When it comes to a sex crime case that's being prosecuted in Los Angeles County, I've done a lot of these cases over the last twenty-five years and there's a variety of different punishments that can be utilized in order to deter someone from committing future sex crime cases, punish an offender who has committed a sex crime case, and obviously, protect 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.
Now there has been a three-tier system created by the legislature which allows for certain periods of time that people will have to register as a sex offender.
Obviously, sex registration is important from a government standpoint, but from a defendant's standpoint it's horrible because a lot of time, depending on what the charge is, 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's a number of 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 certain 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, then 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 who is 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 serious fines that are levied against people.
I've seen individuals who have to do CalTrans, community service, community labor and a host of other different punishments that relate to whatever it is that they did in order to punish them and to deter them from committing future sex crimes.
Another thing that I see that is common please when it comes to a sex crime and punishment is that the individual has to take a sex offender course. A lot of times, also 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.
If they use any sort of a medium, like a phone or computer, or anything of that nature, an iPad, then they can be banned from any of those electric devices during the probationary period if they're actually given probation. So, there's a number of things that the judges will do when it comes to punishments for a sex crime depending on what the person did, how serious 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.