How California’s Sex Offender Registry Affects Those Listed
If you have been charged with a sex offense in California, you may be required to register as a sex offender if convicted. This is a penalty to be avoided if at all possible. Sex offender registration has far-reaching consequences that can impact every aspect of your life.
How Does Sex Offender Registration Work in California
Individuals convicted of certain sex crimes are required to register with local law enforcement under the California Penal Code Section 290. Sex offenders must re-register every year, within five days of their birthdays, and within five days of moving from one residence to another.
As of January 2021, lifetime sex offender registration is no longer required for most offenses. Instead, California now has a three-tiered registration system:
- Tier One: This tier is for individuals convicted of the lowest level sex offenses, such as indecent exposure or misdemeanor sexual battery. It requires sex offender registration for a minimum of 10 years.
- Tier Two: Those who are convicted of mid-level sex offenses such as lewdness with a minor under the age of 14 are penalized with sex offender registration for a minimum of 20 years.
- Tier Three: At this level, lifetime sex offender registration is still required. Tier three is for individuals convicted of the most serious sex crimes, such as rape, trafficking of children, and sex crimes against children ages 10 and younger.
Removal from the sex offender registry is not automatic. After completing the mandatory registration period, offenders must file a petition with the court for removal of the registration requirement. The court can either grant or deny the petition.
What Are the Negative Consequences of Being on the Sex Offender Registry?
If you are required to register as a sex offender, the general public will have access to your personal information. The information in the Department of Justice Sex Offender Tracking Program is made available on the Megan’s Law website. Regardless of the offense, your personal information accessible to anyone typically includes your name; a photo; identifying information, such as height, weight, eye color, and tattoos; the offenses for which you are being required to register; the year you were convicted; and the year you were released from incarceration or commitment.
Defendants required to register as sex offenders will likely encounter prejudice in every aspect of their lives. Registration can significantly affect social interactions with neighbors, friends, and even family. It can create major obstacles to obtaining employment and housing once the registration is made public. Sex offender registration can even make it difficult to retain custody of your own children. If you fail to register or re-register within the specified period of time, you could face criminal penalties that may include time in prison.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
If you are facing sex crime charges, our San Diego criminal defense attorney can provide you with a vigorous defense. We can find every flaw in the prosecution’s case and work to have your charges reduced or dismissed. If you have already been convicted and required to register, once the mandatory registration time has passed, we can file a petition with the court on your behalf to have the registration requirement removed.
At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have been protecting the rights of individuals facing criminal charges for decades. Our founding attorney is a former LAPD investigator and a certified criminal law specialist. Contact us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation if you are facing charges for which sex offender registration is required upon conviction. Our San Diego sex crime defense lawyers can use all our knowledge, skills, and resources to help you avoid the registration requirement.
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