When it comes to a sex crime case being prosecuted in Los Angeles County, I've done a lot of these cases over the last twenty-five years. There's a variety of punishments that can be utilized to deter someone from committing future sex crime cases, punish an offender who has committed a sex crime case, and obviously, protects the public from a dangerous level standpoint from an individual who has committed a sex crime.
One of the most effective punishments that the prosecutors have is to make the person plead to a charge which forces them to register as a sex offender. It used to be that almost every charge that some pled to where they had to register as a sex offender, that they would have to register for life.
There has been a three-tier system created by the legislature that allows for specific periods that people will have to register as sex offenders.
Sex registration is essential from a government standpoint. Still, it's horrible from a defendant's perspective because a lot of time, depending on the charge, the person will have to be put on the Megan's Law website.
This is where people can see their picture and recognize them out in society, their address where they live will be put, so all the neighbors know that they're sex offenders, and there are several other things related to sex registration.
For example, they have to go to the local police station every single time on their birthday or within five days of their birthday and stay away from specific locations depending on the level of their sex crime.
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
If somebody fails to register as a sex offender, they will violate Penal Code Section 290, and that particular individual will be punished. Usually, they're looking at a minimum of 32 months because most sex offenses are strikes, so if they pick up a new felony, like a California Penal Code Section 290 violation, then their punishment will be doubled because of the two-strike law.
Other punishments that can be exacted against somebody charged and convicted with a sex crime relate to prison time, jail time, being placed on probation, being placed on parole. There can also be severe fines that are levied against people.
I've seen individuals who have to do CalTrans, community service, community labor, and a host of other punishments related to whatever they did to punish them and deter them from committing future sex crimes.
Another thing that I see that is common for a sex crime and punishment is that the individual has to take a sex offender course. Often, when they're placed on probation, the probation officer is given the power to force them to do polygraph tests monthly to make sure that they are not involved in any other activity related to sex crimes.
Suppose they use any medium, like a phone or computer, or anything of that nature, an iPad. In that case, they can be banned from any of those electric devices during the probationary period if they're given probation. So, there are several things that the judges will do when it comes to punishments for a sex crime depending on what the person did, how severe their offense was, what their prior criminal record looks like, and what type of a danger they are viewed to the general public.
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So, what I like to do when I have a client that's charged with a sex crime is that we sit down in the privacy of my office, go over the evidence that the prosecutors are going to use against them, and then first make the decision whether this is going to be a case that's going to be filed as a jury trial or whether this is going to be a case where we're going to negotiate a resolution with the prosecutors and try to do damage control.
Once we make that decision, then we work together, and you have a much better idea of what you're facing and what we can do to try to mitigate things and get you the lightest possible sentence with the least amount of damage to your life your record, your reputation, and your freedom. Contact us to review your case.