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Articles Posted in Sex Offenses

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A lawyer from Santa Maria is on a mission to curb restrictive laws passed in California communities affecting the daily lives of registered sex offenders that she says violate the California and U.S. Constitutions.

Janice Bellucci, a civil rights attorney and president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws (California RSOL), has filed complaints in the Central and Eastern U.S. District Courts of California challenging restrictions enacted in the cities of Pomona and South Lake Tahoe, respectively.Federal%20Crimes_2.jpg

According to attorney Bellucci, the ordinances currently in effect in these cities violate state and federal constitutional rights of citizens required to register under the California Sex Offender Registration Act (Penal Code Section 290) because they prohibit where law-abiding citizens may lawfully reside and/or physically be present.

Additionally, she argues, the restrictions in place in Pomona and South Lake Tahoe are preempted by existing state law and are thus invalid.

She states that additional legal challenges await other California cities with similar restrictions.

California Court of Appeals Strikes Down Sex Offender Ordinances in Orange County

Recently, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich reported that on January 10, 2014, the California Court of Appeals, 4th District ruled that ordinances passed in the City of Irvine and the County of Orange prohibiting sex offenders from certain public places were invalid because they were preempted by state law.

In the City of Irvine case, the Court held that “the state statutory scheme imposing restrictions on a sex offender’s daily life fully occupies the field and therefore preempts the city’s efforts to restrict sex offenders from visiting city parks and recreational facilities.” [People v. Nguyen, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1168 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2014)]

A similar decision was reached in a related case affecting a countywide ordinance banning sex offenders in public places in Orange County [People v. Godinez, Case No. G047657, Cal. Court of Appeals, January 10, 2014 (unpublished)]

These ordinances had intended to prohibit registered sex offenders from entering areas defined by those ordinances as places frequented by children and included parks, harbors, beaches, zoos and other recreational facilities deemed to be places where “children regularly gather.”

The Court also found that requiring sex offenders to obtain written permission from local authorities prior to entering parks and other recreational facilities amounted to a “de facto registration requirement” and was likewise preempted by state law.

What Does Preempt Mean?

In the present context, preemption is a doctrine of state law that holds that a state law takes precedence over a local law or regulation that is in the same field and is in conflict or inconsistent with the state law.

Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution authorizes the following: “A county or city may make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.”

According to the lawsuits filed by attorney Bellucci, the California Legislature has already enacted a full complement of state laws prohibiting unlawful sexual activity and regulating the conduct of sex offenders. Therefore, she argues, the local laws conflict with state law and are void.

The recent decisions in the California appellate court upheld the state’s authority to preempt, or supersede local regulation of where a sex offender may be present.

The matter of whether it is constitutional to restrict where a sex offender may live is currently under review by the California Supreme Court.

Municipalities Were Served Notice

After the Court of Appeals rendered its rulings regarding Irvine and Orange County, California RSOL sent letters to 71 California municipalities with similar ordinances to notify them of the appellate court decisions. The organization headed by Ms. Bellucci requested that the cities repeal their ordinances within 60 days or face a possible legal challenge.Gen%202.jpg

According to the California RSOL website (www.californiarsol.org), Costa Mesa and El Centro have repealed their ordinances. Other cities, including Anaheim, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda and South Pasadena have all agreed to suspend enforcement pending a decision by the California Supreme Court on whether it will grant or deny review of the lower court’s decisions.

“Future legal challenges by sex offenders can be expected of cities that have failed to either repeal their sex offender ordinances or agree in writing to stay enforcement of those ordinances,” Bellucci has stated in a press release.

Ms. Bellucci’s office confirmed that previous lawsuits she has prepared against the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Sierra Madre and the County of El Dorado (where South Lake Tahoe is located) have all resulted in either repeal or a stay of enforcement of similar ordinances enacted in those municipalities.

What Do Laws Prohibit Sex Offenders from Doing?

Currently, California law under Penal Code Section 3003.5 makes it unlawful for anyone required to register pursuant to Section 290 to reside within 2000 feet of a public or private school, or park where children regularly gather. However, the law does not permit local governments from restricting where a sex offender may be physically present.

Additionally, California Penal Code Section 3053.8 prohibits a sex offender on parole for an offense committed against one or more child victims under the age of 14 from entering a park without his or her parole agent’s prior permission.

Other state laws restrict sex offenders from being on the grounds of a secondary (K-12) school absent written permission from the school’s chief administrator, and regulate a sex offender working or volunteering in a position where the registrant would have direct supervision or access to children on a regular basis (Penal Code Section 290.95).

Generally, city and county sex offender ordinances go beyond state law by imposing additional restrictions as follows:

  • Residency restrictions: Limit where and with whom a sex registrant may live, in addition to prohibiting them from living within 2000 feet (or more) of schools, parks and/or many other locations;
  • Presence restrictions: Prohibit sex registrants from loitering and/or being within certain distances (300 feet or more) of certain public facilities and private business; and
  • Halloween restrictions: Forbid sex registrants from decorating their homes, leaving on their porch lights and passing out candy on October 31st each year.

According to the lawsuit filed against Pomona, a sex offender may not live within ½ mile (2640 feet), nor come within 100 yards (300 feet) of places not only where children frequent such as schools, day care centers and arcades; but also public parks, bus stops and rail stations, and private businesses including ice rinks, movie theaters, museums, golf courses, and health clubs (that provide child care).

South Lake Tahoe’s ordinance is less restrictive, but similarly limits both residency and presence.

What Does Wallin & Klarich Think?

No one would ever suggest that protecting children is a bad idea. We all want our children to be safe in the communities they live and play in. Exiling sex offenders from society may sound like the best way to protect families, but sometimes laws get passed with good intentions that have unintended consequences, or violate the rights of others. 046_2013-08-20_Wallin__amp__Klarich__46_.JPG

In reality, there is no evidence that residency and presence restrictions against this unpopular minority makes anyone safer. On the contrary, evidence shows that continued ostracization leads to social instability, homelessness, unemployment and ultimately to greater susceptibility that a sex offender registrant will re-offend. This is completely counterproductive to public safety.

The ordinances being challenged by attorney Janice Bellucci may indeed violate the federal constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens who are required by state law to register as sex offenders.

It seems clear that some of the restrictions she is challenging are preempted by existing California law and therefore void under Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution. The California Court of Appeals has already ruled so on similar matters in two previous decisions.

We support Ms. Bellucci’s efforts to protect the constitutional rights of the people of the United States. Justice for all is what makes this a free country and it is the duty of attorneys throughout the country to ensure that justice.

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35-year-old actor James Franco, famous for his roles as the gay lover of Harvey Milk in the feature film “Milk” and the villain Harry Osborn in “Spiderman 2″ and “Spiderman 3,” has gotten himself into a sticky situation. He may have just added “creepy old dude” to the long list of credits next to his name.

Recently, Franco met a 17-year-old teenager named Lucy, a Scottish girl on vacation with her parents visiting New York City. The girl took an Instagram video of the actor, who was signing autographs outside the theater of his Broadway show. Franco says in the video “you gotta tag me.” She did. james%20franco.jpg

Franco and the teenager went on to exchange messages on social media and text messages later that night, when the conversation turned flirtatious, perhaps solicitous. Was he thinking about having sex with the teenager?

In their text messaging, which the girl made public, Franco asks about her age (she admitted that her 18th birthday was several weeks away) and whether she was interested in seeing him.
The most damaging of all was this exchange:

Franco: “Can I see you?”

Lucy: “As long as you are James Franco.”

Franco: “I am. You’re single? What’s the hotel? Should I rent a room?”

When the girl asked Franco to prove his identity, he sent her a selfie.

Had Franco been chatting up the 17-year-old girl in California, he may have violated Penal Code Section 288.4, California’s law prohibiting online enticement of a minor for unlawful sexual purposes.

What is Online Enticement of a Minor? (Penal Code Section 288.4)

California Penal Code Section 288.4 prohibits a person from arranging a meeting with a minor under the age of 18, or with someone believed to be a minor, if the meeting is:

  • Motivated by a unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children; and
  • For the purpose of engaging in lewd or lascivious activity.

The California legislature enacted the law in 2006 in response to public outcry over sexual predators caught in sting operations recorded for the popular television series “To Catch a Predator.” The law is intended to reduce the potential risk children face from anonymous and illegal online requests for sex.

What is the Punishment for Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Sex?

If James Franco were ever convicted of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd and lascivious purposes in California, he would be facing:

  • Up to one year in jail; and/or
  • A maximum $5,000 fine.

The crime is charged as a misdemeanor provided the perpetrator does not already have a sex offense conviction on his or her record. If so, the offense is punishable as a felony, carrying:

  • 16 months, two or three years in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

Worst of all, a conviction for enticing a minor for sex requires lifetime registration as a sex offender while residing, working or attending school in California.

What if Franco Had Actually Met the Teenager at the Arranged Meeting Place?

The penalty for violating Penal Code Section 288.4 increases significantly if the person who arranges the meeting with a minor actually goes to the intended meeting place.

If Franco had gone to a hotel room in California at or about the time he had arranged to meet 17-year-old Lucy, he could have faced felony charges carrying up to four yearstext%20messaging.jpg
in prison (Penal Code Section 288.4 (b)) in addition to lifetime sex offender registration.

Upon his release to supervision in the community, Franco would be subject to the following mandatory parole conditions for at least 3 years:

  • 24-hour-a-day satellite tracking with a GPS device strapped to his ankle;
  • Weekly treatment in a certified sex offender management program;
  • Polygraph testing;
  • Unannounced monitoring of his computer(s) and any other internet-capable devices;
  • Warrantless searches of his person and property by any law enforcement officer;
  • A nightly curfew; and
  • No contact with any children under the age of 18.

As a sex offender, he could have also faced:

  • A state-mandated restriction prohibiting him from residing within 2,000 feet of schools and parks where children regularly gather;
  • Local community laws further restricting his residency and/or presence at certain public facilities and private businesses designated as “child safety zones”; and
  • Publication of his name, address and photograph on California’s online sex offender registry.

Could James Franco Be Criminally Charged for His Instagram Scandal?

Franco made a risky and foolish decision to flirt with someone he knew, or at least believed was under the age of 18. However, he and the girl were in New York City when they exchanged flirtations via Instagram.

The State of New York establishes the age of consent at 17. Which means Franco would not have broken New York law even if he did have sex with the teenage girl, provided that she had willingly participated in sexual activity with him.

If he had been in California, Franco’s act could have ended up becoming his worst role ever. He would have risked being criminally charged with violating California’s law prohibiting online enticement of a minor for a lewd and lascivious purpose.

If he were convicted, Franco would probably never be asked to host the Academy Awards again. His acting career would be ruined.

He could have ended up playing the part of Registered Sex Offender for the rest of his life.

Contact Wallin & Klarich if You Have Been Accused of Enticing a Minor for Sex

If you or someone you care about has been accused of an unlawful sex crime such as arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd or lascivious purposes, you should speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich right away.
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Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing the severe consequences of a registerable sex offense. We may be able to argue for a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. We may be able to negotiate for a sentence that helps you avoid serving jail or prison time. Our priority is to help you achieve the best possible result in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our skilled and knowledgeable sex crimes defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to make certain all of your rights are protected. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.


1. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Franco_(Cropped).jpg]
2. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Texting.jpg]

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Attitudes toward any sexual behavior involving minors are very intolerant. However, minors account for 12% of all rape incidents and 19% of all other sex crimes are against minors, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.1

California law has historically shown a similar attitude towards minors, especially those who engage in prostitution, by prosecuting them and considering them juvenile delinquents. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 2,188 petitions against minors caught soliciting or loitering for solicitation.2 Until now, these children, many of whom are forced into prostitution by abusers and pimps, were given no legs in their fight against sex traffickers.

The First Step Diversion Program, which was recently announced by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, will provide vital social services to teen victims of sex trafficking while aiming to clear their criminal records within one year, if they complete the program. The goal is to recognize that child and teen prostitutes are often victims, not offenders, as they have been forced into this helpless situation and need to be rehabilitated instead of detained.

How Did it Start?

The idea of treating teen prostitutes as victims rather than criminals is relatively new. In 2008, Alameda County launched a pilot program that sent teens who were sexually exploited to counseling and treatment programs, while also mandating that prosecutors receive training on issues relating to child prostitution. Warrants.jpg

Groups such as the Child Advocacy Institute felt that simply adding rehabilitation to a convicted teen prostitute’s criminal sentence was not enough. They argued that under the law, juveniles are considered too young to consent to sexual relations with adults in cases of statutory rape. Therefore, it did not make legal sense to prosecute these minors as adult criminals for taking money in exchange for sex.3

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jacky Lacey unveiled the new innovative diversion program for these young victims on February 12, 2014. This program will give incentive to these minors to partake in empowering rehabilitation programs, while legally treating them as victims rather than criminals.

First Step Diversion Program – The Details

Children and teens who are arrested for prostitution now have an alternative to facing prosecution and criminal charges that will negatively impact the rest of their lives. The program will provide several services to minors who agree to enter it, including:

  • Sexual assault counseling;
  • Mental health counseling;
  • Substance abuse counseling;
  • Crisis intervention;
  • and Education services.

These programs have been implemented with the help of four non-profit organizations – the YWC Greater Los Angeles, Saving Innocence, Valley Trauma Center in Van Nuys, and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. If minors successfully complete a one-year program of rehabilitation and counseling, their criminal record will be cleared.

In order to identify children under the age of 18 who are facing these difficult circumstances, the District Attorney’s Office is teaming up with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the county Probation Department, and the Department of Children and Family Services.4 Together, they will determine which minors are eligible for this alternative to prosecution based on his or her prior offenses and background.

First Step will begin in the Sylmar and Compton Juvenile Division branch offices. These locations were chosen because of the high volume of arrests of minors for prostitution. Vice officers are currently being trained to screen victims and identify which ones are eligible to enter the program.

Why First Step?

With these new legal changes, it is important to know that minors now have support in their fight to escape their abusers. The First Step Diversion Program gives them the opportunity to escape prostitution and engage in social services that can positively change the course of their lives.

District Attorney Lacey understands that minors who engage in prostitution are often vulnerable youth who are abused, neglected, have drug problems, or come from broken homes and are targets of pimps and sexual abusers. These children and teens are finally viewed as victims, rather than criminals in the eyes of the law, and are given the chance to rebuild their lives by clearing their arrest record.

Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are a minor accused of a sex crime, it will impact the rest of your life. It is important to know the details of this new diversion program and the opportunities it provides to clear your arrest. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients accused of sex crimes for over 30 years.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with 24/7 support.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.


1. [http://www.wklaw.com/california-juvenile-sex-offenders/]
2. [http://da.lacounty.gov/mr/pdf/02.12.14.District_Attorney_Jackie_Lacey_Unveils_New_Program.pdf]
3. [http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/new-law-treats-la-teen-prostitutes-victims-not-delinquents-3438]
4. [http://www.ocregister.com/articles/children-601483-program-attorney.html]

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California law under Penal Code Section 288a defines oral sex as copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of the other person. California criminalizes oral sex according to three categories:

  • Participating in oral copulation with a minor;
  • Committing forcible oral copulation; and
  • Acting in concert with another person to force an individual to engage in oral copulation.

Participating in Oral Sex with a Minor (Penal Code Section 288a(b).)

Generally, it is a crime to participate in oral sex with a minor. A person less than 18 years old cannot consent to sexual activity unless he or she is legally married or emancipated.

If you are convicted of oral copulation with a minor, your punishment will be based in part on the age of the minor when the offense was committed. The list below explains the differing punishments based upon the victims age:

  • Under 18 years – You face either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the facts of the case. A misdemeanor carries up to one year in jail. A felony carries up to three years in prison.
  • Under 16 years – If you are 21 years of age or older, it is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.
  • Under 14 years – If you were more than 10 years older than the child, it is a violent felony (a “strike”) punishable by three, six or eight years in prison (PC 288a(c)(1).)

Forcible Oral Copulation (Penal Code Section 288a(c).)

If you commit oral copulation against the victim’s will accomplished by using force, duress or threat of immediate or future harm to either the victim or someone else, you can be charged with a strike. A violation also occurs if you knowingly copulate an unconscious or unaware person.
If you are convicted, forcible oral copulation involving an adult victim is punishable by up to eight years in prison. If your victim was a minor (under 18), you face up to 10 years. If you victim was a child (under 14), you face up to 12 years.

Forcible Oral Copulation Acting in Concert (Penal Code Section 288a(d).)

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It is unlawful for “any person who, while voluntarily acting in concert with another person, either personally or by aiding and abetting that other person, commits an act of oral copulation” and does so against the person’s will under the following conditions:

  • Using force or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person; or
  • Threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person; or
  • Where the victim was incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent.

If your victim was an adult, a conviction is punishable by imprisonment for five, seven or nine years. Sentencing for a minor victim ranges from 8 to 14 years in prison.

Statutes of Limitations for Oral Sex Crimes in California

A misdemeanor violation of PC 288a must be prosecuted within one year from the date of the offense. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 801.1, a felony violation may be prosecuted as follows:

  • Until the victim’s 28th birthday (applies if your oral copulation victim was a minor); or
  • Within 10 years from commission of the offense (applies to any felony sex offense listed under Penal Code Section 290(c).).

In other words, the 10-year statute of limitations for an oral copulation offense would apply if your alleged victim was an adult at the time of the crime.

Additionally, pursuant to Penal Code Section 803(f) a criminal complaint may be filed within one year after a person of any age makes a report to a law enforcement agency alleging he or she was the victim of a specified sex offense, provided that:

  • All other eligible periods of limitation have expired;
  • The allegation involves “substantial sexual conduct” as defined by Penal Code Section 1203.066 (which includes oral copulation); and
  • There is independent information corroborating the allegation. An alleged victim making the report who is 21 years of age or older must show clear and convincing evidence of the allegation. The evidence must be admissible during trial and does not include the opinion of a mental health professional.

Under Penal Code Section 803(g), a “DNA exception” rule also applies where a suspect’s identity can be conclusively established through DNA testing. To qualify for the exception, the following conditions must be met:

  • The offense was committed prior to January 1, 2001, and biological evidence collected in connection with the offense is analyzed for DNA type no later than January 1, 2004, or
  • The offense was committed on or after January 1, 2001, and biological evidence collected in connection with the offense is analyzed for DNA type no later than two years from the date of the offense.

Sex Offender Registration

Unlawful oral copulation pursuant to PC 288a is listed as a mandatory lifetime registerable sex offense. However, in some cases a consensual but unlawful act of oral sex may not necessarily require you to register as a sex offender.

You may qualify for a “Hofsheier” motion, giving a judge the option to use his or her discretion to relieve you of registration requirements.

If you are required by law to register as a sex offender for a prior conviction of unlawful but consensual oral sex, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about what options may be available to you to be relieved of mandatory sex offender registration.

Our Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help

If you or someone you love has been charged with unlawful oral copulation pursuant to Penal Code Section 288a, it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with unlawful oral copulation.

You may qualify for reduced sentencing. We may even be able to get the charges against you dismissed altogether. If you’ve already been convicted, options may be available to you to expunge your conviction and challenge a mandatory sex offender registration requirement.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will explain all of your options to you and get you the best result possible in your case.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

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For most crimes in California, the prosecutor must file a complaint against a defendant within a specified amount of time. This period, prescribed by the California Penal Code, is known as the “Statute of Limitations.” In order to be criminally prosecuted, the prosecutor must ensure that a complaint is filed against your for the criminal activity before this statutory period elapses. If the statutory period lapses, you cannot be convicted for that activity. As a general rule, the more serious your violation is, the longer the statute of limitations.

Statutory Rape is a Serious Offense in California

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Under California Penal Code section 261.5, it is illegal for an adult (18 years or older) to have sex with a minor (younger than 18 years old). This crime is known as unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor or “Statutory Rape.” Under PC 261.5, it is irrelevant whether the sex was consensual because the law states that minors are not capable of giving informed consent to sexual activity.

Because we now live in a world where sexual activity among teenagers is commonplace, statutory rape occurs with great frequency, and it often goes unreported or even unnoticed. Where someone is prosecuted for statutory rape, the situation is often very emotional. Feelings of anger or jealousy among young adults or teenagers often lead to false accusations, wrongful arrests and innocent people being prosecuted.

How Long is the Statute of Limitations for Statutory Rape?

As a general rule, the statute of limitations for statutory rape will depend on the seriousness of the criminal activity, particularity the age disparity between the alleged victim and the defendant.

  • PC 261.5(b) – If the two people involved are less than three years apart at the time of the crime, the defendant will be charged with a misdemeanor. The Statute of Limitations is one year for this statute
  • PC 261.5(c) – If the two people involved are more than three years apart at the time of the crime, the defendant can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The Statute of Limitations is three years for this conviction if filed as a felony.
  • The DNA Exception rule allows for prosecution of statutory rape within one year of the date on which the identity of the suspect is conclusively established by DNA testing or within 10 years of the offense (PC Section 803).

Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You

Calculating the statute of limitations for a particular crime can be a very difficult task. The law in California is very complicated and full of exceptions. Prosecutors frequently make errors during this process. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are experienced in the nuances in this area of the law and can navigate this complicated process for you. It is possible that the statute of limitations for the crime you are being charged with expired before charges were brought.

Our attorneys are experienced in this area of the law, and we may be able to move quickly to have your case dismissed. It is also possible that the prosecutors wrongfully classified your charge. Even if our attorneys cannot get your charges dismissed, we can work with state prosecutors to have your charges lowered to misdemeanors.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are being charged with a statutory rape or any other sexually-related offense, it is imperative that you contact our law offices immediately. Our attorneys have the experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. We will fight for your freedom every step of the way.

Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks. Give us a call today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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If you are convicted of a sex crime in California, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life as part of your sentence. Even if you are not initially sentenced to lifetime sex offender registration, California may try to require you to register. In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal ruled adding registration requirements after a sentence was served is not unreasonable given state and federal laws.

Registering as a sex offender can have devastating consequences on you and your family. It could affect your employment, where you can live and your status within the community. That is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges of a sex crime. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain relief from sex offender registration requirements.

Maciel v. Cate

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James Maciel was convicted of molesting a child and was sent to prison. The trial court never ordered Maciel to register as a sex offender at sentencing. When he was released on parole, he was ordered to register as a sex offender. He appealed that decision.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal concluded that registration requirements amounted to a non-punitive regulatory measure that was not part of Maciel’s sentence and thus need not be included in the court’s judgment. The court rejected the ex post facto argument, stating that the duty to register was not punitive but civil in nature and served only regulatory purposes. Thus, the parole and registration requirements are not subject to the sentencing court’s discretion and the additional punishments were required by state law.

How the Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help

If you are being required to register as a sex offender in California despite it not being included as part of your sentence, it is important to contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience aggressively representing our clients seeking relief from lifetime sex offender registration.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a knowledgeable Wallin & Klarich attorney who can help you no matter where you are located. Our skilled attorneys know how to obtain relief from sex offender registration. Let us help you with your case.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

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At a recent family party, you spent time “catching up” with your 17-year old niece. You considered your behavior to be completely appropriate, but are now being charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 in violation of California Penal Code section 647.6.

You do not have to face this charge alone. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have an impressive record of successfully defending PC 647.6 cases and have the skill needed to help you win your case.

Annoying or Molesting a Child Under the Age of 18

According to California Penal Code section 647.6, it is illegal to annoy or molest a child under the age of 18 while motivated by an unnatural sexual interest in the child.

To convict you under PC 647.6, the prosecutor will need to prove the following 4 elements:

  • You engaged in conduct directed at a minor;
  • Your conduct would have undoubtedly disturbed or offended a normal person;
  • Your conduct was motivated by an unnatural sexual interest in the child; AND
  • The person was under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged conduct.

Punishment for a PC 647.6 Conviction

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If you are convicted of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18, you will face up to 1 year in county jail and up to $5,000 in court fines. If you have a prior misdemeanor PC 647.6 conviction, a second PC 647.6 offense may be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of a felony offense, you will serve time in state prison rather than county jail.

If you are convicted under PC 647.6 and have a prior felony conviction for a sex crime involving a minor, the offense will be considered a felony punishable by up to 6 years in state prison and up to $5,000 in court fines.

If you are convicted under PC 647.6 after having entered in inhabited dwelling, building or trailer coach without consent, the offense will be considered a felony punishable by up to 3 years in state prison and up to $5,000 in court fines.

A conviction under PC 647.6 will also require you to register as a sex offender since PC 647.6 is an enumerated offense under PC 290(c).

Defenses to a PC 647.6 Charge

The experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have raised the following defenses successfully in past cases:

  • Age
  • The prosecutor may not convict you of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 if you reasonably believed that the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the alleged conduct.
  • Example: You met the alleged victim at a music festival where the minimum age to enter was 18. Furthermore, the victim represented herself as a legal adult. Your reasonable belief that the alleged victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the conduct may be a defense to a PC 647.6 charge.
  • Not sexually motivated
    • You may be released from criminal liability if you can show that your actions were not motivated by an unusual sexual desire in the child.
    • Example: You coach a youth basketball team. You congratulated one of your players after he made a game-winning shot by patting him on the buttocks. You may not be convicted under PC 647.6 since your conduct was likely not sexually motivated.
  • Conduct does not disturb or offend normal person
    • If your conduct would not have disturbed or offended a normal person, you may not be convicted under PC 647.6.
    • Example: Your elbow briefly brushed up against your niece’s breasts while you were sitting in the backseat of a vehicle. The prosecutor may not convict you of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 if a normal person would not find your conduct to be disturbing or offensive.

    Why You Should Retain the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich

    The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have successfully defended clients accused of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 for over 30 years. When you are accused an offense under PC 647.6, there is too much at stake to retain any law firm other than Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys will aggressively defend your rights and keep you informed of any developments in your case. We have the skill and experience needed to help you win your case. Call (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.

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    Introduction

    According to California Penal Code 803(g), a “criminal complaint may be filed within one year of the date on which the identity of the suspect is conclusively established by DNA testing” for any sex crime listed under PC 290(c).

    Sex%20Crimes%20Criminal%20Defense%20Lawyers%20888-280-6839.jpg So, what does this mean?

    When a defendant’s identity is discovered through DNA evidence in a sexual offense case, the statute of limitations may be extended for up to one year from the date on which the identity of the suspect is established through DNA matching.

    The prosecutor may file a nameless “John Doe” arrest warrant when DNA evidence exists, but a particular defendant has yet to be linked to the DNA matching. Once a “John Doe” arrest warrant is filed, the one-year statute of limitations extension begins to run for the prosecution.

    To better understand this procedural issue, it is important to examine the Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Robinson, 47 Cal. 4th 1104 (2010).

    Facts of People v. Robinson

    In Robinson, defendant Paul Eugene Robinson was convicted of committing five sexual offenses against Deborah L. on August 25, 1994. To satisfy the applicable statute of limitations under PC 800, the prosecution had to commence within 6 years of the commission of the sexual offenses. On August 21, 2000, only 4 days before the statute of limitations was set to expire, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony complaint against “John Doe, an unknown male,” for the sexual offenses committed against Deborah L.

    This complaint was based on the DNA evidence recovered from Deborah L.’s medical examination following the sexual offenses. A “John Doe” arrest warrant, relying on the same DNA evidence, was issued the following day. On September 15th, 2000, Robinson was arrested after a DNA match was made through the DNA and Forensic Identification Data Base and Data Bank Act of 1998.

    Supreme Court Affirms the Extension of the Statute of Limitations in Sex Crimes Cases

    The California Supreme Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for all five sexual offenses in Robinson. Specifically, the California Supreme Court reasoned that the statute of limitations is satisfied if the prosecution is commenced by the filing of a “John Doe” arrest warrant within the limitations period. While a “John Doe” arrest warrant does not need to identify the perpetrator’s name, it must identify his or her unique DNA sequence in order to satisfy the “particularity” requirement of an arrest warrant under PC 804(d).

    Here, the “John Doe” arrest warrant was filed within the 6-year statute of limitations since it was filed 4 days prior to its expiration. The “John Doe” arrest warrant did not state Robinson’s name, but it did include his unique DNA sequence in order to satisfy the “particularity” requirement of the arrest warrant. As such, Robinson’s arrest on September 15, 2000 and subsequent prosecution were permitted under the one-year statute of limitations extension set forth in PC 803(g).

    What can Wallin & Klarich do for you?

    If you are accused of a sex crime, you need to contact the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich today. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of sex crimes. When you are accused of a sex crime, there is too much at stake to entrust your legal representation to anyone other than an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney.

    Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina, Torrance, Victorville, Sherman Oaks, and Ventura. Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will get through this together.

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    An indecent exposure charge can have long-lasting severe consequences on your life. Not only is your freedom at stake but your reputation is also in harms way. If you face indecent exposure charges under PC 314, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced criminal defense law firm.

    Prosecution of Indecent Exposure

    California%20Indecent%20Exposure%20Defense%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg The prosecution must prove the following two elements in order to convict you of indecent exposure:

      • You willfully exposed your genitals in the presence of another person or persons who might be offended or annoyed by your actions; AND
      • When you exposed yourself, you acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying yourself or another person, or sexually offending another person

    The law disregards what any person who witnesses your allegedly indecent act actually thinks about your act. The law assumes that any witness to your act will be offended or annoyed by your conduct.

    Other circumstances may make the charge you face more serious and the punishment you face harsher. For example, you will be convicted of a more serious crime if the prosecution proves the following in addition to the above-mentioned two elements:

      •You willfully and lewdly exposed yourself after you had entered and inhabited dwelling/building/trailer coach without consent

    Punishment for Indecent Exposure in California

    If you are convicted for PC 314 and have no prior indecent exposure convictions on your record, your offense will be charged as a misdemeanor and you will face up to 6 months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

    If you are convicted of a second offense for indecent exposure or have a prior conviction for lewd acts upon a minor under PC 288, your offense is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

    If you are found to have exposed yourself within an inhabited dwelling, building or trailer coach without consent, you have committed “aggravated” indecent exposure. An aggravated indecent exposure charge is a “wobbler” meaning that it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case and your criminal history. A misdemeanor conviction will subject you to up to a year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. A felony conviction will subject you to up to 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

    If convicted for indecent exposure in California, the court will require you to register as a sex offender and you will be required to annually update your registration with local law enforcement as long as you work, live or attend school in California. Your status as a sex offender will be made public.

    California Indecent Exposure Defense Attorney

    Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending clients accused of indecent exposure in California for over 30 years. Our decades of experience allow us to know all the intricacies of indecent exposure law, including all possible defenses.

    Our law firm follows a strategic process that allows us to create the most effective defense strategy for your specific case. We start by obtaining a complete summary of all the relevant facts you are aware of surrounding the alleged indecent exposure event. We attempt to interview all witnesses that could potentially be favorable to your defense.

    When you face indecent exposure charges under PC 314, you should hire the top quality representation of Wallin & Klarich to fight for your freedom.

    Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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    Being a victim of child molestation can negatively impact you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, under California law, you may be able to sue the person who molested you, even after you have turned 18 years of age, in order to get some retribution. However, California law puts a statute of limitations on what period of time you will be able to bring your lawsuit. Here are the limits on when you can sue.

    Before your 26th birthday

    Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1(a), you may sue for the recovery of damages against your attacker any time before you turn 26 years old. As long as you file the lawsuit against your attacker before your 26th birthday, you will not have a statute of limitations problem.

    Within three years of discovering the injury or illness

    Southern%20California%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg If you have been injured or suffered an illness as a result of the child molestation, you have additional time to sue. California Code of Civil Procedure states that you must commence your legal action within three years of discovering the psychological injury or illness, or within three years after you reasonably should have discovered the psychological injury or illness.

    This is often known is having a “repressed memory” of the child molestation. Often, victims suffering from a repressed memory of child molestation do not realize that his or her problems in life are connected with the child molestation that he or she suffered in the past until much later in their lives.

    In order to show that you are suffering from a repressed memory, you will need a letter or statement from a health care provider stating that you suffer from a repressed memory. Also, if you were to proceed with the lawsuit, you would have to answer detailed questions during the discovery process about molestation. This is often a stressful process for the victim because it brings back memories of the child molestation.

    How can an attorney help me through this process?

    An attorney can advise you of what the statute of limitations are for your case. This can help you avoid the possibility of not being able to sue because the statute of limitations deadline has already passed.

    Also, an attorney can help provide you with important information you need to know about the court procedure. For example, you must file the lawsuit against your attacker in the city where the child molestation occurred. Having an attorney by your side during this difficult process will ensure that your lawsuit is not unnecessarily delayed or dismissed.

    Call Wallin & Klarich today

    If you or someone you know is considering bringing a lawsuit against the person who molested you as a child, you need to contact an experienced Southern California attorney who can help you in your case. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients resolve their legal issues. We know that this is a difficult time for you and we are here to answer any questions you may have. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks.

    Please call us at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.

    About Wallin & Klarich

    Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.