Obligations, Consequences and Limitations
If you are required to register under California Sex Offense Registration laws, what can you do in order to avoid further run-ins with the law regarding your registration requirement? What are the registration obligations of the offender?
If you were convicted of an offense requiring registration, you must register in California for life so long as you live or regularly work here. You must register in person with the chief of police in the city where you live or with the sheriff’s department if you live outside the city. College students or those living or working on campus must register with the campus police. If you live at more than one address, you must register in each city and/or county in which you live.
You are required to register within 5 working days of your release from custody or placement on probation or parole, your annual birthday, or changing your name or your address. If you move, either in or out of California, you must notify the local California authorities within 5 working days of your move. Keep in mind that the state you move to will likely require you to register there as well so check the laws in that state.
If you are a transient or are homeless, you must register within 5 days of your release from custody, every 30 days thereafter and every year on your birthday.
Consequences of Failing to Register
Failing to register is a crime so don’t let this happen. The severity of this crime (misdemeanor or felony) would depend upon the offense you were originally convicted of. For instance, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense, the failure to register would usually be a misdemeanor the first time and a felony thereafter. If you were convicted of a felony sex offense, your failure to register would be a felony. Your failure to register must be “willful.” To prove your failure was not “willful” you must show that a severe involuntary physical or mental condition prevented you from registering. Simply stating you forgot would be inadequate.
Pursuant to Proposition 83 which passed in November, 2006, no person required to register as a sex offender may reside within 2,000 feet of any school or park where children regularly gather. Furthermore, a sex offender parolee may not reside with another sex offender unless they are legally related by blood, adoption or marriage.
Removing the Registration Requirement
Although uncommon and very difficult to achieve, there are ways to have your registration requirement removed. You may obtain a certificate of rehabilitation from the superior court relieving you of your duty to register. Note that if you were convicted of certain serious or violent sex crimes, a certificate of rehabilitation will not relieve you from your duty to register. (See Penal Code § 290.5(a)(2)). In those cases, you must obtain a full pardon from the governor to be relieved of your duty to register.
Having had many years experience with these matters, I can help. Contact me for a free consultation.
~ Dan Koukol, Criminal Defense Attorney