There are times when a person is wrongly accused and is convicted of sex crimes such as indecent exposure or sexual battery. Convicts of sex crimes are also required to undergo sex offender registration. This puts a negative note on an innocent person’s reputation. That is why it’s necessary to contact a sex crime defense attorney who can help you defend yourself.
These are offenses wherein a person engages in sexual activities that include violence, without consent from the other party, or with someone who cannot legally give consent. Some of the acts considered as sex crimes are:
- Prostitution. The act of giving out sexual favors for money. Prostituting others for your gain may also fall under this category. (Note: Prostitution as a form of sex work is currently being debated around the world. Some jurisdictions upon writing still consider prostitution as a crime.)
- Child molestation and pornography. Refers to indecent interactions with a child or possession of physical or digital materials depicting children engaging in sexual activities.
- Sexual assault. It’s the act of engaging in sexual activities without the consent of the other party.
- Public indecency. Includes nudity, exposure of private parts, and engaging in sexual acts publicly.
Sex offender registry
In California, the law requires all convicted of sex crimes to register as sex offenders. This should be done every year within five days of your birthdate. You should also register within five days after moving to a new place. In addition, certain provisions of Jessica’s law apply to California. Some of these provisions are:
- GPS monitoring of sex offenders for life
- Increased penalties and fees imposed by the court
- Extension of parole
- Expansion of the scope of some sex crimes.
Aside from the unfortunate consequences to your reputation, some restrictions may be imposed on sex offenders on a case-to-case basis like the prohibition of living near schools or parks. The people also have the right to know if offenders are living within their neighborhood.
Senate Bill 384
The recently passed Senate Bill 384 now supersedes the California law where sexual offenders must register yearly. The bill introduces a three-tiered system and the severity of the crime determines what tier you belong to and what is the minimum number of years you should register. Below are the tiers and some of the crimes it covers. Do take note that the crimes listed below are non-exhaustive.
- Tier one. This tier requires people convicted of sex crimes to register as sex offenders for a minimum of ten years. Crimes such as indecent exposure (PC 314), child pornography (as misdemeanor; PC 311.1), sexual battery (as misdemeanor; PC 243.4), sodomy (as a misdemeanor and in some felony cases; PC 286), etc. are included in this tier.
- Tier two. This requires sexual offenders in this tier to be registered as such for a minimum of twenty years. Some of the crimes included in this tier are engaging in incestuous acts (PC 285), committing lewd acts with a minor aged below 14 (PC 288), sodomy when the victim is incapable of giving consent, or a minor aged below 14 (PC 286), etc.
- Tier three. The highest tier where sexual offenders must register for life. Crimes included in this tier are murder or attempted murder during a forced sexual act (PC 187), kidnapping or attempted kidnapping during a forced sexual act (PC 207 and PC 209), rape (PC 261), forced sodomy (PC 286), etc.
You must personally report and register your address with the law enforcement agency within five days after your sentence, release from custody, or discharge from the hospital (whichever is the earliest of the three). Once registered, you are required to register yearly within five days of your birth date. The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will continuously track your compliance in reporting and registering.
Certain circumstances will require you to register within a specific timeframe aside from your birth date.
- Moving residences. You must report personally to the police within five days of moving to your new address or address. If moving outside California, the state you are moving into may require you to register according to their laws. If you are from outside California but go to the state for work or education purposes, you must report to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over your workplace or school.
- Sexual violent predators. Defined as someone who was convicted due to a violent sexual offense and is diagnosed with a mental disorder. People who are deemed as such must report and update their status with their local law enforcement agency every 90 days.
- Changing names. You are required to report your new name within five days of the change.
Information about registered sex offenders will be tracked by the DOJ and made available on their Megan’s Law website. It will display your name, photo, the crime you committed, and any identifying feature or information (height, eye color, aliases, scars, etc.). Other information such as address will appear depending on the nature of the sex crime and your criminal history. The following are some of the cases in which the address are displayed:
- Murdering while committing or attempting rape or other forced sexual act (PC 187)
- Committing rape by fear or by force (PC 261)
- Committing specified acts of oral copulation (PC 287)
- Committing specified acts of sodomy (PC 286)
- If the person is deemed as a sexually violent predator
Removal from the sex offender database
Depending on the severity of the crime, there are multiple ways for you to be cleared from your status as a sexual offender. Here are some of those methods:
- Rehabilitation Certificate. You may apply for this after seven years after your release from custody or probation provided that your case has been expunged, you have not committed any crimes that caused you to go under probation or be incarcerated, and you have been a resident of California for at least five years.
- Expungement. Completing your probation and exhibiting good behavior can remove your conviction from your criminal record. However, annual registration as a sex offender is still a must. Expungement does not apply to certain sex crimes.
- Governor’s pardon. Given to those who have observed good behavior for a certain amount of years after custody or probation.
- Petition for Tier one and Tier two offenders. Tier one offenders may submit a petition after ten years and tier two offenders may submit theirs after twenty years.
However, do note that if you are proven to be non-compliant to the law and failed in registering as a sex offender, your chances of having your petition or application for any of the above methods will be affected. In addition, a warrant of arrest may be issued against you.
Ready to prove your innocence? The Law Offices of Marc Grossman are ready to fight for you. Contact our California sex crime defense lawyer for a free confidential consultation.