When sentenced for a sex offense in California, you must enlist as a sex predator under PEN 290. The registration obligation can have devastating consequences in your professional and personal life. It enables the public to know when a sex predator is around. While you cannot expunge this duty as a registrant, you can petition the court to scrap your name off the registry in many ways.
Are you wondering what steps you should take to remove or exclude your name from the list in Westlake Village?
Worry no more because, at the Record Expungement Attorney, we understand ways to terminate sex offender registration in California. With us on your side, you will end the stigma and embarrassment associated with being a sex predator registrant.
Removing Your Name From the Megan’s Law Public Website
Californians obtain information on sex predator registrants through Megan’s law site. The site was named after a New Jersey girl, aged seven, who was raped and murdered by a sexual predator living in their neighborhood.
The girl’s parents opined that if they had information about a sexual predator living in their neighborhood, they would have taken measures to protect their child. From the incident, federal legislators understood the need to have information about sex offenders available to the public. Today, sex offenders are required to enlist on the sex offender registry, and the information is made public through Megan’s site.
As a sexual convict, the most challenging part of your sentence is the obligation to register. Everyone can access this information, including your loved ones, relatives, colleagues, and neighbors. Some public members can even attack or embarrass you because of your registration status.
Sometimes, the information on the website could be inaccurate or exaggerated, giving the public the wrong image of you. Luckily, you do not need to stress about the issue because the Record Expungement Attorney can help you exclude your name from the site.
Eligibility for Exclusion
Not everyone can petition to have their name excluded from Megan’s site. Nonetheless, if you have been sentenced for these offenses, you can petition for exclusion:
- PEN 243.4(a), sexual battery by restraint.
- Child annoyance or molestation.
- Felony child pornography with a child younger than 16.
Additionally, you are eligible for the exclusion if:
- Your sentence did not entail oral copulation.
- The victim was not your child, grandchild, sibling, or stepchild.
- You have successfully finished your probation or currently finishing it.
For instance, you are charged with misdemeanor sexual battery of a college girl in your room. You can petition to have your name to be scrapped from the public website if you complete probation. Nevertheless, if there was vaginal penetration during the incident or you were incarcerated in prison, you are ineligible for the exclusion.
At Record Expungement Attorney, we are eager to help you avoid the public embarrassment of a sex offense conviction and the obligation to register. Therefore, when you are convicted of a sex offense, request a copy of your charge sheet and contact us to discuss your case and determine your eligibility.
The Exclusion Process
Once you have confirmed you are eligible for the exclusion, you should visit the Department of Justice (DOJ) and print the Megan’s Law removal form. Complete all the information required in the document and send it to the DOJ. However, you should retain a copy of the paperwork for your records.
If you satisfy all the DOJ conditions, your name will be excluded from the site and will not be visible to the public. Nevertheless, when the DOJ deems you a sexually violent predator, they will turn down your application. You should obtain the response from the DOJ within thirty days.
You should know that you are not relieved of the obligation to register when your request for exclusion is granted. The law requires that you re-register with the local police whenever you relocate so that the DOJ can know of your whereabouts.
However, the removal has several benefits because you will enjoy your privacy. You do not have to look over your shoulder every time you are out in public out of fear of being attacked by an angry mob or embarrassed.
The exclusion will not affect your sex offense criminal sentence record. People who run background checks on your criminal record will come across the conviction. Therefore, even after the exclusion, you must contact an expungement lawyer to help erase the criminal record if you meet the necessary conditions.
A subsequent conviction for a sex offense will see your information appear on Megan’s site again. And this time, based on the nature of the offense, the exclusion will not be possible.
PEN 4852 Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR)
A COR is a post-conviction relief order issued by a judge after they have corroborated that you have been rehabilitated after your sentence. Under PEN 290, the rehabilitation certificate will terminate your duty to renew your registration with the local authorities. However, your conviction record will remain the same unless you file for an expunction. The court will relieve you of the responsibility to register when you are in custody or under the supervision of a parole officer and have been sentenced for a registerable crime, except for:
- Felony pimping and pandering.
- Child human trafficking.
- Lewd or lascivious conduct with a child below 14.
- Felony sexual battery.
- Sex with a minor below 10.
- Molesting a minor.
- Continuous sexual abuse of a minor.
- Engaging in assault to commission a sex offense.
- Kidnapping to engage in rape, sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration using a foreign object.
If the sexual offense involved a minor, an assault, or kidnapping, a PC 4852 petition cannot be filed. When you are found guilty of forcible oral copulation with a child, forcible sexual penetration of a child, or forcible sodomy with a minor, you are ineligible for COR. You can only be relieved of the registration duty by filing for a governor’s pardon.
When your application for a rehabilitation certificate is approved, it will result in an automatic application for a full pardon from the governor.
You must show the judge satisfactory rehabilitation duration if they are to grant you post-conviction relief. Based on your sentence, you should have lived in the state for five years or another two or five years. The clock starts ticking when you are released from jail or complete your supervision or probation. Five, seven, or ten years should be the minimum period expiring for you to be eligible for the certificate. Sex offenses like indecent exposure, child pornography, and sexual exploitation of a minor have a minimum rehabilitation period of ten years. It is only after the lapse of the duration that you can file for a COR.
If you wish to apply for a COR in Westlake Village, do not hesitate to speak to an experienced expunction attorney immediately. The legal counsel will determine if you qualify to apply for the certificate and prepare all the evidence you will need for a favorable outcome.
SB 384 Petitions
The California legislature passed SB 384 in February 2017, and it took effect on the 1st of January 2021. The Act significantly changed the sex predator registration found in PEN 290. It determines whether a sex offense sentence will result in an obligation to enlist as a sexual predator, the registration process, and the minimum duration for which one should be a registrant.
The enactment of SB 384 brought a lot of changes to PC 290. One of the changes is that it scrapped the mandatory lifetime registration for all registerable offenses and replaced it with the three-tiered scheme, whose seriousness of the baseline crime determines the minimum registration period. Also, the Act created a criterion for classifying sexual offenses based on tiers. Again, it established a system in which an offender can petition for termination of their obligation to enlist with the sexual registration registry.
The significant change brought about by SB 384 is creating the three-tiered approach where your name can be cleared out of the sex predator registry after a particular duration, depending on your tier.
When convicted under Tier 1, the law requires you to register for not less than ten years. The registration duration provided under this tier is for misdemeanors or low-level offenses whose previous requirement was a lifetime registration. The sex offenses in this tier are:
- Misdemeanor indecent exposure.
- Misdemeanor oral copulation.
- Misdemeanor sexual battery.
- Misdemeanor planning a meeting with a child for lewd reasons.
- Possession of child pornography.
Tier 2 addresses registerable crimes that are more serious than those in Tier 1 but fall short of the severity of level 3 crimes. A sentence for an offense listed under this tier attracts a minimum sexual registration period of 20 years. The mid-level offenses listed under this category are:
- Annoying a child.
- Lewd conduct with a child below 14.
- Rape with an adult incapable of consenting to sexual conduct because of their mental disorder.
- Sexual penetration of a victim unable to give consent using a foreign object.
Tier-three registerable offenses are the most severe because a conviction results in lifetime sexual registration. Crimes at this level include:
- Human trafficking of a child.
- Forcible oral copulation.
- Murder stemming from attempted rape.
- Forcible spousal rape.
- Sexual assault of a minor.
- Pimping and pandering a child.
- Most rape cases.
- Felony child pornography.
- Forcible lewd act with a child under 14.
- Kidnapping stemming from attempted rape.
The minimum sexual registration timelines provided in these tiers begin when, as a registrant, you are released from prison or a commitment facility for the crime. If you return to jail for another crime, the registration timeline will be tolled or stopped. The factors that determine your tier designation are:
- The number of your victims and their age.
- The nature of the registerable crime.
- Your criminal or non-criminal conduct after the crime.
- Whether you have a previous sentence for a sex-related crime.
- Your recidivism risk.
- Whether your victim was unknown to you during the sexual violation or was known to you but for less than 24 hours.
Also, if you committed an offense because of a sexual impulse or for sexual satisfaction, you must register even if the offense is not listed in PEN290.
The Process of Removing Your Name from the Sexual Registration Registry
The process by which offenders can request that their obligation to register as sexual predators be terminated was established by SB 384. If the motion is granted, your name is dropped from the list, and no information regarding your conviction will be available to the public.
Understanding that the registration duration offered under the tier is the minimum requirement would be helpful. You must file the petition after the lapse of this duration because the termination from the register is not automatic. And if the court denies your petition, even if you are a level one registrant, you will have an obligation to re-register yearly for the rest of your life. Therefore, take your time when filing these petitions. For assistance, contact a Westlake Village record expungement lawyer. Your attorneys will determine your eligibility and gather evidence to convince the court that you are worth a fresh start as a productive citizen.
If you petition to terminate the sexual registration obligation, you or your attorney should present a petition to the court. A copy of the petition should also be sent to the police and the district attorney. After, the police will send a report of your sexual registration status to the district attorney and their recommendation regarding your petition. This should happen within sixty days. After the prosecutor obtains the information, they have sixty days to review it and make recommendations. They can request that the court grant your petition or oppose it and ask for a hearing. The evaluation of the police report also takes sixty days.
If the prosecutor believes that your continued presence in the registry promotes public safety, they will oppose your registration being terminated. During the hearing, your legal expert and the opposition will have a chance to make their arguments, after which the court will have the discretion to agree to or deny the termination.
An SB 384 petition is advantageous because it enables registrants with a lifetime obligation for a low-level sexual offense to terminate this obligation after at least ten years. Many compliant registrants are eligible for termination of the sexual registration requirement, and SB 384 allows them to clear their names and live a life free of social stigma.
You should note that if your petition is denied, it is not the end of the road for you. The court will issue you a date on which you can reapply for removal. Usually, the duration for re-filing should be at least one year and no more than five years after the last denial. Talk to an attorney after a rejected petition and file afresh this time, avoiding mistakes that cost you the previous petition.
Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders under SB 384
The new law treats juveniles differently from adults. First, juvenile sex offenders only register as sexual predators for five years under Tier 1 and ten years for sexual offenses under Tier 2. Even if you are an adult now, if you were a juvenile when the court ordered you to register, you will file your petition with the juvenile court where your plea was sustained. You can file the petition on or after your first birthday following the end of the minimum registration timeline provided in your tier.
Reasons for Changing the Sexual Registration Act
In the 1940s, California was among the few states that obliged individuals convicted of registerable sex offenses to enlist as sexual predators for a lifetime under PEN 290. A registrant was required to re-register with the local authorities every year on their birthday or whenever they moved to a new location. Keeping tabs on all these sexual predators was difficult, hence the need to change the laws and make registration more efficient.
Out−of−State Registerable Sexual offenses or Predators
If your registerable offense happened outside California, SB 384 laws would apply upon your return. Even if the registration requirement in the state you were in has expired, you will resume registration in California. The same rule applies to registrants who leave California for other states.
If the out-of-state registerable crime has no equivalent in California, you will automatically be placed under Tier 2. Even so, you can end up in Tier 3 if your SARATSO risk evaluation results are above average and you are identified as a sexually violent offender. Also, when you have a subsequent sentence for a violent felony, sexual conduct with a child below ten, or aggravated sexual assault of a minor, you will be classified under Tier 3.
Find the Right Expungement Attorney Near Me
The sexual predator registration requirement is highly complex. The new laws make the Act even more problematic for you to understand. Therefore, to terminate the obligation, you should speak to a knowledgeable expunction attorney. At the Record Expungement Attorney, we can successfully help you remove your responsibility in Westlake Village. Call us today at 805-836-0422 to speak to our profound expunction attorneys.