Sex offenders face many restrictions in California. They may not be able to visit schools, parks or other locations where children gather, and it can be difficult for registered sex offenders to find housing. A law recently passed in California places tighter restrictions on where violent sex offenders can live.
On July 10, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 255 into law. The law, known as the Protect Our Communities Act, requires courts to consider residential, familial and employment connections when determining if offenders in the Sexually Violent Predator program can live in certain counties.
What is a Sexually Violent Predator?
This law does not affect all sex offenders, only those who are considered “violent sex offenders” and are subject to the Sexually Violent Predator program. Those who are convicted of a crime that is considered “sexually violent” and are diagnosed with a mental disorder that would make them more likely to be a repeat offender are subject to this program. Crimes that could be considered sexually violent include rape, lewd acts with a minor and sodomy.
After finishing their state prison sentence, sexually violent offenders must complete a rehabilitation program at a state hospital before they can be granted conditional release into the community.
How Does This Change Existing Law?
Existing law required violent sex offenders to be placed in the county where they lived prior to incarceration. Additionally, violent sex offenders are generally prohibited from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park in California. These restrictions made it difficult for violent sex offenders to find a place to live upon release. Many were being placed in rural counties in order to stay away from schools and parks, but these rural areas became a “dumping ground” for sex offenders.
Now, the courts must consider several factors when determining where a violent sex offender can live. These factors include:
- How long the offender had lived in the county prior to being incarcerated
- If you worked in the county prior to being incarcerated
- If you have family members or other close relationships with residents in the county
The law also allows counties in California to designate a county agency or program to provide assistance to violent sex offenders hoping to find and secure housing.
Contact the Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
A violent sex crime conviction could have a devastating impact on you for the rest of your life. That is why you should contact an experienced sex crimes attorney immediately if you or someone you love has been accused of a sex crime. At Wallin & Klarich, our sex crimes defense attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing sex crime charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.