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in july 1995, 19th judicial district court-baton ...

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in july 1995, 19th judicial district court-baton rouge,la.,ruled that i didn''t have to register as a sex offender. Now 18 years after the commission of said crime, I am now being forced to have the bold print on my drivers license. I was granted temporary restraining order april 21,2008 argueing ex post facto law. do i have a chance for my original rulin to stand.XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question

Can you clarify please what caused the change
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
2006 la. passed la.r.s.32:412(i) and la.r.s.40:1321(j),and act 663,section 2 of the regular session of the louisiana legislature(THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ALL REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF CONVICTION.)(Emphasis added.)
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

Ex post facto laws under the U.S. Constitution are barred only if they make a conviction possible where the conviction would not have been previously possible, or where the punishment for the crime is increased after conviction.

The problem you face is that the retroactive application of the cited law does not increase your punishment, in so far as your liberty interest is concerned. That is, you will not be forced to serve more time in prison -- you will only be subjected to a notice on your drivers license.

Louisiana has pretty liberal morals for the South, but when it comes to sex offenses, courts are extremely reluctant to do anything that might give a prior offender the opportunity for new bad acts.

So, unless you are prepared to take this battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, I think you will have some difficulty prevailing. However, the judge gave you the restraining order to begin with, so that certainly gives you an edge at the start. Maybe it will be the State that is appealing and you will consequently be protecterd during the appeal process.

As for the ultimate outcome, it could depend on the make up of the High Court, when your appeal gets there. We will have a new President soon and likely Justice Stevens will retire in favor of a new appointment -- whose disposition in criminal matters is unknown but may be highly determinative when the time for a decision arrives.

So, at this point, it's a crap shoot, in my view. Certainly some attorney will want to prosecute this appeal, because it has a lot of media potential.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
would the penalties of 1,000 or imprisoned with hard labor for not less than two years nor more than ten years without benefit of parole,probation, or suspension of sentence, for not getting the bold print on my license warrant harsher punishment for a crime that has already been fulfilles?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

That penalty for not obtaining the notice on your license is a new crime, so if you were convicted it would not be ex post facto, especially if the license notice requirement were deemed not barred as ex post facto. And, if the notice law were deemed ex post facto, then you wouldn't have to get the notice, so you couldn't be convicted for not having it.

So, it's all or nothing for you.

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33506
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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