According to California Criminal Code 290, a person found to have committed crimes with a sexual motivation must register as a sex offender. This restricts your capacity to work, travel, and live in certain places. For those who want to leave their pasts behind them and become contributing members of the community going forward, removing yourself from the California sex offender registry is a feasible option.

For How Long Should Sexual Offenders Register?

Convicted offenders of specific sex offenses are required to register for a predetermined amount of time under Penal Code 290. Senate Bill 384, which took effect on January 1st, 2021, altered the registration standards for many offenders by introducing a three-tier registration system and providing registrants with a means to apply for the termination of the sexual offender registration obligation, provided they meet certain standards.

SB 384 passed several amendments, including the need for registration. Those found guilty of sex offenses can register under the tiered timeline system rather than being compelled to life registration. For tier-one crimes, the mandatory registry time is ten years. The sex offender registry requires 20 years for Tier 2 crimes. The most violent severe sex crimes go under Tier 3, which still calls for a registry for a lifetime.

The registry term is 5 to 10 years for minors in California who have been found guilty of sex crimes. Certain tier-three perpetrators could be eligible for a 20-year registry if their risk assessment is approved.

Your Limitations Under The 3-Tier Sex Offender Registry

If you have been listed on the sex offender registry, regardless of whether you are tier 1 or 3, you will find several restrictions on what you're permitted to do and where you're permitted to go. Sex offender registration is taken very seriously in California. Everyone on the list is required to re-register annually within five days of their birthday or five days after an address change.

Failure to comply could result in severe repercussions, such as fines and jail time. By continuously registering all registered sexual predators, the state can keep a vigilant eye on them, and the offenders' neighbors can protect themselves.

This indicates that you are required to notify the local authorities of any change of address whenever you relocate, even if it is only for a short period. In addition, you are required to register physically, which means you have to visit the station to give your present location personally.

Suppose you're transient and are registered on the sexual offenders' registry but don't have a physical address. In that case, you’re required to update your registration every thirty days with the most current location. If you have been labeled a "sexually violent offender" or have a mental health issue that makes you a threat to the public, you will be compelled to register every ninety days instead of once a year. This implies that you could be compelled to register 4 times each year for a lifetime.

California's Sex Offender Registration Termination

Registrants in tiers 1 and 2, respectively, can apply for the removal of their records as per the provisions of SB 384 if they match the required conditions. If you match the criteria provided in SB 384, you can file a petition for an expungement beginning on July 1, 2021.

It's not always easy to request expungement from the sex offender listing. The repercussions of dealing with this personally and failing could limit your future opportunities. If your registration obligations are terminated, you will only be free to live or work where you want.

Working with a professional criminal defense lawyer experienced in handling cases involving the sex offender registry is strongly recommended if you want to have your registration as a California sex offender terminated.

Options for Terminating a Sex Offender's Registration

Depending on the nature of the crime, you could be able to get your record expunged from the registry of sex offenders. Terminating the registration from a sex offender listing is a challenging process. Before beginning the termination process, you should first finish your rehabilitation.

This involves submitting documentation to the court, which could need a hearing. Making errors on your documents or failing to comprehend the procedure could negatively affect you. If a termination request is denied, the law enforcement authorities will add you to the registry of sexual offenders. This is why it is important to interact with your defense lawyer.

  • Through Filing a Petition in Court

California SB 384 significantly revised the requirements for registering a sex offender. It did away with the lifetime sex offender registration in favor of a three-tier system that relies on the gravity of the sex crime. This bill specifies the standards for classifying sexual offenses. It also permits offenders to request that their names be expunged from the registry of sex offenders.

Registered sex offenders can seek to have their sex offender registration obligations lifted after ten years for a tier-one crime and twenty years for a tier-two offense. The most serious offenses classified as tier three demand lifetime registration and are not subject to termination requests.

Hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer is ideal when appealing to the court because you need to be removed from the registry of sex offenders to move on with your life. It's challenging to tackle this process alone, and you can't avoid having your petition rejected.

The registration period starts when an offender is discharged from detention for the crime. If the perpetrator is re-incarcerated for another offense, the registration period would be halted until they are released. Once the accused has fulfilled the minimum registration requirements, they could ask the court for a record termination.

A sex offender registrant will file their petition with the court, submit it to the prosecutor's office, and deliver it to the police department where they are registered. In accordance with California PC 290.5, a petition could be submitted on or any day preceding the registrant's first birthday after the completion of their registration term. Your attorney should submit proof of active registration in the perpetrator's petition.

The prosecution would ask for a court hearing if additional registration is required to protect the community, and the prosecution would ask for a court hearing. The registrant and prosecutor can provide evidence to support their arguments. A criminal defense lawyer will assist you in gathering evidence and presenting them before a judge in your favor.

If you're unsure how to cancel a California sex offender registration, you can consult your criminal defense attorney for help. If no hearing is requested, the courts will determine whether your request will be accepted based on the criteria for termination.

  • Through a Rehabilitation Petition

Another alternative is to request a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is an official court determination that a former perpetrator has been rehabilitated. Once a sex offender registrant receives a COR, they can no longer be required to enroll as a sexual offender. This alternative is available to a misdemeanor sex offender whose conviction was expunged.

For an offender to be eligible for a COR, they would have to reside in California before committing the crime and continue their rehab for several years. Sexual exploitation of children, several crimes involving child pornography, indecent exposure, and obscenity are sexual crimes that don't require a COR.

After rehabilitation, a COR could be granted for additional sex crimes that call for registration. This petition includes getting the certificate and attending court.

  • By Submitting a Petition To Be Removed/Excluded From the Sex Offender Website

According to California PC 240.46, details about sex offender registrations will be sent from their local police department to the Department of Justice. This department has a program for tracking sex offenders.

The Megan's Law website makes public personal details about the sex offender. The perpetrator's name, photograph, and other identifying characteristics are accessible. The site also lists violations that prompted registration. Depending on the nature of the sex offense committed, a perpetrator's address could be made public online.

Registered perpetrators should submit various documents to the California Department of Justice, which decides whether the offender fits the criteria for exclusion. Offenders who have been issued an exclusion from the Megan's Law website should still adhere to other registration obligations.

Juveniles and California SB 384

Juvenile and adult sex offenders are handled differently. Adults have more extended registration periods than minors. A tier one juvenile offender should register for five years, while a tier two offender should register for ten years. Juveniles can submit a request to the juvenile justice system in the jurisdiction where they're registered to have their registration terminated.

Find an Experienced Expungement Attorney Near Me

California's sex offender registry is deliberately made difficult to use and can be challenging to navigate. As you try to rebuild your identity, consulting with an experienced sex crimes lawyer can reduce the time required for termination and relieve you of administrative complications. If you're considering appealing to the authorities for an expungement from the sex offender registry, you can contact the Los Angeles Expungement Attorney. Call us at 424-286-1516 today.