Sex Offender Loitering at School
PC 653b(b)(1) Law & Defense
Information on the crime of sex offender loitering near a school is found at California penal code section 653b. A sex offender is a person who is ordered to register as such pursuant to penal code section 290 after a conviction for an enumerated sex crime.
PC 653b(b) Law
653b(b): Every person who loiters about near a school who has been asked to leave, and who is required to required to register as a sex offender, is guilty of being a sex offender and loitering at a school (PC 653b(b) Abbrev.).
Loiter Defined: Per PC 653b, Loiter means to delay, to linger, or to idle about a school or public place without lawful business for being present.
Jail: Upon a first conviction for sex offender loitering at school, the defendant may be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000) [PC 653b(b)(1)].
2nd Offense: If the defendant has been previously convicted of a violation of PC 653b(b), or former Section 653g,the defendant may be imprisoned in a county jail for a period of not less than 10 days or more than six months, or by both imprisonment and a fine of not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), and shall not be released on probation, parole, or any other basis until he or she has served at least 10 days (PC 653b(b)(2) Abbrev.).
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of of a jail sentence. A probation sentence is allowed in sex offender loitering at school crimes, but they are not guaranteed. Issues that govern whether or not a defendant will be granted a probation sentence after a conviction for PC 653b(b)(1) include the defendant's criminal history, and the terms of any plea bargain.
Work Release: A work release sentence is a form of manual labor that includes trash collecting or some similar type of labor. Work release is intended to serve as an alternative to a jail sentence and might be possible after a conviction in PC 653b((b) cases (regardless of whether or not the work release sentence is part of a regular sentence or a probation sentence.
PC 4019: If the defendant is ordered to serve a jail sentence, or a work release sentence, in any PC 653b(b) case, then he or she may have that sentence reduced by up to fifty percent (50%) if the defendant serves his or her sentence with good behavior.
CIMT: Sex offender loitering at school is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
Bail: $5,000 [San Bernardino County]
Note: Bail is a surety bond, which is paid by the defendant and is intended to secure the defendant's presence in court if the defendant is released before, or during, the court process. The idea is that if the defendant does not appear at court after posted bail then he or she will forfeit the posted bond (which will be used in part to pay the cost of finding the defendant). Bail is usually handled through a bail bond who posts the bond with the court for a fee. In some cases, the defendant may be released on his or he own recognizance, which means the defendant may be release from custody on his or he promise to appear in court in the future and without the need for bail. Also, in some PC 653b(b)(1) cases, the court may increase or decrease the bail amount depending on several factors.
Common defenses to PC 653b(b) crimes include: insufficient evidence, mistake of fact (as to being near a school), insanity, consent, vague request to leave school property, emergency, jury nullification, and more.
Quick Legal Reference
Crime: Sex Offender Loitering at School
Code: PC 653b(b)(1)
Wobbler: No. PC 653b(b)(1) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 653b(b)(1) is always charged as a misdemeanor.
Incarceration: PC 653b(b)(1) jail sentence up to 180 days.
Probation: Probation may be available in PC 653b(b)(1) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.
Strike: PC 401(a) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.
Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.
Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)