Law & Information Articles

How Social Media Can Land You in Prison for Talking to a Minor

The society we live in now is one built on a foundation of instant communication. We use our mobile phones and computers to instantly connect with our friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers, but also to reach out to complete strangers and meet new people. Applications like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are useful for advertising ourselves to those we know and those we don’t. Dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Blender and…

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Does California Have Romeo and Juliet Laws? (PC 261.5)

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a literary classic. The tragic tale of two teenagers from warring families who fall in love is taught in many high schools throughout the country. Yet, the tale of underage love celebrated in Shakespeare’s play is one that is illegal in California. That is because statutory rape laws under California Penal Code Section 261.5 apply not only to adults who engage in sexual intercourse…

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Certificate of Rehabilitation and the New Sex Offender Registry Law

Lawmakers passed legislation in 2017 that will lead to a major overhaul of the California sex offender registration system, changing lifetime registration to a three-tiered system requiring registration for 10 years, 20 years or life depending on the crime committed. However, the new sex offender registration system will not become effective until 2021. So, is there anything you can you do to end your requirement to register as a sex…

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California Revenge Porn Laws

What You Need to Know About California’s Revenge Porn Law (PC 647(j)(4))

In 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 255, which made it a crime to create and distribute “revenge porn.” Taking effect Jan. 1, 2014, California's revenge porn law amended California Penal Code Section 647 to include PC 647(j)(4). The revenge porn laws in California are very important. In the current day and age, you should be aware of what these laws are and how you can avoid facing revenge…

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Judge Cuts Sex Offender’s Sentence: Judicial Discretion Gone Too Far?

An Orange County Superior Court judge is being accused of taking the law into his own hands for cutting the sentence of a man convicted of sex crimes against a 3-year-old child. In a rare ruling, Judge M. Marc Kelly reduced the sentence of 20-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto from the mandatory 25-years-to-life to just 10 years in state prison. Judge Kelly declared the mandatory minimum requirement to be “cruel and…

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Overturning Jessica’s Law in San Diego Leaves California Confused

In a recent ruling, the California Supreme Court overturned Jessica’s Law, a law enacted in 2006 that prohibited convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, in San Diego County. In re Taylor (S206143), the court ruled that blanket residency restrictions imposed by the law were unconstitutional. However, because the decision involved a case in San Diego, the ruling only applied to San Diego. This…

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Buying a Home as a Registered Sex Offender

If you have ever found yourself in the market for a new home in California, you know how difficult and stressful the process of buying a house can be. Finding the right home can take months, and even after you find it, there are a number of hurdles to jump over before you can finally call the home your own – insurance, mortgages, finding a buyer for your current home,…

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Facebook Updates Sexual Exploitation Rules to Ban Revenge Porn

Revenge porn has now been officially banned by social media network Facebook. The new rules, published in Facebook’s Community Standards under the Sexual Violence and Exploitation section, say “We remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation. This includes the sexual exploitation of minors, and sexual assault. To protect victims and survivors, we also remove photographs or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence and images shared in revenge…

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California Supreme Court Overturns ‘Jessica’s Law,’ Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

The California Supreme Court recently overturned blanket residency restrictions for registered sex offenders. The law, deemed ‘Jessica’s Law,’ prohibited sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school or park regardless of whether the offense involved a child victim. Four parolees challenged the law as unconstitutional, arguing that the law makes legal residence in San Diego nearly impossible for sex offenders and does nothing to promote public safety. The…

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Motion to Withdraw a Guilty Plea in a Sex Crimes Case

In California, Penal Code Section 1018 allows you to withdraw a guilty plea upon showing good cause. In order to show good cause, you must present evidence that clearly and convincingly persuades the judge you have a valid excuse for withdrawing the plea. For example, the judge is going to want to hear that: Your lawyer gave you bad advice The judge did not fully explain the rights you were…

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