If you or a loved one is charged with allegedly committing a sex crime, the importance of retaining an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer is huge. Why? Because California lawmakers passed a bill, AB 2888, requiring mandatory prison sentences for specific types of sexual assault crimes.
Under current state law, a person convicted of rape using physical force must serve time in prison while other types of sexual assault carry more lenient sentences, such as probation. The new law requires mandatory prison sentence for individuals convicted of committing sexual assault on the unconscious or those incapable of giving consent due to intoxication. The new law was passed unanimously by the state legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2016, according to the Washington Post.
The Brock Turner Effect
The legislation was inspired by the decision of a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge not to sentence Brock Turner, a Stanford University student, to prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman who was unconscious due to intoxication, according to the Los Angeles Times. The June decision entered by the judge sentenced Turner to six months in jail.
“He got less than a semester in county jail,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “The next person that does something like this is going to be in prison for at least three years,” according to the aforementioned Washington Post article.
Opposition to the Mandatory Minimum Law
Even though the law passed unanimously in the state legislature, there was some opposition to the legislation – specifically to the fact that this law creates another mandatory minimum sentence. Studies have shown that mandatory minimum sentencing has disproportionately affected minorities and led to a large prison population in California. In fact, California voters have indicated that they do not favor mandatory minimum prison sentences. For example, in November 2012, Californians voted in favor of a reform to the state’s three strikes law by eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent crimes, according to wbur.com.
You Need an Experienced Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
The opposition to AB 2888 was not enough to stop its passage. With Governor Brown signing the bill into law, if you are charged with sexual assault on an unconscious individual, you are looking at a possible mandatory minimum prison sentence. Do not fight these criminal charges alone.
Not only could you now be looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence, other penalties associated with a sex crime include monetary fines, mandatory treatment programs, and having to register as a sex offender. Registering as a sex offender will follow you for the rest of your life. Yes, once you are convicted as a sex offender, you must disclose that fact for the remainder of your time on this earth, and that fact could prevent you from finding a job, an apartment, and so forth.
Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
The Law Office of Peter Berlin is here to help. If you or a loved one is being charged with a sex crime, then the legal aid of an experienced and aggressive defense attorney is vitally important to protect your rights and fight for your best interests. We offer a free initial consultation as well as 24/7 contact availability. Call us today (310) 289-5418.