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Are Convicted Sexual Offenders Required to Register?

In 1947, California became the first state in the nation to enact a sex offender registration law that required offenders convicted of specified offenses to register with their local law enforcement agency. This practice is still in place and the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR) serves as the statewide repository for information on registered sex offenders. Today, the California Sex Offender Registry continues to provide a wide range of services that support and assist the law enforcement community with the monitoring and registration of over 120,000 California sex offenders. These services include maintaining and providing information to the general public via the California Megan’s Law Internet Web site.

The short answer is: Yes, convicted sex offenders are required to register in the State of California, but what does that actually mean? Sections 290 to 294 of the California Penal Code outline specific registration requirements. More specifically, PC 290 requires that all sex offenders to register with local authorities every year and within five days of their birthday. This also applies to each time that a registrant relocates from one address of residence to another.

The most frequent question is what offenses under PC 290 require registration as a sex offender? Generally speaking; sexual battery, indecent exposure, and rape. It is important to note; however, that if you reside, work, and/or attend school in the State of California, you will be required to register. If you move to California from another state, it is necessary to check with your local law enforcement office to determine whether registration is required.

PC 290 establishes three specific tiers of offenders that are required to register and their requirements. A tier one offender is subject to registration for a minimum of ten years. A tier one offender is required to register for a conviction of a misdemeanor or for a felony that was not serious or violent. A tier two offender is subject to registration for a minimum of 20 years and those applicable convictions are outlined in subdivision (c) of PC 290. A tier three offender is subject to registration for life. A person is a tier three offender if any one of the following applies: Following conviction of a registerable offense, the person was subsequently convicted in a separate proceeding of committing an offense described in subdivision (c) and the conviction is for commission of a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, or the person was subsequently convicted of committing an offense for which the person was ordered to register pursuant to Section 290.006, and the conviction is for the commission of a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.

One final note, if you are on parole you are required to register under the same guidelines and criteria as outlined. Failure to do so may result in the violation of your parole and subsequent criminal charges. 

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.

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