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CALIFORNIA MEGAN’S LAW PENAL CODE §290
California’s Megan’s Law is a statute that requires both lifetime registration as a sex offender and community disclosure of that same information. By itself, even without regard to the penalty for the underlying offense, it can be devastating to someone’s future seriously and permanently impeding the ability to get a job, a home, an education, a loan, and any number of other things.
When Registration Is Required – Summary Of Timing
In summary, and subject to the few exceptions listed below, registration is for life. You register on your birthday, whenever you move, if you are transient, upon sentencing if given no custody time, upon release from custody, if you work at or attend a university or school, when you change your name, and when you are a registered sex offender in another state and you have moved to California.
Surprising Conduct/Convictions That Can Result In A Registration Requirement
It is, of course, true that false allegations of sex crimes where there is a conviction will still result in a requirement for registration. Things like public urination when charged as indecent exposure can likewise. An underage person sending or receiving a nude photo of another underage person can as well. Consensual sex in the back seat of a car when deemed public can also result in a conviction that requires registration. Additionally, there are many other scenarios that can surprisingly result in the devastating requirement for sex offender registration.
In addition to the requirement for registration Megan’s Law also requires disclosure of sex offender information to the community and on the Megan’s Law internet web site.
Disclosure Of Offender Information To The Community
Disclosure via the website
There are five categories of registered sex offenders for purposes of disclosure on the Megan’s Law Internet website
Home Address Some offenses require disclosure of sex offender names and home address – Penal Code §290.46 subd. (b).
Conditional Home Address Penal Code §290.46 subd. (c).
Zip Code Category Some offenses require disclosure of sex offender names and home address – Penal Code §290.46 subd. (d).
Excluded Category certain offenders for certain offenses can apply to be excluded from the web site. F243.4(a), misdemeanor annoy/molest PC647.6, offenders who complete probation for an offense in which the victim was their child, stepchild, sibling, or grandchild with no oral copulation or penetration of the victim may also be granted exclusion.
Sexually Violent Predator A person convicted of a violent sexual offense and who has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes a person a person dangerous to the health and safety of others based on the likelihood that he will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.
Disclosure Via Local Law Enforcement
Under certain conditions local law enforcement is authorized to inform the community directly regarding local sex offender information including name and address, etc… This covers not only adults but juvenile offenders as well – Penal Code §290.45.
What Crimes Require Registration?
Registration is mandatory under the long list of offenses set forth in Penal Code §290(a)(2)(A-E). It is likewise mandatory for offenses under Penal Code section 288 and 314. Registration is discretionary, that is, the even if the crime is not listed under section 290 a judge can order registration as a sex offender if the crime was involved a sexual component or motivation – Penal Code §290.006.
Penalties For Failure To Register
There are considerable penalties for a failure to register. Generally, a failure to register makes one guilty of a felony. Where the underlying crime is a misdemeanor then the failure to register is a misdemeanor and a felony if there is a subsequent failure to register.
Exceptions And Exemptions From The Registration Requirement
There are two main exemptions from the registration requirement. Under Penal Code §1203.4, sex offenders who successfully complete probation may apply to have the offense dismissed. It’s important to note here that dismissal does not relieve the person from the duty to register as a sex offender – Penal Code §290.007.
Under Penal Code Penal Code §290.5, some persons whose convictions are non-disclosable to the public may obtain relief from having to register if they receive a certificate of rehabilitation.A person is eligible to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation seven to ten years after release from custody. Certain registerable sex offenders are not eligible to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation – Penal Code §4852.01.
With some exceptions, all others must obtain a Governors Pardon to obtain relief from the duty to register.