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AB-543 Sex offenders: social networking prohibition.(2011-2012)

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AB543:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 31, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 543


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Torres

February 16, 2011


An act to amend Section 290.015 of, and to add Section 290.96 to, the Penal Code, relating to sex offenders.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 543, as amended, Torres. Sex offenders: social networking prohibition.
(1) Existing law requires persons who have been convicted of specified crimes, and other persons as required by a court, to register as a sex offender. Existing law sets forth the procedure for doing so and provides that a violation of the sex offender registration law is a crime, punishable as specified.
This bill would, in addition, make it a misdemeanor for any person who is granted probation or placed on parole for the conviction of a crime that requires him or her to register as a sex offender to use any Internet social networking Web site, as defined, during that period of probation or parole if the victim of the offense was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense or and the Internet was used in the commission of the crime. The bill would authorize the person to seek an exception to the prohibition for legitimate professional purposes by applying through the appropriate parole or probation supervising agency. Approval would be valid for one year, unless revoked. The bill would authorize an annual application for renewal. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 290.015 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

290.015.
 (a) A person who is subject to the act shall register, or reregister if the person has previously registered, upon release from incarceration, placement, commitment, or release on probation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 290. This section shall not apply to a person who is incarcerated for less than 30 days if he or she has registered as required by the act, he or she returns after incarceration to the last registered address, and the annual update of registration that is required to occur within five working days of his or her birthday, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 290.012, did not fall within that incarceration period. The registration shall consist of all of the following:
(1) (A) A statement in writing signed by the person, giving information as shall be required by the Department of Justice and giving the name and address of the person’s employer, and the address of the person’s place of employment if that is different from the employer’s main address.
(B) The statement shall include a notice, if applicable, that the person is prohibited from using any Internet social networking Web site pursuant to Section 290.96.
(2) The fingerprints and a current photograph of the person taken by the registering official.
(3) The license plate number of any vehicle owned by, regularly driven by, or registered in the name of the person.
(4) Notice to the person that, in addition to the requirements of the act, he or she may have a duty to register in any other state where he or she may relocate.
(5) Copies of adequate proof of residence, which shall be limited to a California driver’s license, California identification card, recent rent or utility receipt, printed personalized checks or other recent banking documents showing that person’s name and address, or any other information that the registering official believes is reliable. If the person has no residence and no reasonable expectation of obtaining a residence in the foreseeable future, the person shall so advise the registering official and shall sign a statement provided by the registering official stating that fact. Upon presentation of proof of residence to the registering official or a signed statement that the person has no residence, the person shall be allowed to register. If the person claims that he or she has a residence but does not have any proof of residence, he or she shall be allowed to register but shall furnish proof of residence within 30 days of the date he or she is allowed to register.
(b) Within three days thereafter, the registering law enforcement agency or agencies shall forward the statement, fingerprints, photograph, and vehicle license plate number, if any, to the Department of Justice.

SEC. 2.

 Section 290.96 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

290.96.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in any case in which a defendant is granted probation or placed on parole for the conviction of an offense that requires him or her to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290, and either (1) the victim of the offense was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, or and (2) the Internet was used in the commission of the crime, that defendant shall be prohibited from accessing an Internet social networking Web site during the period of time he or she is on probation or parole.
(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not exceeding six months, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(c) Any person who is prohibited from accessing an Internet social networking Web site pursuant to subdivision (a) and who seeks an exception to the prohibition to use an Internet social networking Web site for legitimate professional purposes may apply for an exception to the prohibition through the appropriate parole or probation supervising agency when that person is on parole or probation. Approval shall be valid for one year unless revoked by the supervising agency with notice to the person required to register. The person may apply to renew the exception annually.
(d) For the purposes of this section, “Internet social networking Web site” is defined as an Internet Web site that does all of the following:
(1) Allows users, through the creation of Internet Web pages or profiles or by other means, to provide information about themselves that is available to the public or to other users.
(2) Offers a mechanism for communication with other users where those users are likely to include a substantial number of minors.
(3) Has as its primary purpose the facilitation of online social interactions.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.