So a question I get asked fairly often is “What can I do to get my loved one or myself off of the sex offender registration requirement and sex offender registry list here in the State of California?” Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question.
Different Kinds of Sex Offender Registration
The first thing to understand is there are actually different kinds of sex offender registration in California. Not everyone who is required to register as a sex offender should be having their name disclosed on the public website of sex offender registration. That’s something that gets confused or screwed up by authorities fairly often. So you’re going to want to check to make sure that you are someone who’s actually supposed to be on the website, if your name is on the website.
If you’re not supposed to be listed on the website, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re not on there.
If you are listed on the website, if there’s some confusion, we think there’s a problem, you’re going to want to contact an attorney to help get that fixed because that’s very important for a lot of obvious reasons.
Expungement and Registration
Beyond that, people want to know, “What can I do to be relieved that this requirement?” Oftentimes, people think that if they get an expungement because they hear about expungement in clearing a record, they think, “Well, if I get an expungement shouldn’t I be relieved of the obligation to register?”
The answer is unfortunately no. An expungement will not relieve you of the requirement to register as a sex offender in the State of California.
Certificate of Rehabilitation Needs the Support of an Experienced Lawyer
There are some sex offenses that can be relieved of the obligation to register, but it’s a process called a Certificate of Rehabilitation. That’s different than expungement. It’s a much more specialized process. Certificates of Rehabilitation are much harder to get, and you really don’t want to try to get a Certificate of Rehabilitation without the assistance of an attorney.
Unfortunately, there are still other offenses, more serious sex offenses, where even a Certificate of Rehabilitation wouldn’t relieve you of the requirement to register as a sex offender. And in those situations you going to need to have someone with a tremendous amount of experience and skill look at the options for possibly attacking the original conviction itself.
Maybe some appeals weren’t taken that should have been taken.
Maybe new evidence has come up that could call into doubt your original conviction, but short of that, you’re not going to be relieved requirement to register.
Sex Offense Charges Need a Defense Lawyer
Obviously, this emphasizes a couple of things. The first is if you are accused of a sex offense, any sort of sex offense, or your loved one is accused of any sort of sex offense where registration could be a possible consequence, you need to consult with an attorney.
Second, if you’re on the sex offender registration list or your loved one is, it’s always worth looking into to see if it’s possible to get your name removed. In some circumstances, at this point, there isn’t anything that anybody can do, but it’s always worth checking, and it’s too difficult to try to figure out on your own because it’s too specialized an area of law.
Our office offers free consultations. We have the experience to deal with the issues around sex offender registration requirements, and we’ve dealt with them in the past with great success. We look forward to hearing from you.