How Can You Be Removed From Sex Crime Registration in California?
The first thing that must be considered in any sex crime-related related offense is avoiding pleading guilty to a sex crime involving registration.
Having represented hundreds of people charged with sex crimes over the years, I make it my number one job to do everything I can to avoid them registering as sex offenders for the rest of their life.
Some strategies can be employed in every case, but it depends on the crime and its commission circumstances. There are many factors the prosecutor and judge consider before making their final decision on this issue.
It is not an easy task because if the prosecutors believe that you tend to commit illegal sex crimes, the most potent weapon they have in their arsenal is to make you register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. If I can convince them that there are other, less severe ways to deter future sex crimes, then we are in a position to avoid the registration aspect of a sex crime.
Sex Registration on a Tiered System
As I write this post, legislation pending would make sex registration a tiered system and give a break to some of the people who currently register and future people who will have to register as sex offenders in California.
This is one of the few positive changes that I have seen proposed over the past 25 years of defending people charged with sex crimes. However, beware that the new sex crime legislation has been submitted and endorsed by the Los Angeles County Attorney's Office.
Hence, it is likely that there will be limits on the extent of the legislature, and it will not do everything necessary to clean up the mess related to registering as a sex offender in California.
The reason that the prosecutors are behind the new legislation, aimed at clarifying the sex crime registration system and grouping the more severe crimes into defined groups and the less sex-related severe offenses into other groups that will not require a lifetime of the registration, is because they too are frustrated by the harshness of the current system and the lack of flexibility.
It makes their jobs harder to try and give anyone a break who deserves it. Suppose the new legislation makes things more transparent. In that case, this will make sex crime defense in Los Angeles much easier and less inconsistent when it comes to who will have to register as a sex offender and under what circumstances. One of the big goals of the DA's Office is consistency in the way they prosecute sex crime cases.
What is Megan's Law?
Megan's Law was passed back in 1996 in response to the rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka. The crime was committed by a man who had moved across the street from the Kanka home.
This man was known by local authorities to be a convicted child molester and was registered as a sex offender. Still, this information was not available to the public, including the Kanka family. As a result, Megan's law was enacted, making information regarding sex offenders and their location available on the internet.
This law is, and its dictates, efficient for law enforcement and the public to track the location of where a sex offender lives and take whatever safeguards they deem necessary.
Depending on which crime they were convicted of, someone who is forced to register and be on Megan's Law Website can attempt to be removed from the website.
I always suggest that anyone attempting to be removed from this website take some time to do some due diligence and figure out exactly where they fall in the big scheme of things and what they can and can not hope to accomplish if they attempt to be removed from the website.
There are all kinds of information available to those individuals who want to learn the ins and outs of this process.
Being Removed from Megan's Law
As humans, we do not like all our personal information to be made public, and sex offenders feel even more passionate about it. Some sex offenders may fall under the “undisclosed category,” wherein they are registered sex offenders known by authorities and do not have any of their information posted on the internet.
Not everyone falls in this category, and if you do not, you may apply for removal.
A Megan's Law exclusion form must be filled out and returned to the California Department of Justice. There are specific criteria and requirements to be eligible for removal.
For example, suppose you are labeled as a sexually violent predator. You will automatically be ineligible to apply for removal if you do meet all the requirements. You will be removed from Megan's Law, and your information excluded from the internet.
If you commit a subsequent sex offense, you will fall back into the Megan's Law Website, but if you meet the requirements of removal, then you may reapply.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in California
The penalties for sex offenses are harsh and include jail times, fines, and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration as required by California Penal code section 290.
There are four different categories a person will fall into if convicted and required to register as a sex offender; home address, conditional home address; zip code, and undisclosed. This information is then made public on the Megan's Law website.
Regardless of which category, these persons are still registered sex offenders and known by law enforcement agencies. Information is made public through the Megan's Law website unless in the “undisclosed” category (information will not be made public).
As required by the law, a person convicted of a sex crime has five days from the date of release from custody to go to a local police/sheriff's department to register as a sex offender.
If there is a change of address, a person has five days from the move to re-register and must update information every year (within five days of birthday). Anyone considered a sexually violent predator must update their information every 90 days and any transient or homeless every 30 days.
How to be Removed From PC 290 Requirement
One of the many ways to avoid sex offender registration is to apply for a California certificate of rehabilitation. The purpose of the certificate is in its name; to show that your criminal record is of the past and that you have been rehabilitated.
To apply, you must be a California resident for at least five years and wait five years from the date you first registered. If qualified, you will be relieved from registering as a sex offender, and the certificate becomes an automatic application to the state governor for a pardon. There are many benefits, and our sex crime defense attorneys will help guide you through the process.
If you have been convicted of a sex offense and are ready to put it behind you and clear your record, contact our lawyers. We will aggressively work towards getting your life back and removing you from sex offender registration requirements with all dedication.
It is also worth educating yourself on the system and how it works. There is a history that can be researched, and there is a lot of information available at the various police stations in charge of sex crime registration in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, law enforcement is not very helpful in answering a question related to sex crime registration. You are better off reviewing information online than expecting them to lift a finger to help you.
One problem I see is that the police do not like people registering as sex offenders. Many of them are not sophisticated enough to understand the system anyway and give wrong information to those who have to register.
You are best served by relying on your attorney for information, the judge's order, and your common sense. This confusion that I mention sometimes works to the benefit of the defendant when a case has to be prosecuted, and the police are put on the spot about their procedures.