Ways to Terminate Sex Offender Registration in California
In California, a sex offender has many ways to have their duty to register as a sex offender modified or terminated. The three main options to have your sex offender registration terminated include filing a petition to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation, filing a petition to terminate the sex offender registration details through the three-tier system, and filing a petition to have your sex offender registration status removed from the department of justice website.
Navigating through the whole legal process can be challenging. That is why you require the services of a well-skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. At Record Expungement Attorney, we have helped many sex offenders remove, terminate and modify their duty to register as sex offenders. So, if you seek legal help in San Diego, do not hesitate to contact us. Speak with one of our top criminal defense attorneys today.
Petition to Terminate Sex Registration Status Under California's Three-Tier System
According to California laws, many sex offenders must register as sex offenders. Senate bill 384 has created three-tier approaches. Tier one is the least serious, while tier three is the most serious. Under Tier One, the offender must register as a sex offender for ten years. The tier covers the least crimes like sexual battery, committing lewd acts with a minor, and child molestation.
Under Tier Two, the offender must register for up to 20 years. The tier covers more serious crimes than tier one but is not severe as tier three. The crimes include committing lewd acts with a child below fourteen years of age, oral copulation with a child aged below fourteen, and incest, among other crimes.
Lastly, a Tier Three offender must register for life. The registration period starts immediately after completing your sentence. It means when convicted of a sex offense, the minimum period to register as a sex offender starts from the day you are released from prison. Calculating the period is complex since when you commit a new crime, the period stops counting. Speak with your attorney to help you understand better the three-tier system in California.
Who is Eligible to Petition the Criminal Court to Terminate Sex Registration?
According to California PC 290, the law requires sex offenders to file a petition to the court seeking to terminate their registration as sex offenders. The law became effective on 1st July 2021. Only tier 2 and tier three registrants who qualify as tier three due to risk assessment can file the petition.
After extensive period lapses since your conviction, the DA may still order your removal as a sex offender from the registry. However, the prosecution team may still convince the court to deny you from filing the petition. The prosecutor may argue your registration as a sex offender will enhance the security of the public. The prosecutor can rely on the following factors to support their argument:
- The number of the victims.
- The age of the victim.
- The defendant’s criminal record.
- The nature of the offense.
- Hearing to oppose termination of sex registration.
If an opposition arises, the court will conduct a litigated hearing. As the defendant and your attorney, the court will listen to your argument. You still have an opportunity to present your evidence and support your claim. Alternatively, the prosecution team can present their evidence, declarations, reports, and arguments to oppose your petition. The final determination lies in the decision of the court.
How the Three-tier Registration Work in California
California PC 290 lists crimes that an offender must register as a sex offender. However, the court can order an offender to register as a sex offender even when their crime is not outlined in the statute. You register as a sex offender under either tier one, tier two, or tier three. If the crime is less severe, you register under tier one. When the crime is moderate, you register under tier two; when the crime is severe, you register under tier three.
Who is Ineligible for Sex Registry Removal Under the Three-Tier System
Many factors can make you ineligible for sex registration removal. The following are the factors that make a sex offender ineligible for sex registry removal:
- When the offender has not met the law-ordered minimum time according to tier 1 and tier two.
- When the offender has a pending criminal charge.
- If the defendant is serving probation, supervised release, or parole.
- When the defendant is a tier three registrant.
SB 384 petition procedure: the lawful procedure for applying a petition to remove from the sex offender registry includes:
- Properly filing a petition on time with the requisite declarations and forms.
- Submission of sex offender registration details from the police and all responsible parties
- you should Submit SARATSO results to the courthouse and the other interested parties.
- Presenting arguments and evidence at the courthouse during the petition hearing
All applicants seeking a petition to remove from the sex offender registry must work closely with their defense attorney. The attorneys play a crucial role in helping the applicants succeed in their petitions. Also, the attorney provides the necessary evidence required by the defendant.
Applying for the Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation
In California, a certificate of rehabilitation is an order granted by the court after determining that a sex offender has been rehabilitated. The law about certificates of rehabilitation is outlined in California PC 4852. The certificate acts as a form of relief after your sentence.
Also, COR shows the public that you have become a law-abiding citizen. Remember obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation cannot erase your criminal history. To understand the criteria for obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, you must read California PC 4852, 4852.01, AND 4852.21.
Who Can Apply for the Certificate of Rehabilitation?
Not every person is eligible for the certificate of rehabilitation. To qualify for the petition of certificate of rehabilitation, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must not have committed another crime since the completion of your sentence.
- It would be best if you were not serving felony probation.
- You should have lived within the state for at least five years after the completion of your sentence.
An offender serving a life sentence, military, or lifetime parole is ineligible to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation. When you face a sex offense involving a child, you will not be eligible to receive the certificate of rehabilitation. These offenses include:
- Child sodomy by use of threat or force.
- Oral copulation with a minor by use of threats or force.
What Do You Require to Apply for the Certificate of Rehabilitation?
To receive the certificate of rehabilitation, the applicant must complete the rehabilitation process. Usually, the applicant must meet a five-year residence requirement and additional two to five years based on the type of sentence.
Many convictions in California have a waiting period of seven years. The time begins immediately after the defendant completes their felony probation or parole or is released from supervision. Most severe crimes like murder and manslaughter carry a longer waiting period.
Remember, it is not guaranteed that the court will grant you the certificate of rehabilitation. Certain serious crimes like kidnapping and assault resulting in bodily injury require at least a nine-year waiting period. Other crimes require ten years before you apply for the certificate of rehabilitation.
The crimes include indecent exposure, sexual exploitation of a minor, and child pornography. You can obtain the petition of COR from the court where you reside. Also, you can obtain a copy of your criminal history from the courthouse where you were convicted. After doing so, the criminal court schedules a petition to determine whether you are eligible for the certificate of rehabilitation.
The Benefits of Obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation
Obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation comes with many benefits. The primary advantage of obtaining the certificate is to inform the public you are now a reformed citizen ready to obey the laws. Although the conviction remains in your criminal records after obtaining the certificate of rehabilitation, you can use the certificate when someone checks your criminal background.
With the COR, you will show the individual you have taken the legal steps to move on after the conviction. The certificate can help you when you seek a new job, house, or anything requiring a background check. Again, imagine you are seeking a California professional license. The law prohibits government agencies from prohibiting someone with a professional license because of their prior convictions.
Also, when you face conviction for a sex crime and the law requires you to register as a sex offender, a certificate of rehabilitation can relieve you depending on the nature of the offense. When registered as a sex offender, the law can relieve you when:
- A probation agent or parole does not monitor you, or you are not in custody.
- When the alleged offense is listed under California PC 290.
So, sex offenses, including a child, kidnapping, or sexual assault, are ineligible for a certificate of rehabilitation. The only method you can relieve your responsibility to register as a sex offender is by obtaining a full pardon from the state governor. Note successful COR results in the automatic application of pardon from the state governor.
California PC 4852 lawful process: you must understand the legal process involved in applying for a certificate of rehabilitation. The process includes the following steps:
- A timely serve draft and proper filing of the petition with the requisite declarations and forms.
- Submission of your evidence about your sex offender registration status from the police and interested agencies.
- Submission of a positive STATIC99 evaluation result.
- Present evidence of residence to the courthouse and the interested individuals.
- Presentation of arguments and evidence to the court during the petition hearing.
The legal process to apply for the certificate of rehabilitation takes around 90 days to complete. If you are a petitioner seeking a certificate of rehabilitation, you want to seek legal help from your criminal defense attorney. The attorney will provide the legal help you require. A well-skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney is highly recommended for the success of your process. Do not attempt to work on your own.
Petition to Exclude Your Name From the DOJ Sex Offender Website
The last option to terminate your name from the sex offender registry is to have your sex offender status excluded from the California department of justice website. However, the option will not remove the defendant's obligation to register as a sex offender. Rather your details are removed from the DOJ website. To be excluded from the DOJ sex offender registry, the requirements are as follows:
California PC 290.46(d)(A): as a sex offender, you may apply for the removal of your details from the DOJ sex offender registry when you show either:
The alleged offense is a crime for which you have completed your probation and submitted a copy of your petition to the department of justice. You should also have a pre-sentencing report. Again you should demonstrate the offense did not include oral penetration or copulation by either penis or an object.
A crime for which you are serving probation during the time of application provided you present a copy of the probation report to the department of justice, a court document, and a pre-sentencing report. Also, you should show the defendant was a stepparent, the victim's parents, grandparent, or sibling, and the crime did not entail oral penetration or copulation to the rectum or vagina of the victim.
Remember, the court will terminate the petition to remove your details from the DOJ website when you commit a new offense. Also, the application can be terminated when you violate the probation. Therefore, working closely with your criminal defense attorney throughout the legal process is recommended. The attorney will let you understand your rights and what to do during the application for the petition to remove your details from the DOJ sex registration website.
The Legal Process, California PC 290.46
The lawful process to remove your details from the DOJ sex registration website includes the following steps:
- Drafting and properly filling the petition with requisite declarations and forms.
- Submitting evidence of the sex registration status from the police to the courthouse.
- Submitting positive SARATSO evaluation results.
- Submit evidence to show the relationship between you and the alleged victim.
Applying for the court to remove your details from the DOJ sex offender website takes at least four months. Therefore if you seek the removal of your details from the DOJ website, you want to seek legal help from your competent attorney. The attorney will provide the legal help you require.
Note STATIC99 and SARATSO are evaluations of a sex offender administered by a psychologist. Psychologists are trained to evaluate the sex offender and determine whether the offender will likely repeat the crime. The Department of Probation administers the evaluation and compiles them as part of the sentencing report.
Remember, a successful application to remove your details from the sex offender registration will not relieve your sex registration status, but the petition will disclose your details. It means your information will not appear to the public. To understand more about how to remove your details from the sex offender website, you want to seek legal help from your criminal defense attorney.
The law in California allows the governor to pardon any criminal for their past crimes if the governor believes the person has changed from their behavior. You can apply for the governor's pardon at any time, but according to the law, you should wait for at least seven or ten years after your release. Also, you qualify to apply for the governor's pardon seven or ten years after you complete your probation.
If you already have a certificate of rehabilitation, the law allows you to apply for the governor's pardon after seven years of your release. Sometimes applying for the governor's pardon is automatic if you have the certificate of rehabilitation. If you have a certificate of factual innocence, obtaining a governor's pardon is easy.
Certificate of Factual Innocence
Obtaining a certificate of factual innocence is simpler than the prosecutor finding you guilty of a crime. A not guilty verdict means the prosecution team did not show the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, a factual innocence verdict means the court did not find you guilty of the alleged crime or the prosecutor had insufficient evidence to show the case. So, you can end up being arrested, but you cannot be charged because of insufficient evidence. Therefore, the court drops your case.
Note you require a lot of evidence to show your innocence before the court. With the help of well-experienced attorneys, you can obtain a certificate of factual innocence. That is why you want to work closely with our attorney. We understand a certificate of factual innocence is essential in your criminal case.
Contact a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
Terminating or removing your duty to register as a sex offender can be challenging. It would be best if you worked closely with an attorney with extensive knowledge of the California legal process. At Record Expungement Attorney, we are ready to work with you. If you seek our services in San Diego, we are ready to help you. Call us anytime at 619-432-7544 for a free consultation and case evaluation.