Ways to Terminate Sex Offender Registration in California

The names, addresses, and physical descriptions of people convicted of serious sex crimes appear on the sex offender registry. The registry is open to the public. As a result, anyone conducting a background check on a registered sex offender will discover their information there. The registry's goal is to inform members of the public about a sex offender living in their neighborhood. It also aids the justice system in keeping track of previous sex offenders. However, it harms reformed sex offenders because it affects many aspects of their lives, including their social and professional lives.

Fortunately, the new law provides several options for having your registration duty in the sex offender registry modified or terminated. At Record Expungement Attorney, we have handled several sex-crime after-conviction relief cases. We could assist you in removing your requirement to register in Long Beach, as well as all its negative consequences. That way, you can reclaim your life and start afresh.

A Petition to Terminate Registration Requirement Per the State’s Three‐Tiered Registration System

As a registered sex offender seeking relief from sex offender registration, your first option is to petition a judge to terminate your registration requirement. A newly enacted law under SB 384 affects the time frame in which a convicted sex offender should register under Penal Code 290's sex registry requirements. This new law, which went into effect in 2021, establishes a three-tier system for the sex offender registry:

 Tier One

Convicted sex offenders must register their names and personal information every year for the next ten years under this system. The system includes less serious sex offenses that require registration in the sex offender registry. Misdemeanors under this system include the following:

  • Sexual battery under Penal Code 243.3.
  • Indecent exposure under Penal Code 314.1.
  • Possessing child pornography under Penal Code 311.11(a).
  • Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under Penal Code 288(c).
  • Statutory rape under Penal Code 261.5(c).
  • Soliciting prostitution under Penal Code 647(b)(2).
  • Peeping Tom offenses under Penal Code 647(i).

Tier Two

After a severe sex crime conviction, you must register every year for the next twenty years under this system. Crimes under this system are more severe than those committed under the Tier one system, though not as severe as those under the Tier three system. They include:

  • PC 288 Lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14 without the use of violence or force.
  • PC 287, oral copulation with a child under the age of 14 without the use of violence or force.
  • Sodomy of a child under the age of 14 without the use of violence or force under PC 286.
  • Incest under PC 285.

Tier Three

You will be required to register your information in the sex offender registry every year for the rest of your life under this system. The system is only for the most heinous and violence-related sex crimes. Crimes committed under this system include:

  • Trafficking minors for sex or prostitution under PC 231.1.
  • Sodomy by violence or force under PC 286.
  • Forceful penetration of a child by violence or intimidation under PC 289.
  • Aggravated rape under PC 261.

Crimes listed under these three systems represent just a tiny portion of the many sex crimes under the law which require registration. If you face charges for a sex crime, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine whether your conviction carries a requirement to register.

Note that if a defendant receives a subsequent conviction during the registration period, the court can extend the registration period. Your registration period is extended by one year if you are guilty of a subsequent misdemeanor. If you receive a subsequent felony conviction, your registration extends for three years. Furthermore, if you are guilty of a subsequent criminal offense, the court can stop your registration temporarily. You will continue the registration if the sentencing period does not result in a new criminal conviction.

Sex Offender Registration for Juvenile Sex Offenders

Senate Bill 384 is the law that establishes a two-tier system for minor offenders convicted of sex crimes who are required to register. If a juvenile is guilty of one of the most severe sex crimes under Penal Code 290, the new statute requires them to register their information in the sex offender registry every year for the next ten years. Other less serious sex crimes have a five-year mandatory registration requirement.

Petition for Removal of Registration Requirement in the Sex Offender Registry

If you received a post-conviction registration requirement under Tier two, you could petition a judge to remove it after 20 years from your conviction date or the date you are released from prison, according to Senate Bill 384. (whichever time is more recent).

However, if your registration requirement falls under the Tier one system, you can file a similar petition with the court to have it lifted ten years after your conviction date or the date you are released from incarceration(whichever date is more recent).

You cannot automatically terminate registration requirements under Penal Code 290 after serving the minimum required time. After the minimum period has expired, you must petition a judge to have your registration requirement lifted. As a result, even if you meet all the registration requirements, your duty to register continues. You must persuade the judge that you are eligible for relief and then wait for a judge to grant your petition.

You can file a request for termination with the help of a skilled record expungement attorney. The new law is complex, with numerous exceptions and ambiguities to the main law. It can be difficult for you to navigate the legal process independently. If the court does not grant your first petition for relief, you are given a second chance under Senate Bill 384.

The following are steps to take in petitioning for the termination of your registration requirement:

  • Creating a draft and filing your petition with the required declarations and forms.
  • Providing proof that you fulfilled all registration requirements.
  • Presenting the results of the sex offender risk assessment psychological evaluation to the judge.
  • Providing additional evidence and arguments in support of the petition.
  • Waiting for the court's decision on the matter.

Obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation Under PC 4852

A criminal conviction results in the loss of several rights or privileges. However, laws exist to help convicted defenders regain some of their lost rights or privileges after serving their criminal sentences and fulfilling all conviction requirements.

For example, you can file a petition requesting the court to expunge your criminal conviction after serving your time and paying all necessary court fees and fines. You can also ask the court for a rehabilitation certificate, demonstrating that you have reformed from your previous criminal behavior.

However, if you are a convicted sex offender, an expunged criminal record will not terminate your duty to register in the sex offender registry. But, if you combine the criminal record expungement with a certificate of rehabilitation, they can release you from the requirement to register.

This only applies to a subset of registered sex offenders. Not all registered sex offenders are eligible for rehabilitation certificates. If you do not qualify for the certificate after meeting all registration requirements, you could be eligible for a gubernatorial pardon.

If you qualify for the pardon and the governor grants your request, you will be free from your duty to register on the sex offender registry. However, success in a request for pardon is more complicated than success in applying for a certificate of rehabilitation.

To be eligible for the certificate, you must first petition a judge to have your conviction record expunged. Keep in mind that you can only expunge some sex-related convictions. For example, a conviction for aggravated sexual assault against a child, sodomy by violence or force, oral copulation through violence or force, or continuous sexual abuse against a minor cannot be expunged. For these crimes that do not have an expungement provision, you must petition the governor for a pardon to receive termination from the sex offender registry.

Applying for the certificate is more straightforward than applying for similar termination under the new three-tier registration system for sex offenders. You can apply for the certificate even if your registration period has not expired.

For example, if your conviction were due to having sexual acts with a child under 14, your registration would fall under the Tier three category. You must register for the rest of your life here. According to the new law, you can only petition for canceling your registration requirement 20 years after your conviction date. However, if you seek a pardon or a certificate of rehabilitation, the judge can waive your registration requirement even after ten years from the date of your conviction.

To apply for the certificate, you must meet specific residency requirements. The judge will deny your request unless you have been a resident of California for a minimum of five years. Some sex crimes, like child sexual abuse, necessitate a more extended residency period. But, there are no residency requirements under the new law's three-tier system for registering sex offenders.

Your certificate of rehabilitation will be an automatic submission to request a gubernatorial pardon if granted. As a result, you will not need to submit another application for the pardon. Remember that some sex crime convictions will disqualify you from applying for the certificate. In that case, you must apply for a pardon directly through the governor's office. To avoid mistakes, you can do so with the help of an attorney.

The Application Process

Penal Code 4852 governs the application process for the certificate. It consists of the following steps:

  • Creating a draft and filing the petition with all necessary declarations and forms.
  • Providing the court with proof of your yearly registration in the registry.
  • Providing the findings of a risk assessment psychological evaluation for a sex offender.
  • Providing evidence of residency (remember that residency requirements vary from one sex crime to the other).
  • You can present any evidence or arguments you wish during the petition hearing.

An Application for Name Exclusion or Removal From The Sex Offender Registry

Having your name on the sex offender registry is terrible for your reputation, especially if you have completely reformed. It will influence how potential employers, landlords, and family and friends treat you. People who conduct a background check on you can decide how to treat you based on the information they discover. However, if your name is not on the registry's website, they will not be able to determine your registration status.

That is why the law allows sex offenders to apply to have their names and other identifying information removed from the registry’s website. However, this termination option will not relieve you of the requirement to register. If your application is approved, you will continue registering as required by law, but your information will not be included in the registry. A potential employer, for example, will not be able to find your name on the website if they conduct a background check on you. As a result, they cannot base their hiring decision on your criminal history.

This option is provided by Penal Code 290(d)(1)(A). According to the statute, any sex offender with a duty to register in the sex offender registry can apply to have their name removed from the website if they can demonstrate that their sex crime conviction for which they are required to register meets the following criteria:

  • An offense in which they have completed probation.
  • A violation in which they were serving probation when you made the application.

However, in both cases, the applicant must meet specific criteria. They must submit the following to the judge:

  • A copy of their pre sentencing report.
  • Probation report, and
  • Any other court documents.
  • Proof that they are the victim’s sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent.
  • There should also be proof that the offense does not involve vaginal penetration, oral copulation, or rectum penetration of the victim or defendant by a penis or a foreign object.

If the court agrees, your name and other personal information will not be displayed on the sex offender website. However, the court can dismiss your application if you commit another crime or violate your probation during this application process.

The Application Process

The procedure for petitioning a criminal court to have your personal information removed from the sex offender registry’s website is simple. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you will likely obtain favorable results. Here are some essential steps you can take to remove your name from the registry's website:

  • Make a draft of the petition and file it properly, including all declarations and required forms.
  • Include proof of your registration status in the petition — You can quickly obtain this from the police.
  • Include positive results from a sex offender risk assessment psychological evaluation — Specially trained psychologists administer the evaluation to determine a defendant's likelihood of repeating the sex offense.
  • To meet this petition's specific familiar relationship requirements, provide proof of your relationship with the victim.
  • During the petition hearing, provide evidence and arguments.

This entire procedure could take up to four months to complete. Depending on the facts of your case, the court can grant or deny your petition. You must have proper legal representation to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Note: Specially trained psychologists administer psychological risk assessments. They assess the likelihood of a sex offender committing the offense again. The results of the psychological evaluations are necessary for any process you could take to terminate your duty to register in the sex offender registry. They are available from the probation department and are included in your sex crime sentencing report.

A successful application to have your information removed from the registry does not absolve you of the requirement to register. You only obtain relief from disclosing your registration details on the website. Your registration status will also be kept private.

Find a Skilled Record Expungement Attorney Near Me

A criminal conviction has serious consequences that can affect many aspects of your life, including your career and social life. A sex crime conviction could necessitate mandatory registration in the sex offender registry. Because the registry is public, members of the public can learn about your criminal history if they conduct a background check. Furthermore, you must continue registering until a court order stops you. Fortunately, you can petition a judge to have your registration requirement lifted. However, you must meet specific requirements for the court to grant your request. Working closely with an experienced attorney can expedite the process and increase your chances of a favorable outcome. If you are applying for termination in Long Beach, we at Record Expungement Attorney can investigate the specifics of your case and provide quality advice and support. We will also accompany you on this challenging journey. For more information on our services, please contact us at 424-835-9505.

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