Sex Offender Registration in California

If a person is convicted of a sex offense in the State of California, he or she may be required to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registration law in the State of California under Penal Code Section 290 requires persons who are convicted of enumerated sex crimes to register as a sex offender. The length of registration differs depending on the crimes for which the defendant was convicted. California has created a new tiered sex offender registration system, which we will explain in much detail below.

Sex offenders are required by law to register as sex offenders with their local law enforcement agency within five (5) days of being released from jail or prison. The sex offender’s registration is forwarded to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The sex offender’s information is then accessible via the DOJ’s website. To remain compliant with the law, sex offenders must update their information annually with their local law enforcement agency five (5) days prior to their birthday. Also, if a sex offender moves, he must update his address within five working days.

If you have been charged with a sex crime, you should immediately contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney at The H Law Group to represent you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Tier One Sex Offender Registration

Tier one requires persons convicted of low-level sex offenses, such as indecent exposure or misdemeanor sexual battery to only register as a sex offender for ten (10) years instead of the previous lifetime registration.

Offenses include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Misdemeanor sexual battery
  • Misdemeanor child pornography
  • Misdemeanor penetration with a foreign object
  • Misdemeanor oral copulation
  • Inducing sex by fraud
  • Misdemeanor arranging with a minor to meet for lewd purposes

Tier Two Sex Offender Registration

Tier two requires persons convicted of mid-level sex offenses, such lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under 14 and non-forced sodomy with a minor under 14 years old to register for a minimum of twenty years, instead of the previous requirement of lifetime registration.

Offenses include:

  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Lewd acts with a minor under 14 years of age
  • Oral copulation with an incapable victim
  • Oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age and more than 10 years younger than the defendant and where the defendant used no force
  • Penetration with a foreign object where the victim was unable to consent because of a mental or developmental disorder

Tier Three Sex Offender Registration

Tier three requires persons who are convicted of extremely serious sex offenses, such as rape, lewdness with a minor by the use of force or gear, sex trafficking, and repeat sex offenders to register as a sex offenders for life.

Offenses include:

  • Rape under CPC 261
  • Felony sexual battery
  • A murder that’s committed during the commission or attempted commission of rape or other sexual act
  • Sex trafficking with children
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child

Note: This is just a summary of the law, for more in-depth information please head over to the California Legislature’s site. You should not use this resource as a substitute for the law.

What Must a Sex Offender Do to Stay Compliant?

For a person to remain compliant with the law, he must register as a sex offender with his local law enforcement agency within five (5) days of being released from jail or prison. For persons who are not sent to jail or prison, they must register within five days of being sentenced. For persons classified as violent sex offenders, they must update their registration every 90 days.

What Information is Available to the Public After You Have Registered as a Sex Offender?

After a person registers as a sex offender, the following information about that person will be available to the public:

  • The offender’s name
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Tattoos
  • Aliases
  • Photo of the offender

Is Registering as a Sex Offender Mandatory or Discretionary?

Registration as a sex offender is almost always mandatory. Had the legislature made it discretionary, almost no one would register as a sex offender. There are specific crimes that mandate registering as a sex offender. However, for other crimes where the defendant is sexually motivated to commit the crime, the court may require the defendant to register as a sex offender.

At The H Law Group, we understand that registering as a sex offender is terrible for some people, so the best thing that you can to mitigate the potential consequences that you face is to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney at The H Law Group and request that they represent you to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

If you are Convicted of a Sex Offense in Another State, Do You Have to Register in California?

Under some circumstances, yes, you must register as a sex offender. To know whether you’re required to register, please contact your attorney or a licensed attorney in the State of California and ask them about whether you’re required to register as a sex offender.

What Happens if a Person Fails to Register as a Sex Offender?

If a person is required to register as a sex offender but fails to do so, the failure to register is a crime on its own. Failing to register as a sex offender is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it’s charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the egregiousness of the crime requiring the defendant to register, as well as whether the defendant is a repeat offender.

Contact an Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with or convicted of a crime requiring sex offender registration, please contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney at The H Law Group and ask them about your options. Our attorneys have handled countless sex crimes cases, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.