O.M. Offender Locator tool on their site which allows users to search for sex offenders by putting in their address and providing a list of offenders that the user can click for more information.
If you convicted of certain sex offense crimes, you are required to register for life as a sex offender under California Penal Code Section 290, even after serving your time or probation. It is crucial that you hire an experienced California criminal law sex offense attorney who can challenge the California sex offender registration laws by getting the charges dismissed after probation and/or assist you with obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation so you no longer have to register as a sex offender. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony sex offense in California, the attorney can defend you by being able to get your pleas of guilty or no contest withdrawn or get your sex offense crime dismissed, especially in cases of statutory rape or sex with a minor under Penal Code Section 261.5. Many times these accusations are false, and the sex is consensual.
California has strict laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI laws). You may be charged with either a misdemeanor DUI under Vehicle Code Section 23152 or a felony under Vehicle Code Section 23153 if you cause an accident and injure someone. If you cause the death of another person while driving under the influence, you could be charged in California with the crime of vehicular manslaughter under penal Code Sections 191.5 and 192. DUI penalties are complex and may be enhanced depending on your prior driving convictions, whether a child under the age of 14 year was in the car at the time of the violation, whether you were speeding, if your BAC was over .08% and if you refused to take a chemical test.
California has increased their DUI laws making it tougher for even first offense DUI convictions. July 1, 2010, AB 91, a test pilot program went into effect and is being enforced in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Alameda and Tulare counties only. Under the pilot program, any driver who has been convicted of a DUI crime, including first offenders, must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their car at their own expense to obtain a restricted driver’s license.
California DUI Drivers License Suspension and Penalties
If you are a DUI first offender, your driver’s license could be suspended immediately for four months if you have a BAC over .08% at the time of your arrest or it may be suspended for one year if you refuse to take a chemical test. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .01% or more will have their license automatically suspended for one year. Second offenses for drivers with BAC over .08% will get you a one year suspension and a two year suspension if you refuse to take a chemical test. If convicted of a DUI offense, your license could be revoked or suspended depending on your BAC levels, whether you caused an accident which resulted in the injury or death of another person or whether you have any prior DUI convictions. Out of state drivers will be given a notice of suspension if their BAC is over .08% or over .01% for drivers under 21, which means they cannot drive in the State of California after 30 days.
You face jail sentences from 96 hours to three years and fines up to $1,600, completion of a driving under the influence program, installation of an IID in your vehicle and having to obtain SR22 (California Proof of Insurance Certificate) car insurance. Penalties are enhanced for second and third or more convictions. A conviction of three prior DUI’s with a BAC of .08% within the previous 10 years is considered a felony.
Rapper and hip-hop artist T.I., whose legal name is Clifford Harris, Jr., and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle were arrested in Hollywood Wednesday evening September 1, 2010, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamines after police allegedly smelled marijuana smoke coming from their car during a routine traffic stop in West Hollywood for making an illegal U turn on Sunset Boulevard. T.I. was booked for possession of a controlled substance. The couple posted $10,000 bail each and were released the next morning.
T.I. is currently on probation for federal weapons charges. He served a sentence of seven months in federal prison in Arkansas and three months in a halfway house in George for his federal weapons conviction. His Atlanta probation officer has asked him to return to his hometown of Atlanta according to one of T.I’s. attorneys. His probation officer has the choice of modifying his probation terms requiring him to take additional drug counseling classes or drug testing on a more frequent basis, or he could ask the judge to revoke T.I.’s probation, which ends in 2013. This could mean additional prison time for the rapper. The Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s office is in the process of reviewing the facts of the Hollywood arrest to determine what happened before making any recommendations. U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell, Jr., the presiding judge in the original weapons case, has the authority to make any final decision regarding T.I.’s probation violation.
The rapper claims he has turned his life around. He has given several speeches about the dangers of drugs, guns and has received the support of former UN ambassador Andrew Young. Young has voiced skepticism about why the rapper was pulled over in the first place.
An arrest for a DUI offense in California is serious. You should hire a California criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorney will investigate whether the police had probable cause to stop and arrest you in the first place or whether there is sufficient evidence to argue that the search and seizure of you or your car was illegal to attempt to get the charges dropped and the case dismissed. The attorney will also review your arrest record and interview you to determine if your constitutional rights were violated if the police failed to properly give you your Miranda warning before being questioned. An experienced criminal law attorney may be able to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense such as speeding or negligence in the case of vehicular manslaughter, or get you into a drug and alcohol counseling program which would give you a suspended sentence or probation.
Now Playing: Imhoff & Associates - Criminal Defense Attorneys
Talk to Us Now
Have a Question?
We can help to answer it