When you think of sex offender registration, the first thing you may think about is something known as “Megan’s Law.” This term commonly refers to a system that serves as a sex offender registry making information on sex offenders available to the public. This term made its appearance after the rape and murder of a seven-year-old living in New Jersey named Megan Kanka. The sex offender who committed the crime was living in the girl’s neighborhood and nobody knew what a threat he posed by face value. Each state has now adopted a system to make this information available to every neighborhood; however, all states also follow various forms of registration and community notification.
Requirements of Sex Offenders
People who have been convicted of sex crimes that fall within registration guidelines must register as sex offenders with a local law enforcement agency. After sex offenders are released from prison or any other center, they are supposed to be notified of their duty to register in writing. A copy of the notification will be forwarded to the California Department of Justice (DOJ). However, this is not the end of the line. Just as every other person in California may do, people move around. This is why it is also the law for registered sex offenders to update their information on an annual basis. Sexually violent predators must update where they are living every 90 days so that people can be aware of this information at all times. The DOJ has a Sex Offender Tracking Program, which has been responsible for keeping track of registered sex offenders in California since the laws began in 1947. California has always taken protective measures and actually was the first state in the nation to enact a sex offender registration law in the first place.
Of course, new steps are being implemented into the system all the time. In fact, beginning in 2013, the DOJ was required to post risk assessment scores for all sex offender registrants. This was a requirement for all sex offenders who were eligible to be scored. This would give the public a better idea of threats and risks on a whole new level.
Where To Turn Next
If you have been charged with a sex offense, can you ever expunge that status or obtain relief from your duty to register as a sex offender for years to come? This is something that could follow you throughout your life, and it is vital to be aware of the laws and what you should expect for the future. The answer to this is not quite simple: It really depends on the offense in which you were convicted of the crime. In some cases, it could be as easy as finishing your probation term before you are expunged and can start fresh. However, other routes are not so simple.
Expungement is not permitted if you have been convicted of sodomy with a child, lewd acts with a child under 15, oral copulation, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual penetration with a person under 14 whom you are at least 10 years older than, and statutory rape with a minor under 16 when charged as a felony. You may have some other options, of course, such as a Certificate of Rehabilitation which serves much of the same purpose as an expungement and a Governor’s Pardon, which is the ultimate relief. If you have questions about these methods, you will have to speak to an attorney who can help you every step of the way through the difficult and tumultuous process. Call us today at The Law Office of Peter Blair so we can assist you.