The California Court of Appeals recently ruled that a juvenile could be involuntarily committed as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). The case, People v. McRoberts, was one in which a 16 year old boy sexually molested a 13 year old girl. The juvenile court found the boy guilty of child molestation.

After his release on probation, the boy was later arrested for indecent exposure and sentenced to prison. Shortly before his release on parole, the District Attorney filed the necessary paperwork to have the boy civilly committed to a state mental health hospital under the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions Code Section 6600.

The SVP Act is contained in Welfare and Institutions Code Section 6600. In 2006, Section 6600 was amended to broaden the scope of juvenile adjudications of sexual offenses as qualifying convictions for the purpose of categorizing a person as a “sexually violent predator”. Once designated as an SVP, an offender is eligible for placement in civil commitment. Here, the minor’s juvenile adjudication as a child molester was a valid conviction with which to be considered an SVP. Consequently, the trial court was correct in applying Section 6600 to him, and the district attorney satisfied this element of an SVP commitment.

A SVP commitment is indefinite. In other words, once a person is found to be a SVP, you are at the mercy of the state employed psychiatrists. These psychiatrists will conduct an examination of your “mental health” before you are released from custody. If you are found to have continuous sexual tendencies that might pose a risk to society, then the state can keep you in a mental hospital until you no longer “pose a threat.”

In SVP cases, it is extremely important to hire an experienced California sex crimes attorney. The sex crimes attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience in handling sex crimes cases. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (877) 466-5245 or go to our website at wklaw.com for more information.

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