Navigating California’s Sex Offender Registration Rules to Terminate Registration

For now, registration can be ended by obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Starting in 2021, SB 384 will allow many offenders to remove themselves from the registry by terminating registration and removing the registration requirement. At that point, Certificates of Rehabilitation will no longer remove the registration requirement.

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    Shea M. Randall

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    What is the California Sex Offender Registration Act?

    The California Sex Offender Registration Act, California Penal Code section 290 requires anyone convicted of a sex offense to register for life in California.  Penal Code 290 registration can lead to embarrassment, lost opportunities, and even harassment. Expunging and reducing your record will not remove you from the sex offender registry.  To stop registering as a sex offender you will have to either obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation or, starting in 2021, apply under the new law which recently passed, Senate Bill 384, more commonly known as the Sex Offender Registration Act.  

    The Sex Offender Registration Act, SB 384, greatly increases who can terminate their sex offender registration requirement by grouping offenders into tiers and allowing different tiers to terminate after a certain number of years.  Certificates of Rehabilitation will no longer work to remove the registration requirement when this bill becomes effective in 2021. Certificates of Rehabilitation are hard to obtain but they can terminate the registration under Penal Code 290 as long as they are granted prior to 2021.  Continue to read below for a summary of who can terminate under the new Act starting in 2021 and who can terminate with a Certificate of Rehabilitation now.

    We have experience dealing with these issues and we can confidentiality analyze your situation to provide a recommendation for how to terminate the registration requirement.  We routinely complete research for our clients to assist them to know how to handle registration and plan for the future.


    The Sex Offender Registration Act (Starting January 1, 2021)

    SB 384 creates 3 tiers of sex offenders in California.  Many people will be place in Tier 1 and Tier 2 while Tier 3 will be reserved for the worst offenses and repeat offenders.  All registration would be for life, but early termination will be possible for most. For Tier 1 offenders, application can be made to terminate with the court after 10 years.  For Tier 2 offenders, application to the court can be made after 20 years. Tier 3 offenders can apply for termination at 20 years only if the tier classification occurred due to a risk assessment for an offense that would normally be a tier 1 or tier 2 offense.  

    Juvenile offenders who were adjudicated and not convicted of a sex offense can also apply for termination.  Unlike adult offenders, juvenile offenders can apply for termination of registration after 5 and 10 years for Tier 1 and Tier 2 offenses.

    We can assist you by looking at your case to determine which tier your case will be in 2021.  If eligible for termination of registration, we can then assist you in 2021 to attempt removal from the registry.  

    Certificates of Rehabilitation (Until January 1, 2021)

    A Certificate of Rehabilitation is recognition from the court that you are rehabilitated.  If you have a sex offense which is eligible for a Certificate, it will remove the registration requirement.  

    Certificates of Rehabilitation have a high standard to be granted.  Most counties in California require that you obtain a psychological evaluation from a licensed psychologist prior to granting relief.  Courts are generally looking for one of several types of evaluations which grade you on the scale of sexual risk and normalcy.

    To apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, 10 years must have passed since you completed your sentence.  You must also have been a California resident for the past 5 years before applying. The burden of evidence is high, but a Certificate of Rehabilitation also becomes a pardon application if it is granted.

    If you are eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation for a sex offense, you should apply now.  Certificates granted on and after January 1, 2021 will NOT remove a person from the registry, although they will still act as a pardon application.  

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    To get started, you can call our office at (888) 751-5329. We can recommend over the phone the next step for you. The phone call will also be complementary.  You can also contact us below.

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    Navigating California’s Sex Offender Registration Rules to Terminate Registration

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      California Criminal Record Expungements

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