The California Sex Offender Registry was designed as a way of allowing the government, as well as the general public, to be aware of the whereabouts of people who have been convicted of certain sex crimes. If you have been accused (or convicted) of a sex crime such as rape, there are several things of which you should be aware concerning the registry. San Bernardino and Riverside County sex crime lawyer Gregory H. Comings is here to help you understand when a defendant is required to register as a sex offender, the penalties for violating the requirements of the registry, and possible ways to avoid inclusion on the registry.
Although many states’ registries were formed in response to federal laws passed in the 1990s, California has imposed a registration requirement on certain types of sex offenders since the 1940s. In California, the sex offender registry is officially known as the California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR). There are currently over 100,000 sex offenders included on the registry. Many of these offenders are listed on a website that is available to the public, but, under California Penal Code § 290.46, not all registered offenders are included on the online site. Generally, the particular offense of which a defendant is convicted determines whether they are included on the registry or website, or both. (For instance, the offense of prostitution does not typically require sex offender registration.)
People who are required to register as a sex offender in the state of California have only a limited amount of time to present themselves to the appropriate law enforcement agency and complete the necessary paperwork to be included on the registry. All registered offenders have an obligation to update their information at least once a year, and some offenders must provide information as to their current address even more frequently. (Transients, for instance, must update their information monthly, and people considered to be “violent predators” must check in every three months.) For example, if you have been convicted of child sexual assault, and you fail to update your information after the required interval, you could be prosecuted for this violation. Depending upon the situation, this could involve revocation of probation or parole, incarceration, fines, or other punishment.
Being required to comply with the requirements of the California Sex Offender Registry can be onerous, not to mention embarrassing. It can also create serious issues with finding suitable housing or employment. Recently, there have been some changes in the law, such that lifetime registration may no longer be required for some offenders. Additionally, there may also be the possibility of a particular offender applying for exclusion from the internet disclosure portion of the registry. If you have been required to register previously, there is a chance that the recent changes in the law could make your life easier, so it is important to speak with an attorney about your specific situation as soon as possible.
As an experienced sex crime defense lawyer, Attorney Gregory H. Comings is here to provide you with the most current information regarding sex offender registration. To schedule a consultation concerning a sexual assault case or another matter related to an alleged sex crime, call us at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online. In any situation, we strongly recommend that you talk to an attorney before talking to police or other law enforcement officials if you have been arrested or if you believe that you may be investigated for possible criminal activity. We represent people throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and we believe that one mistake or lapse in judgment should not define a person’s life forever. Attorney Comings can make sure that your rights are protected and your voice is heard throughout any legal proceedings.