If you are convicted of stealing an automobile, you do not have to tell everyone in your neighborhood that you are a thief. If you are convicted of assault, you do not have to put your name on a list that says you are a violent individual. But if you are convicted of almost any sex crime in California, you will have to register as a sex offender on a statewide and national registry. Not only will your names be on there for what could be the remainder of your life, they are open to the public.
Yes, for many people convicted of a sex crime in California, they feel that jail time and high fines are harsh penalties, but the mandatory sex offender registration is even worse. When they want to move on with their lives and put their convictions behind them, they are constantly reminded of the past. The burden can be enough to cause ongoing emotional and mental anguish, well after the state's official penalties have transpired. In the end, it is almost like giving the court the ability to penalize a convicted sex offender indefinitely, despite there being no law allowing them to do so.
Under the Wary Eye of the Public
Beyond the personal feelings of dismay someone might feel after being forced to label themselves as a sex offender or sexual predator, the public's thoughts about them are also sure to turn downward. The lists are public so anyone can see them, and there are a few websites a person can go to if they want to see sex offenders in their area. Relationships and friendships can dwindle as the information is spread around. Imagine the scenario where someone was convicted based on exaggerations or false accusations but their personal life deteriorated after serving their time all the same.
Employers and educational institutions also have a specific interest in sex offender lists. When you are submitting an application for employment or enrollment, you need to let them know if you are a registered sex offender. If you check 'yes,' the likelihood of your application being denied is nearly guaranteed. Once again, this is an additional form of punishment that the court can assign without officially putting it through a trial.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime in Southern California, you can turn to the Law Office of Frances Prizza for help. Our Orange County sex crime attorney is passionate about giving people their fair chance in court and the powerful defense they deserve. With our firm's help, it may be possible to have your charges dropped or have your sentencing reduced to not include mandatory sex offender registration.
Call 888.392.8114 for a free consultation today.