A bill recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown will soon disclose even more personal information about registered sex offenders.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, registered sex offenders in California whose crimes involved the use of the internet will be required to inform local law enforcement agencies of their email addresses and online identities.
“Online identities” include social media handles for sites such as Twitter and Instagram, and any usernames the person uses on online forums and websites. This information will need to be disclosed within 30 days of the creation or modification of any online account.
Does This Law Violate Your First Amendment Rights?
The law amends Proposition 35, the anti-human trafficking law that California’s voters passed with more than an 80% share of the vote. The original law required registered sex offenders to report their online information to police within 24 hours of the creation or modification of an account, regardless of whether their crime involved the use of the internet.
In 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) convinced the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the law was unconstitutional. The three-judge panel unanimously agreed.
Judge Jay Bybee wrote, “The 24-hour reporting requirement is not only onerous, it is also applied in an across-the-board fashion. The requirement applies to all registered sex offenders, regardless of their offense, their history of recidivism (or lack thereof), or any other relevant circumstance. And the requirement applies to all websites and all forms of communication, regardless of whether the website or form of communication is a likely or even a potential forum for engaging in illegal activity.”
This new amended law is a response to those concerns.
Law enforcement agencies will be allowed to use this online identifying information on a limited basis. The amendment requires that law enforcement only use the information as part of an investigation involving sex crimes, kidnapping or human trafficking. Now that the law only applies to persons with internet-related sex crimes, California’s lawmakers feel confident that the law will survive any additional legal challenges.
Do you agree that this new amended version of the law is significantly different enough to avoid violating First Amendment rights?
Contact the Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Being a registered sex offender is a burden that you may be required to carry for the rest of your life if you’ve been convicted of a sex crime. However, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich may be able to help you end your requirement to register as a sex offender.
Contact our law firm today so we can determine if you are eligible to stop sex offender registration. Our skilled lawyers have been successfully helping clients in post-conviction matters for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.