Sex offenders are a diverse group that can range from teenagers who have sent another teen photos in a sext to violent rapists. Sex offenders as a group are largely viewed as a danger to children even though only a portion of them are actually attracted to children sexually. That fact didn’t stop the mayor of a small town in Georgia from requiring all sex offenders on probation to spend Halloween night at the city council chambers. Vista sex crimes lawyers agree that while this kind of precaution is unlikely to benefit the public, it is still technically legal.
Is Rounding Up Sex Offenders Legal?
If the mayor required all sex offenders in the area to come to city hall, it would be a huge civil rights violation and most likely subject those enforcing it to false imprisonment charges. That’s because sex offenders who have served their sentence. In fact, many people have argued that the sex offender registry itself violates civil rights by inflicting lifelong penalties on many people who have committed relatively minor offenses, such as indecent exposure. That’s part of the reason California is completely reworking the sex offender registry system, with the changes taking place in 2021.
That being said, because the mayor limited his rule to only include sex offenders on probation and parole, what he’s doing is legal. Probation and parole are both alternatives to incarceration that require you to follow a strict set of rules, including having to check in with your probation/parole officer whenever told to do so. For that reason, the mayor can legally require everyone on probation or parole to appear in a particular place at a set time. Those who don’t comply with such requirements can be considered in violation of their release agreement and could be required to attend a hearing where they may be sentenced to further incarceration. While a San Diego criminal attorney can help defend you at such a hearing, because you have already been sentenced to the crime, there is no jury and the judge will have full discretion to determine whether or not to subject you to additional penalties.
Why This is Unnecessary
First of all, as we mentioned earlier, simply being a sex offender does not make someone a danger to children. In fact, while California does not allow those charged with public urination to be labeled as a sex offender, Georgia does, so those who were forced to spend Halloween night in the city council chambers could have done something as negligible as urinating behind a bar while drunk.
But Vista child molestation defense lawyers argue that even those who were convicted of child molestation or related crimes against minors don’t need to be kept away from the public on Halloween night. A 2009 study published in the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers’ journal, Sexual Abuse, showed that sex crimes involving children under the age of 12 so not happen any more frequently on or near Halloween than any other day of the year. In other words, locking them up one day a year isn’t going to help anyone and by taking police officers off the streets for this scheme, the mayor may have actually made his town more dangerous that night.
In addition, California probation and parole officers often keep track of sex offenders through GPS tracking devices.
It is easy for the public to vilify sex offenders, but the reality is that rounding them all up one night a year will not help the community. If you have been accused of a sex crime, protect your freedom by calling top Vista child molestation attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050.
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