California “Sex Offender Registration” Laws: Penal Code 290 PC
Penal Code 290 requires mandatory sex offender registration for defendants convicted of the sex offenses listed in Penal Code 290(c). A defendant may have to register as a sex offender even for a crime that is not included in PC 290(c) if it is determined the crime was sexually motivated. There are more than 100 registrable offenses. Registrable offenses can be misdemeanors or felonies.
What kind of information is disclosed on the internet upon registering as a sex offender (PC 290)?
The Department of Justice requires different categories of registered sex offenders (PC 290) to disclose certain information on their website. Conviction of certain sex offenses requires more disclosure than others. Information that may be disclosed includes name, photograph, physical description including gender and race, date of birth, criminal history, and ZIP Code or home address.
Information about registered sex offenders in the “undisclosed category” may not be disclosed on the Department of Justice website. These offenders must still register with local law enforcement agencies, however their information is not public.
How does a defendant register as a sex offender?
A defendant must appear in person to register with the police department of the city in which he/she resides. Registration must be completed within five working days after release from custody or on probation. A person also has five working days to complete sex offender registration if he/she changes his residence.
If a defendant is currently homeless, he/she must still register as a sex offender within five working days of release from custody. Rather than including his/her address when registering, the defendant must register as a transient. The defendant must then continue to register as a transient sex offender every thirty days thereafter until he/she finds a residence.
All registrants must update their registration annually, within five working days of their birthday, according to Penal Code 290.012. Those sex offenders who are deemed sexually violent predators must update their registration no less than every 90 days, according to Penal Code 290.011.
Can juveniles be forced to register as sex offenders?
Some juveniles are required to register as sex offenders upon release from the California Youth Authority. However, those registrants whose cases were heard in juvenile court cannot have their information publicly disclosed.
What happens if a person fails to register as a Sex Offender (Penal Code 290(b))?
There are various penalties for failing to register as a sex offender under PC 290. If the underlying conviction was a registrable misdemeanor sex offense, and the person fails to register, the first violation will be a misdemeanor; however any additional registration violations are considered felonies.
If the underlying conviction is a registrable felony sex offense, and the person willfully fails to register, the registration violation will be considered a felony. Common crimes which require sex offender registration in California, include Pimping, Lewd Acts, Rape, Sexual Battery, Child Molestation, and more.
What does the prosecutor have to prove to convict a person of Failure to Register as Sex Offender (PC 290(b))? Consequences for failure to register as a sex offender
To prove the defendant is guilty of failure to register as a sex offender (PC 290(b)), the prosecutor must prove:
1. The defendant was previously convicted of a registrable sex offense (misdemeanor or felony)
2. The defendant resided in California
3. The defendant actually knew he/she had a duty under Penal Code 290 to register as a sex offender and that he/she had the duty to register within five working days of release from custody or on probation
4. The defendant willfully failed to register as a sex offender within five working days of release from custody or on probation, or upon relocation to another residence OR willfully failed to annually update his registration as a sex offender.
A “residence” is defined as one or more addresses where someone usually resides, such as a shelter or structure that can be located by a street address. A residence may include, but is not limited to, a houses, apartment buildings, motels, and homeless shelters.
Some registered sex offenders whose registrable sex offenses are non-disclosable to the public may not have to register for the rest of their lives. By receiving a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is a certified court document stating that a person is sufficiently rehabilitated, some persons will be relieved of his/her duty to register. To receive a Certificate of Rehabilitation, a court must determine that the individual has exhibited good behavior and rehabilitation, and also must not have been convicted of one of the crimes listed in PC 290.5(2). Upon receiving this certificate, a person may not be denied a professional or business license solely on the basis of the previous felony conviction.
Other registered sex offenders (PC 290) who are not in the undisclosed category must receive a governor’s pardon in order to be relieved of the duty to register as a sex offender.
To learn more about sex offender registration (PC 290), in California, contact a California sex crimes criminal defense attorney today.
Criminal Defense attorney Christopher Dorado represents clients in the county of San Bernardino, including the cities of Redlands, Victorville, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Colton, Ontario, Yucaipa, and more. There is no charge for initial consultations and our office offers 24/7 emergency service. 909.913.3138