SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
If you are required to register as a sex offender, you already know that such registration requirement carries a great amount of stigma. Your picture, description and often even complete address are listed on the Megan’s Law website. There are also strict residency and other requirements that have to be followed for a lifetime.
What many people do not know is that many times there is a way to be erased from the Megan’s Law website. In some cases there is even a way to stop the sex offender registration requirement entirely. Each case is different and must be analyzed in detail. This page will discuss some general guidelines. If you believe you fit within these guidelines, contact us immediately to start the process of getting rid of the sex offender website presence or the entire sex registration requirement and begin getting your life back.
Eliminate Your Name from the Megan’s Law Sex Offender Website
California’s sex offender registry is run by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The registry is made public through the Megan’s Law website.
The legislature has created three different categories that relate to how much information is initially disclosed. The main determining factor is the nature of the conviction.
The most serious offenders will have their entire address listed. This category includes people convicted of sex related murder, sex related kidnap and forcible rape among other serious charges. Offenders regarded as less dangerous are those convicted of sexual battery by restraint or misdemeanor sex offenses involving minors. This group will generally only have their zip code listed and not their entire address. The last group includes people convicted of possessing child pornography or soliciting a sex act with a minor, among other charges. This last group will generally be excluded from the website altogether.
The California legislature has created a statutory way for some people who are required to register to be excluded from the state’s public sex offender website.
One way to obtain this exclusion is to have your sex offender requirement eliminated altogether by obtaining a Governor’s pardon or in some cases a Certificate of Rehabilitation described below.
Another way to be excluded is to apply to the Department of Justice. Such exclusion can be granted if:
- You were convicted of misdemeanor child molestation;
- You were convicted to sexual battery by restraint; or
- You were convicted of a sex offense not involving oral copulation or penetration and the victim was your child, stepchild, grandchild, or sibling. Additionally you must have successfully completed probation. You are not eligible for this relief if you were sentenced to state prison.
There are many other factors that can interfere with the exclusion from the Megan’s Law website and even if granted, such exclusion does not relieve you from having to register as a sex offender.
Stop Sex Offender Registration
Eliminating the requirement to register as a sex offender is a difficult but not impossible task. The California legislature has set in place a way to stop the requirement of registering as a sex offender. The procedures are different depending on whether you have been convicted of a sex-related misdemeanor or a felony.
The First Requirement
The first requirement you have to satisfy is to stay free of any other conviction after the completion of the original sentence. Any new conviction may jeopardize your chances to have the sex registration requirement removed even if you do not go to jail or prison as a result of such conviction.
The Second Requirement
The second requirement you have to satisfy in the process of stopping your sex registration requirement is to wait between 5 and 10 years after the initial conviction, depending on the nature of the original sex-related conviction. This time must be spent in California as a resident. Any time spent residing out of state is not counted towards this waiting period.
If you meet the criteria described above, attorney Richard Dudek can help you on your way to a life without sex offender registration. The next steps that the attorney will take depend on the nature of the conviction. The most important factor is whether the sex conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony.
We first pursue a dismissal pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. This is often referred to as an expungement. The expungement alone will not relieve you of the duty to register. This is however the first required step in the process. Without an expungement you generally cannot move on to the next step.
Next, in certain misdemeanor cases attorney Richard Dudek can stop the registration requirement with the granting of a Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. This is done only after the granting of the expungement. In other cases only the granting of a Governor’s Pardon will relieve the person from the requirement to register.
The entire process can be very difficult and long. People convicted of certain serious sex crimes, including PC286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5 and 289(j) will have a very hard time eliminating their sex offender registration requirement. People convicted of these crimes are ineligible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and must apply directly for a Governor’s pardon.
The process of trying to be erased from the Megan’s Law website or stopping sex offender registration altogether is costly, time consuming and complex. If you believe that you are a good candidate for being taken off the sex offender website or getting rid the lifetime sex registration requirement, contact our office today to discuss your case.