How can a criminal conviction record harm you? Pt. II

Posted by Chris Morales on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

The Morales Law Firm would like to thank NOLO Press Self - Help Law for sharing this information with us.

Code Abbreviations:
Penal Code - PC
Vehicle Code - VC
Health & Safety Code - H&S
Welfare and Institutions Code -  W&I
Harbor and Navigation Code - H&N
United States Code - USC

Part II

3. Increasing Punishment in Future Criminal Cases

Convictions can be used to impose harsher sentences for future crimes and in some cases can result in mandatory jail time for subsequent offenses.

4. Registration with Police Department

If you were convicted of certain criminal offenses relating to lewd conduct or other sex-related crimes, you’ll be required to register with the police department in the city where you live and with the California Department of Justice. If you move, you must notify the police within ten days (Penal Code § 290). Registration consists of a written statement, fingerprints, and a photo. One regularly employed peace officers and law enforcement officers have access to this information. The duty to register as a sex offender is a lifelong responsibility. Using the juvenile record sealing procedure may lead to a more rapid destruction of these records by the Department of Justice and other agencies that have records relating to the requirement (Penal Code §290d5).

Persons convicted of certain narcotics offenses must also register with the local law enforcement agency within 30 days after moving to any city or county ( Healthy & Safety Code §§11590a, 11594). This duty to register ends five years after discharged from prison, release from jail, or termination or probation or parole, unless you can get your conviction dismissed.

Persons convicted of arson or attempted arson, may be ordered by the court to register with the Chief of Police or Sheriff within 30 days of coming to reside in an area (Penal Code §457.1).

5. Registration with Police Department which leads to Public Dissemination

In addition to the registration requirement described in Section B.4 above, persons who have been convicted for certain sex crimes should be aware that some information will also be available to the public. The Department of Justice disseminates the required information to the public by using a “900" telephone number, or CD-Rom, updated quarterly. The public may obtain this information only for the purpose of personal protection and only after filling out a form. Individuals likely victimized by those on the list, and other community members at risk will be notified, as well as educational institutions, day care, and other establishments or organizations that primarily serve the potential victim. Distribution of any information obtained from the record for any other purpose is a misdemeanor (Penal Code §290.4).

6. Driving Privilege

Conviction for certain crimes may also result in the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege. Most of these crimes involve the operation of use of a vehicle, but certain drug-related offenses that had nothing to do with your use of a car may also lead to the unexpected loss of your driving privilege. There are some laws which only pertain to young people and result in a more immediate suspension or loss of driving privileges than the laws that affect older drivers.

a. Laws that affect all ages
The vehicle-related crimes which may lead to the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege include:

1. Driving under the influence of alcohol, or with a blood/alcohol content of .08 and above. For a first offense, an arrest for driving under the influence will usually result in a four-month suspension. For a second or multiple offender, a new arrest for driving under the influence will usually result in a one-year suspension (Vehicle Code §§13353.3b; 23109a).
2. Engaging in a speed contest (Vehicle Code §§23152, 23153).
3. Spending or reckless driving (Vehicle Code §§13200, 13200.5)
4. Misdemeanor offense related to the operation of the vehicle (Vehicle Code 13201).
5. Auto Theft (Vehicle Code §§10850, 10851 & 13357).
6. Illegal possession of a controlled substance when the vehicle is involved in or incidental to an accident (Vehicle Code §13202, 13202.3).
7. The commission of any felony when a vehicle is used to commit the offense and there’s a connection between the vehicle and the crime (Vehicle Code §13350a2; In re Gasper D (1994) 22 Cal. App. 4th 166; People v. Gimenez (1995) 36 Cal. App. 4th 1233).
8. Vehicle Offenses causing injury or death (Vehicle Code §13351), and
9. Assault with a deadly weapon when the court finds that the deadly weapon was the vehicle (Vehicle Code §13351.5)

Conviction of any of the drug related crimes listed below will result in a six-month suspension or delay of your privilege. For each successive conviction for an offense on this list, your driving privilege will be suspended or delayed an additional six months. The court has discretion to make an exception to this mandatory license suspension if you show “compelling circumstances” (need to keep license for employment or medical reasons). These drug related offense include:

1. Illegal possession, under Federal or any state’s laws of any controlled substance.
2. California drug offenses listed in Division 10 of the Health & Safety Code starting with section 11000
3. California alcohol or drug offenses

If you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and refuse to take one fo the chemical tests which would show your blood/alcohol content, the refusal alone will usually result in the suspension of your driving privilege for 1 year. A prior refusal to take a chemical test or a driving under the influence conviction within the previous 7 years will usually result in the suspension of your driving privilege for two years. Two or more convictions or refusals within the previous seven years will usually result in the suspension of your driving privilege for three years (Vehicle Code §§1553a). You may request an administrative hearing to context the suspension.

Finally, your driving privilege may be suspended if you have too many traffic violations (which are usually infractions). Your driving record uses a point system, where you lose your license after accumulating a certain amount of points caused by tickets for moving violations (Vehicle Code §12810). The motor vehicle laws are heavily dependent on records. Unfortunately, none of the remedies available at the present can be used to clean up your motor vehicle record (when it comes to traffic offenses).

Part III posted - 11/18/13

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Once again thank you NOLO Press Self - Help Law 
By: Attorney Warren Siegel

Tags: criminal convictions, license, ex-felon, crimes, felon