New California Sex Offender Law Cracks Down on Tracking Device Tampering

The California criminal justice system is extremely aggressive and unrelenting when it comes to prosecuting and penalizing individuals convicted of sex crimes. From minimum terms of imprisonment to hefty fines to mandatory sex offender registry, the penalties at stake can be profound and life-altering. With the recent passing of new legislation, restrictions on sex offenders in California have been intensified.

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown made a move to crack down on convicted sex offenders who disarm tracking devices while on parole. Under SB 57, sex offenders who disarm electronic tracking devices now face mandatory terms of imprisonment. The new law was prompted by an alarming increase of offenders disarming or removing GPS devices. Additionally, when these offenders were arrested and detained, counties with overcrowded jails – including Los Angeles County – almost immediately release them. With SB 57, offenders must now spend 180 days in jail.

What this new law makes clear is that enforcing sex crime laws and sex offender registry requirements is still a top priority for law enforcement officers throughout the state. GPS monitors were initially mandated after California voters approved a law in 2006. With little repercussions, however, many tampered with the devices. After Brown's prison realignment program was initiated in 2011, state officials reported a boom of more than 5,000 warrants for GPS tampering in the first 15 months.

Although the bill was contested by the American Civil Liberties Union, it was widely supported by lawmakers and local communities. Currently, 13 other states have similar laws. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Los Angeles sex crime lawyers are aware of the harsh social stigmas surrounding sex crime cases and the intolerance of law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Our legal team is prepared to represent individuals accused of sex crimes – as well as those who violate the terms of parole or sex offender registry. If you would like to discuss your case and defense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at (800) 462-7160.