More than any other category of paroled offenders, registered sex offenders are held to the strictest rules and surveillance procedures for which the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is authorized to use to supervise them. Even convicted murderers don’t seem to warrant the intensive supervision that sex offenders do. Surveillance is about to get worse for sex offenders who cut off or otherwise disable the GPS monitoring device the CDCR uses to closely watch them. A bill receiving unanimous support throughout the California Legislature is on its way to becoming state law: California Senate Bill 57.
What is Senate Bill 57 (SB 57)?
Jessica’s Law, which was passed by voters as Proposition 83 in November 2006, requires the CDCR to monitor sex offenders using GPS (Penal Code sections 3004(b) and 3000.07(a)). The CDCR is permitted by another California law to electronically monitor the whereabouts of individuals on parole (Penal Code section 3010(a)).
Senate Bill 57 requires a 180-day mandatory sentence in county jail for anyone who registers as a sex offender and who is subject to parole for removing or tampering with his or her GPS device. 180 days is the maximum amount of custody authorized by California law for a parole violation served in county jail.
Who Would SB 57 Apply To?
The bill would apply to anyone required to register as a sex offender in California pursuant to Penal Code section 290 and who is currently on active parole supervision administered by the CDCR, Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO). It does not matter whether you are on parole for a new felony sex offense or whether you are on parole for a non-sex offense, you must register for a previous misdemeanor or felony sex offense. Parole agents must use a GPS device to monitor every convicted sex offender who is on active parole for any reason.
Who is Exempt from SB 57?
If you are not a registered sex offender on parole for some felony, the bill does not apply to you. Although other categories of felons on parole may be electronically monitored by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, none of those other categories are included in this bill. SB 57 specifically and only applies to paroled sex offenders.
Keep in mind that even if you are not a sex offender on parole but you do wear an electronic device during your supervision period, you can still be arrested if you tamper with your device and you can be sent back into custody for violating the conditions of your electronic monitoring.
If you have been arrested for violating a condition of your parole, probation or community supervision, you are entitled to an attorney to represent you during your revocation proceedings. You need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney from Wallin & Klarich right away.
History of SB 57
The bill has been amended several times since it was introduced by State Senator Ted Lieu (Demoncrat-28th District, Los Angeles County) on Jan. 7.
Originally, Senator Lieu’s bill required that sex offender parolees and probationers who removed or otherwise disabled their GPS tracking devices be prosecuted by the District Attorney in the county where the parolee is committed for a new felony crime, punishable by 16 months, two years or three years in prison.
In May 2013, due to some opposition from Legislatures who are supporters of the Governor’s Realignment Act of 2011 – which was designed to reduce the prison population by reclassifying certain felonies as punishable by incarceration in county jail rather than in prison, and by returning most parole violators to jail for a maximum of 180 days rather than 12 months in prison – SB 57 was amended to apply only to sex offender parolees as follows:
- First violation: mandatory parole revocation of 180 days in jail eligible for conduct credit;
- Second violation: mandatory parole revocation of 365 days in jail eligible for conduct credit;
- Third and subsequent violation: prosecution for a new felony crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
By August 2013, the bill had been amended again eliminating any new felony criminal penalties, but also eliminating any opportunity for the parole violator to earn “goodtime/work time” credit (also known as PC4019 credits, or “half time”) while serving his or her parole revocation in county jail.
On Sept. 3, SB 57 was amended yet again and now reads as follows:
“This bill would prohibit a person who is required to register as a sex offender and who is subject to parole supervision from removing, as specified, an electronic, GPS or other monitoring device affixed as a condition of parole. Upon a violation, the bill would require the parole authority to revoke the person’s parole and impose a mandatory, 180-day period of incarceration.”
What is Happening with SB 57?
The bill was passed by the California Senate and the California Assembly. It will now be presented to Gov. Jerry Brown to be signed into law. He has until mid-October to make his decision.
Sex Offenders Who Cut Off GPS Devices
If you want to avoid going to jail for a maximum parole violation of 180 days, you must comply with the law by not cutting off or disabling your GPS monitoring device. If you are arrested for violating this potential new law, you’ll need an experienced parole violations defense lawyer to represent you in court. You should contact an attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately.
Contact a Sex Crimes Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing parole revocation proceedings. New procedures in effect beginning July 1 now require the court, not the CDCR, to hear your parole revocation proceeding.
Our attorneys will examine all of the evidence against you to determine if you’ve actually violated your parole. We may be able to get some or all of the charges against you reduced or dismissed. You need to contact an attorney at Wallin & Klarich today so that we can help you get the best possible result in your case.
Call us today at (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.