The California Supreme Court heard a case last week that may have granted some exceptions to the sex offender residential restrictions put in place with Proposition 83, or “Jessica’s Law”. However, they sided with the restrictions, maintaining that anyone released from prison after the enactment of the law are still subject to them.
Four parolees, according to the L.A. Times challenged their need to adhere to those regulations. They believed because they had been convicted years before the law and were not under supervision (parole) at the enactment, that they could not be subject to the restrictions set forth in the law. The Court ruled they were mistaken.
Proposition 83 states, among other things, that sex offenders cannot reside within 2,000 feet of a school or a park where children are typically present. While the rule has good intentions, to protect children, in some urban areas, living 2,000 feet away from such places is nearly, if not completely impossible.
Dissenting Justice Carolos R. Moreno believes, as do the others dissenting, that the law’s intention was to protect children and not all sex offenders falling under the law have a history of crimes against children. He states that by enforcing the residency requirements to all sex offenders divers “scarce law enforcement resources toward enforcing a restriction that has no demonstrable effect on increasing child safety.”
Laws restricting where you work and live following a sex offense conviction are in place across the country. This type of offense carries both a social and legal stigma unmatched by any other crime.
One large issue with these residency requirements is that they allegedly force many to become homeless. Not maintaining a permanent address seems to be the only solution for some people who are told they cannot have such an address in proximity to schools and parks.
Whether you are a convicted sex offender or accused of a sex offense in the state of California, you have an uphill battle ahead of you. Being attached to a crime like rape or child molestation can destroy your reputation and your life.
When you think that no one is on your side, I will be there to listen. If you need a defense attorney committed to being your advocate in the legal system, I can help. Call me today to discuss the details of your case.