Seeking Removal From California’s Sex Offender Registry
A person who is convicted of certain sex crimes in California must register as a sex offender with the California Department of Justice, which maintains the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR) database. This information is made available to the public through the state-operated Megan’s Law website as a means of helping citizens protect themselves and their families.
Those who are required to register are notified in writing prior to their release from prison, jail, a mental hospital or probation. Anyone required to register must do so at the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the person will reside, and they must update their information annually within five days of their birthday. Some classifications of sex offenders must update their information more often.
The requirement to register on the state’s sex offender registry is a stigma that limits your privacy and freedoms. It may be possible to have your name removed from the registry, but it can be a complex, bureaucratic process that is best handled with help from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Gregg S. Cohen assists individuals in accomplishing this in order to create new opportunities. Residents of Tehama County, Shasta County and surrounding Northern California communities can contact the firm to learn more.
Understanding California’s Three-Tiered System
At one time, those who were required to register as a sex offender had to do so for life. Starting in 2021, however, California will have a three-tiered system that allows most of those required to register as sex offenders to be removed from both the public and the police registries 10 to 20 years after they are released from prison, as long as they have not committed another serious or violent felony or sex crime.
The first tier of offenders, which has the largest number of sex offenders, allows people who are convicted of lesser crimes, such as misdemeanor sexual battery or indecent exposure, to petition to be removed from the registry after 10 years.
The second tier of offenders includes people who have been convicted of mid-level sex offenses, such as lewdness with a minor under 14 years old or non-forced sodomy with a minor under 14. These offenders must register as a sex offender for a minimum of 20 years.
The third tier is for people who are convicted of the most serious sex crimes, which include rape, sex trafficking of children and forced lewdness with a minor, as well as repeat offenders. These offenders are still required to register for life.
Petitioning For Removal
You may be able to remove your name from California’s sex offender registry within seven to 10 years from your release from custody or the completion of your probation. You must prove that you have lived in California for a minimum of five years prior to your application to qualify. Also, the court must have expunged your case, you must not have been incarcerated since your case was dismissed, and you cannot be on probation for the conviction of any other felony.
Help Taking The Next Step
Removal of your requirement to register as a sex offender can create new opportunities professionally and personally. Attorney Gregg S. Cohen can help. Call 530-763-1137 or reach the firm online to schedule a free consultation.