Senate Bill 145 is the newest law to be enacted into California courtrooms. The bill serves to make changes to how rape cases are handled and clear up previous conflicting laws on statutory rape.
Currently, California courts treat these cases differently based on the type of intercourse involved. In cases pertaining to consensual heterosexual relations between an adult and a minor 14 years or older, the charged adult is not automatically required to register as a sex offender. However, cases involving other types of sexual relations automatically result in sex offender registration for the young adults involved with a minor. SB-145 would level the playing field for both types of cases and give registration discretion to the judge on the case.
The law applies to those cases involving minors ages 14-17 having any kind of sexual relations with an adult within a 10-year age range. For minors below this age range, different laws will be applied including those requirements for mandatory sex offender registration.
Although currently supported by the California District Attorney’s Association, the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, and the California Police Chiefs Association, the bill was originally spearheaded by State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco.
Wiener argued that the previous law discriminates against the LGBTQ community. They required same-sex relationship cases involving an adult and a minor to impose automatic sex offender registration. He says that SB-145 solves this problem and eliminates discrimination in these cases.
Despite much controversy surrounding this bill, SB-145 was officially signed into law on September 11, 2020, by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The community may continue to speak out as California criminal attorneys begin to work through these cases under the new law. But as of right now, all California courtrooms are abiding by this law.
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As a California licensed professional, criminal cases like these can directly impact your career. If you are facing accusations against your license and livelihood, contact our experienced team at Unlock Legal right away. Our priority is to get you the best outcome possible and handle your case from beginning to end – no matter how long it takes.
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