Apart from the possible hefty fines and lengthy jail time, a conviction for a sex offense could require you to register as a sex offender as required under Penal Code (PC ) 290. Once your personal identifying information enters the sex offender registry, your life will not be the same again.
Aside from negatively impacting your reputation, inclusion in the national sex wrongdoer registry can make you lose employment and education opportunities and even face strict limitations on where you can live. Before 1st January 2021, as a convicted sex offender, you were required to register as a sex offender with the local law enforcement officer for life.
Since this date and the enactment of Senate Bill (SB) 384, registered sex wrongdoers can now petition for relief from their lifetime obligation to register as sex offenders. However, you must complete the minimum registration duration required per your convicted sex offense tier.
Unfortunately, determining the appropriate time to request this much-needed relief from the lifetime obligation to register as a sex wrongdoer is not straightforward. That is why it is vital to work with an experienced attorney to help you file a timely petition and increase your chances of qualifying for this post-conviction relief necessary for the fresh start that you deserve.
Duration You Must Wait Before Petitioning the Court for Removal in the Sex Offender Registry
A sex offender is typically any person with a conviction for any sex offense listed under PC 290. If you are guilty of a sex offense, the duration you will register as a sex offender will depend on the tier in which your offense falls under the three-tiered system created by SB 384.
Each of the following three (3) tiers sets the duration or time limit for the least amount of time a convicted sex wrongdoer must wait before requesting relief from the duties to register as a sex offender:
Tier One Category
If you are a convicted sex offender under this tier one category, you will have a 10-year obligation to register as a sex wrongdoer or offender. After completing this minimum period, you can petition the court for relief from your obligations to register as a sex wrongdoer.
Individuals who fall under this category are those with the lowest and least severe sex offenses, for example, indecent exposure and sexual battery.
Tier Two Category
Individuals who fall under this category have a conviction for mid-level sexual crimes that do not qualify as tier-one sexual offenses due to their seriousness. Examples of sexual crimes under this category include:
- Sodomy of a child aged below fourteen years.
- Lewd acts with a minor aged below fourteen years.
If your sexual offense conviction falls under this category, you will have a 20-year obligation to register as a sex wrongdoer before requesting a post-conviction relief from your registration requirements.
Tier Three Category
A conviction for a tier three sexual offense will require you to register as a sex offender for life. Typically the tier three category or classification is for individuals with a conviction for the most severe sexual offenses, such as:
- Aggravated rape.
- Sodomy by violence or force.
- Sex trafficking of a minor or child.
If you have a conviction for any sex crime not listed above, your attorney can help you determine the duration your must wait before requesting relief from your registration duties. It is also worth noting that the minimum period for your registration duties as a sex offender could increase if you are guilty of another offense within this period.
How to Request for a Relief From Your Duties to Reregister as a Sex Wrongdoer or Offender
You qualify to file a petition to have your name removed from the sex offender national registry if you satisfy the minimum waiting period for your specific sex offense conviction. To request relief from your registration duties as a sex offender, you must draft a petition and attach proper evidence to show the court you deserve this post-conviction relief. Examples of necessary evidence include:
- Proof of your current registration status obtained from the local law enforcement authority or agency.
- SERATSO evaluation results.
If you have an attorney, he/she can prepare and file this formal petition with the court on your behalf. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether you deserve this post-conviction relief.
Unless the court requires your presence, your defense attorney can attend this hearing and present proper arguments to convince the court you are an excellent candidate for this post-conviction relief under SB 384.
How to Have Your Name Removed from National Sex Offender Registry Website
Sometimes even if the minimum registration duration is not over, you could qualify for the removal of your personal identifying information from the national sexual offender online registry. You can do this by filing a Megan’s Law Exclusion form to the DOJ (Department of Justice) if the following is true:
- You have obtained a COR (Certificate of Rehabilitation).
- You have obtained an expungement of your conviction record.
- Your underlying sexual offense conviction was:
- Sexual battery.
- Child molestation.
- A sexual act that does not involve oral copulation or penetration.
- The victim or accuser was your stepchild, sibling, grandchild, or child.
- You have completed your probation and abided by the required rules successfully.
Through Megan’s law, the public can see your sexual offense conviction, legal name, photo, and other personal identifying details like skin color and height. Fortunately, if you meet the above exclusion criteria, you can have these details removed from the website for a fresh start in your life.
However, even if you satisfy the above eligibility criteria, the court has the right to deny your petition for relief from your registration duties as a sex offender if the judge considers you a “violent sexual predator.” Further, if you skipped or failed to submit your current registration details with the local law enforcement authority as required, you could be ineligible for this post-conviction relief.
Also, note that it is a misdemeanor charge for a convicted sex offender to access or visit the Megan’s Law website. Legal penalties for this offense conviction could include a fine not exceeding $1,000 and up to six (6) months of jail time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inclusion in the Sex Offender Registry Under PC 290
If you or your loved one has a conviction for a sex crime that requires registration as a sex wrongdoer, you could want to know more about this legal requirement under PC 290. Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) about inclusion in the sex offender registry:
What are the Collateral Consequences of Being a Registered Sex Offender?
As mentioned early, most sex crimes will require you to register and reregister as a sex offender. The reason for doing this is to protect the community and let law enforcement officers know your whereabouts after serving your sentence. Unfortunately, once you become a registered sex offender, there are collateral consequences you should expect, such as:
- Reduced chances of securing reliable employment.
- Challenges securing reliable housing or relocating because you cannot live in specific locations, for example, near schools, youth centers, and public libraries.
- You could be legally required to seek permission from the relevant authority before traveling out of the state.
- You could also face internet restrictions, especially if you have a conviction for an internet sex crime, like child pornography.
The specific collateral consequences you could face upon inclusion in the sex wrongdoer registry will depend on your unique conviction facts and circumstances.
What Can Happen When I Fail to Satisfy My Registration Duties as a Sex Offender?
According to PC 290, it is a crime when you willfully fail to register or abide by your registration duties as a sex wrongdoer upon a conviction for a qualifying sex crime. For a conviction for VC 290 violation, the prosecutor must prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You have a conviction for a sex crime, qualifying for registration under PC 290.
- You were aware of your registration duties as a sex offender.
- You willfully ignored, failed, or refused to register or update your current registration details with the local law enforcement authority as required.
The penalties you will face upon conviction for the alleged VC 290 violation charge will depend on the severity of your underlying sexual offense conviction. If your underlying sexual crime is a misdemeanor, a conviction for the alleged VC 290 violation will attract misdemeanor penalties, including:
- A fine not exceeding $1,000.
- Detention in the country jail for up to one (1) year.
- Summary or misdemeanor probation.
However, if your underlying sex crime is a felony, the prosecutor will file the alleged VC 290 violation charge as a felony, carrying the following potential penalties:
- A fine not exceeding $10,000.
- A jail term of not more than three (3) years.
- Felony or formal probation.
Find a Record Expungement Attorney Near Me
A conviction for any sex crime can be detrimental to your life. If you want relief from your lifetime registration duties as a sex wrongdoer, you cannot overlook the need for or advantages of working with an attorney. Our attorneys at Record Expungement Attorney can save you the stress and unnecessary time wastage as you seek to clear your record for past mistakes.
Call us at 805-836-0422 and let our experienced attorneys help you navigate this vital legal process for a fresh start in your life, wherever you are in Westlake Village.