California Senate Bill 412 May Remove Some Sex Offenders from RegistryMay 29, 2017 by Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes in
California currently requires all sex offenders to register for life regardless of the sex offense for which they have been convicted. However, state legislators are moving a bill forward in the current session that, if passed and signed, would result in the removal of some sex offenders from the online registry.
Senate Bill 412 would reduce the time sex offenders are listed in the online registry based on the nature of the sex crimes involved and the risk the offenders pose to others. If you are currently a registered sex offender in California or are facing charges for a sex crime, then you can benefit significantly from the legal representation provided by a skilled Fresno sex crimes lawyer.
It’s vital to have the best legal representation possible when you’re in the difficult position of fighting a sex crimes charge. Attorney Michael McKneely is a Fresno sex crimes attorney with considerable experience as both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer. He can provide the most effective defense on your behalf with the goal of achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
The Proposed New Law
The new law would place sex offenders in three separate tiers:
These are high-risk sex offenders. They include repeat violent offenders, persons who qualify as “sexually violent predators,” and individuals convicted of a sex crime that carries a penalty of life in prison. All of these individuals would be required to remain on the state’s sex registry list for life.
The individuals in this Tier will have committed either a serious or violent sex offense, not otherwise a part of tier three, and they would be required to remain on the sex registry list for 20 years.
The individuals in this category will have committed a misdemeanor or non-violent sex felony crime and be required to register for 10 years.
Although the proposed law would separate offenders into the three-tier structure, removal from the sex registry would not occur automatically. Individuals classified as Tier three and Tier two offenders would be required to petition the court for removal from the list when their period of registration comes to an end. Courts would have the authority to deny petitions for removal depending on circumstances. The district attorney would have the ability to ask for a hearing to oppose any petition for removal.
Under certain circumstances, law enforcement would still have the authority to notify communities about sex offenders from any of the three Tiers.
Proponents of the Law
Individuals who are in favor of Senate Bill 412 claim that it will reduce the costs of managing the sex offender registry system. Less serious offenders would receive less serious consequences.
Another point made by those supporting the bill is that the three-tier system would eliminate individuals from the registry who have demonstrated a lengthy track record, such as 10, 20, or 30 years, of living crime-free. These individuals should not be kept on the registry indefinitely.
The bill promotes the most efficient use of scarce law enforcement resources. For instance, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office argues that a more effective system can focus a greater share of state resources on keeping track of high-risk and violent sex offenders. They say that the majority of resources are being used to keep track of low-level sex offenders instead of monitoring serious and high-risk offenders, and solving current sex crime cases.
Opponents of the Law
Opponents have highlighted isolated cases to challenge the bill, claiming that lower tier offenders have been dangerous in the past. But even opponents are in favor of modifying California’s current sex registry system into a tiered system.
The bill was passed in committee by an overwhelming majority. If the bill passes both houses of the California state legislature and is signed by the governor, it will become law on January 1, 2018.
Contact a Fresno Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you’re under investigation or have been charged with a sex offense in California, then you are facing something that could change the rest of your life. Fresno sex crimes attorney Mike McKneely understands the possible consequences in front of you.
As a defense lawyer with prosecutorial experience, he is ready to provide you with compassionate, intelligent and vigorous representation to challenge the case against you and, if possible, prevent conviction altogether.
Don’t delay. Call attorney McKneely today at (559) 443-7442 to set up a free consultation about your case.