NEW: (# Failure to Register Technicality
NEW: Failure to Register a Sex Offense???
CAUTION: SORNA EFFECTIVE even if state has not enacted it
Plea Bargains: Santabello v New York
Forced to Carry Gov't Message Issue: See HERE
Blog also contains "Unfavorable" and "Informational" decisions and relevant news articles. All can be useful in framing arguments for new court actions. (i.e., avoid pitfalls or inform courts.) Or refuting charges, check facts of cases v yours.
Leagle is our main court decision resource.
Find State decisions by the Federal Circuit a State is in.

CAUTION: Decisions are meant to be educational.
For "Personal Life Decisions" consult with a lawyer.

Lawyer loses bid to end sex offender status

In 2013 People v Tirey the court declared it was unconstitutional to deny these Certs to qualified applicants, ruling prior law --mentioned below-- unconstitutional.

7-27-2011 California:

People v Oberstein

Appellate court affirms OC judge’s rejection of attempt by former L.A. public defender to clear name.

SANTA ANA – A panel of appellate justices has sided with an Orange County judge in denying a former Los Angeles public defender's bid to stop registering as a sex offender.

The panel ruled, however, that the judge erred in forcing Chance Xcaliber Oberstein to wait another two years to seek a so-called certificate of rehabilitation, which if acquired would free him from having to register as a sex offender.

Oberstein was convicted in 1998 of having unlawful sex with a 16-year-old girl he met while working for the Los Angeles Public Defender's Office. The girl was a client of the office, but not represented by Oberstein.

The sexual contact occurred in 1996, when Oberstein was 38. The convictions - for unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy and oral copulation – yielded a one-year jail sentence and probation, prompting Oberstein to resign from the state bar.

In June 2001, Los Angeles Superior Court granted early termination of probation and, in September 2003, Oberstein's convictions were reduced to misdemeanors. In June of 2004, his guilty verdict was set aside and, in 2008, the state bar reinstated him as an attorney.

A certificate of rehabilitation is a court-issued recommendation to the governor to pardon a convicted felon and release the petitioner from certain requirements stemming from the conviction. The standard for receiving a certificate of rehabilitation is high.

Oberstein petitioned for a certificate in February 2010 before Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals, arguing that he did not pose a threat to society and that he had broken no laws since 1996.

Oberstein argued that his legal practice -- especially his chances of getting appointed to the federal indigent panel -- were hindered without a rehabilitation certificate.

Goethals, however, rejected his petition, saying the crimes were "not that old" and were very serious, especially for someone who was a lawyer at the time.

Goethals also said he was bothered by the fact that Oberstein would no longer have to register as a sex offender if the certificate were granted.

That issue "is sticking in my craw," Goethals said, according to court records cited in the appellate court's ruling, made public Wednesday.

Oberstein argued in his appeal that Goethals' decision was arbitrary and that the judge had abused his discretion.

The panel of three justices, however, argued that Goethals' ruling was legally sound. Appellate Justice Richard Aronson wrote the non-published opinion with Justices William Bedsworth and Eileen Moore concurring.

In siding with Goethals' ruling, the panel noted that the majority of Oberstein's favorable mental health evaluations were prepared in 1998, and the most recent one – in January 2008 – was prepared by a social worker.

"As the Attorney General points out," the appellate opinion reads, "(the social worker) did not base his conclusion on a structured mental health evaluation that a forensic psychologist would have administered before rendering an opinion. Nor did (he) carry the expertise of a psychiatrist trained to assess the risks posed by sex offenders.

"(Goethals) therefore did not act arbitrarily in disregarding Oberstein's mental health evidence and implicitly finding Oberstein failed to meet his burden to show complete rehabilitation."

The panel ruled, however, that Goethals did not have the right to extend Oberstein's rehabilitation period for another two years, because the law only allows for that when an offender has broken the law since the original conviction.

Oberstein has not had any legal issues since his convictions.

At the time of his arrest, Oberstein was living in Orange County. He attended UC Irvine as an undergraduate and got his law degree from UC Davis, according to state bar records.

Oberstein, 53, currently works at the law offices of Brian A. Newman in Redondo Beach, according to state bar records. He lives in Dana Point, according to public records.

Messages left for Oberstein and his attorney, William S. Harris, were not immediately returned. ..Source.. by GREG HARDESTY / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

You can search Leagle for "certificate of rehabilitation" w/quotes and find a line of case if you wish to read them.

No comments: