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California’s Sex Offender Registry: How to Get Your Name Removed

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose criminal defense lawyers, sex offender registryIn 1996, California enacted Penal Code section 290.46 and thereby created the California Sex Offender Registry in an effort to notify local communities when a convicted sex offender lives in the area. This registry has been nicknamed “Megan’s Law” in memory of seven-year-old Megan Kanka who was raped and killed by a known child molester who lived across the street from her family. Megan’s parents did not know about their neighbor’s criminal past. After her death, her family encouraged states across the country to create sex offender registries to help prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

All 50 states have since adopted some version of Megan’s Law, but the pros and cons of these registries are still being debated today. Those who oppose the registries state how greatly being listed can impact an individual’s life and argue that some offenders who are required to register do not pose a serious risk to their communities. In concession to these arguments and others, California now allows some registered sex offenders to petition our state’s Department of Justice to have their name removed from the registry. Consider the following which outlines who is generally eligible to apply for exclusion in California. However, for case specific information, currently registered sex offenders should consult with a local criminal defense attorney.

How to Get Your Name Removed from CA’s Sex Offender Registry

In order to have your name removed from The California Sex Offender Registry you must apply for “exclusion.” However, only sex offenders whose only registered sex offenses are for the following crimes are eligible to apply for exclusion:

  • Felony sexual battery by restraint;
  • Misdemeanor child molestation;
  • Felony child pornography convictions if the victim was at least 16 years old or older; or
  • Any offense which did not involve penetration or oral copulation, the victim was a child, stepchild, grandchild, or sibling of the offender, and the offender successfully completed (or is completing) probation.

If you meet the eligibility criteria listed above, you may submit an Application for Exclusion from Internet Disclosure Form to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Department of Justice will then review your application, generally within 30 days, and will likely approve your petition after finding that you meet the exclusion eligibility requirements. Still, even if a registered sex offender meets these requirements, the DOJ will deny his or her application for exclusion upon finding that the registrant is a “sexually violent predator.”

Please note, registered offenders who are granted exclusion from California’s Sex Offender Registry are required to register as sex offenders, yet their names will be excluded from the Internet (i.e. they will not be listed on the California Megan’s Law website). This exclusion will generally remain in place unless the offender subsequently violates his or her probation or commits another sex offense.

Do You Need Legal Advice?

If you have questions about Megan’s Law or applying to have your name removed from California’s Sex Offender Registry contact the experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyers at Jachimowicz Law Group Our office handles a wide variety of criminal defense cases for clients throughout the Bay Area and offers a free initial consultation for prospective clients.

Sources:

https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=290.46

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