The sex offender registration rules changed on January 1, 2021. California Senate Bill 384 created a new three-tiered approach to sex offender registration
Under the old law, a defendant convicted of certain sex-related offenses was required to register as a sex offender for life under California Penal Code 290 PC.
This type of system was determined to be inefficient as it was not performing the original purpose of the sex offender registry.
Police were spending a large amount of their time on record keeping and monitoring low-risk and low-level offenders.
Thus, California passed Senate Bill 384 to deal with these issues. The new law establishes a three-tiered approach based on the crime and other relevant factors, such as:
- Tier one requires sex offender registration for at least ten years for a defendant convicted of low-level misdemeanor sex crimes like indecent exposure.
- Tier two requires sex offender registration for at least 20 years for a defendant convicted of mid-level sex crimes like lewd conduct with a minor.
- Tier three requires lifetime sex offender registration for a defendant convicted of sexual-related severe offenses, such as rape and sex trafficking.
SB 384 also provides a mechanism for people in tier one and two, the lower risk tiers, to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry after specific periods and if they meet specific requirements.
Our California sex crime defense attorneys are taking a closer look at the law below.
What are the Chances You'll Have to Register as a Sex Offender If Charged with a Sex Crime in Los Angeles County?
I would say, depending on who your attorney is, what the circumstances and facts are surrounding your case, there's a powerful possibility the prosecutors are going to want you to register as a sex offender if you're convicted of a sex crime in Los Angeles.
I say this because better than 90% of sex-related offenses require somebody to register as a sex offender.
It used to be the majority of those sex offenses required registration for life. Now, as noted above, there's a three-tier system.
Some crimes you have to register for ten years; some crimes you have to register for 20 years; and some you still have to register for the rest of your life.
So, the problem with sex crimes is that you affect another person, and prosecutors and judges are very tough on these situations.
Secondarily, few sex-related offenses don't require registration.
Almost all of them do, and only the best criminal defense attorneys know which ones don't and know-how, if they're going to have to make a deal or negotiate a deal for their clients, how to convince the prosecutors to give a non-registerable offense.
What Factors Are Taken into Consideration?
When you talk about your chances of registration, you have to look at what factors will be taken into consideration when it comes to sex registration related to a crime in Los Angeles.
- The first factor is going to be your criminal record. Do you have a prior criminal record?
- If you do have a prior criminal record, is it a criminal record that relates to any sex offense?
Once you assess that, you'll have a pretty good idea whether or not the prosecutors will require sex registration. This factor is so important.
If you do have a prior sex offense on your record and you pick up a new sex offense, you're almost certainly going to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, unless you can go to trial, win, and get a not-guilty verdict.
The next factor or factors that the prosecutors will look at is:
- What type of offense do you have? In other words, do you have the type of offense that involves a very young person?
- Is there any violence involved?
- Was it a consensual situation?
These are the types of things that will be assessed when talking about whether someone is going to have to register as a sex offender. The next thing that prosecutors will look at is:
- Whether or not you are a danger to the community, and
- Whether or not you may be a recidivist.
In other words, if they give you a break and do not make you register as a sex offender, what is the likelihood that you're going to be in a position where you are committing further offenses against minors in the future?
If they evaluate you and evaluate your crime, they believe that you will be a recidivist, then you can bet your bottom dollar they're going to want you to register as a sex offender. They're probably going to want to put you in prison for as long as possible.
When people get to the level of being a recidivist and being in a situation where they cannot be trusted in society, those types of people, from the prosecutor and judge's standpoint, are the worst offenders who are going to register as a sex offender and are going to get the worst punishments possible.
What Will It Take to Avoid Sex Registration?
So, you start to get a feel for how they view sex crimes -- how they view people who commit sex crimes and what it will take to avoid sex registration.
We're going to have to show that whatever it is you're accused of, whatever it is they believe you did, is an aberration.
In other words, it's not going to happen again, and there are some exceptional circumstances attached to the situation that makes it, so you are not going to be a recidivist.
They also have to look at potential injury or damage to the victim. Obviously, the worse the damage is to the victim, the more likely you're going to have to register as a sex offender.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime, pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been doing this for nearly 30 years with a great deal of success.
I stand at the ready to help you. Pick up the phone and ask for a meeting. Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County, and we offer a free case consultation by calling 213-542-0979 or filling out our contact form here.