Changes in California’s Sex Offender Registration Law (PC 290)Nov 15, 2017 by Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes in
Being required to register as a sex offender in California can have a huge impact on your life. Until recently, sex offender registration in California was required for life for all offenders. However, the state legislature recently passed bill SB 384 which establishes a tier system for the requirements that might mandate somebody to register as a sex offender under California Penal Code 290 (PC 290). Going into effect on January 1, 2021, persons required to register as sex offenders will be required to do so for a minimum of 10 years, 20 years, or life. If you are required to register as a sex offender after this update takes place, your minimum term of registration will be determined mostly by the nature of your conviction.
An experienced California sex crimes attorney can help you understand the sex offender requirements, and work to clear your name if you have been charged with a crime. Contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer to speak with an attorney about your case today.
Call us at (559) 443-7442.
The Newly Established California Sex Offender Tier System
California’s future sex offender tiers each have their own guidelines for which crimes should result in particular minimum requirements for registering as a sex offender. However, while your conviction may often result in a specific sentence, the court has the discretion to consider if your offense warrants being placed in a higher tier. The state’s sex offender registration law is applied on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes people are required to register simply if the judge feels that their offense was committed out of a sexual compulsion or for sexual gratification. The three new tiers of California’s sex offender registration law will be:
1. Tier 1- minimum 10 years as a registered sex offender. This tier is for offenders who are at least 18 years old and were convicted of a misdemeanor that – along with the court’s judgment – does not place them in a higher tier.
2. Tier 2- minimum 20 years as a registered sex offender. This is for those convicted of a felony which was also a strike offense for repeat offenders, and for certain crimes which include:
- Sex acts with those incapable of giving consent
- Annoying/molesting a minor with prior similar convictions
- Previously having to register in California due to registering in another jurisdiction
3. Tier 3- lifetime sex offender registration. This tier is for those who do not fall in the previous two tiers, and includes those who previously had to register under violation of PC 667.5(c) or PC 290.006, or those committed to state mental hospitals as sexually violent predators. Additionally, of the many other convictions that fall into tier 3, some include:
- Murdering or kidnapping in the commission of a felony sex offense
- Pimping or pandering
- Procurement of a minor
- Contacting a minor with specific intent
Regarding Juvenile Offenders
When a minor is convicted of a crime in juvenile court, they can be required to register as a sex offender if they are found culpable through either adjudication or admission of having committed an offense. Similar to with adults, juvenile convicts will have a tier system, but it will consist of two tiers:
- Tier 1 has a mandatory minimum of five years as a registered sex offender, and it is meant for those who were found to have committed an offense that was not considered to be a serious or violent felony.
- Tier 2 is for juveniles who do not fit into Tier 1, and it has a mandatory minimum of 10 years as a registered sex offender.
Seeking To Terminate Your Required Sex Offender Registry
After you have completed the minimum term of your sex offender registry, it will be possible to file a petition with your local law enforcement agency seeking to terminate your registration requirement. This can be done if you have remained current with your registration requirements, but it also allows for law enforcement to request a hearing seeking to deny your petition if they believe you have not fulfilled your requirements.
If there is no hearing requested, the court will grant your petition if it is found that:
- There is proof you have kept up to date on your registry
- You have been registered for the minimum amount of time required in your case/Tier
- There are no pending charges against you which may extend your time on the registry
- You are not in custody, on parole, probation, or supervised release
Your attorney can help you properly file a termination petition, argue against any objections that law enforcement may have against ending your registry, and help the court find that you can be removed from the sex offender registry.
Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
California laws regarding sex offenders will be changing over the next few years. While it will become a little more complicated, it will offer the courts more flexibility in requiring that offenders register. The changes in these laws will also offer you hope if you or a loved one must add your name to the state’s sex offender registry. A skilled and compassionate attorney can help you understand California’s sex offender laws, and protect your rights through the entire process.