June 22, 2010 By Stephen Klarich

Chelsea’s Law, a bill increasing penalties for convicted sex offenders, has passed in the state Assembly and will now be up for vote in the state Senate. Chelsea’s Law was named for a seventeen year old girl, Chelsea King, who was raped and murdered in a San Diego county park by a convicted sex offender.

Chelsea’s Law would add a life-without-parole punishment for those who commit forcible sex crimes involving a child under 18 including kidnapping, using a weapon, torture, and binding or drugging a victim. This penalty would be an increase from the current 15-year to 25-year sentence for these types of offenses. Repeat offenders could also be sentenced to life, while currently the penalty would be 25 years to life.

Furthermore, the bill would require the state to use GPS tracking for lifetime monitoring of those convicted of forcible sex crimes against children under 14. Presently, most tracking ends when offenders leave parole, despite an existing state law requiring lifetime monitoring.

Under California Penal Code Section 290, sex offenders would still be required to register as a sex offender. However, Chelsea’s law would completely ban sex offenders from parks, going beyond the state law that already limits how close offenders can live to both schools and parks.

Most sex offenses already fall into California’s Three Strike Law. If you have a prior “strikeable” felony conviction on your record, you face a double sentence for any subsequent felony conviction, even if the new crime is a minor felony and is not a strike. After two felony “strikes,” you face 25 years to life in prison for any subsequent felony — again, even one that would not be a strikeable offense. Chelsea’s Law, if passed, could mean that certain serious sex offense acts would result automatically in life in prison without parole.

Being convicted of a sex offense carries serious and lifelong penalties. If you are charged with a sex offense, you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience taking on cases just like yours. We will look at the particular facts of your case to determine the best defense strategy that is available to you that will result in the best possible outcome. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 . We will be here when you call.

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