Any Vista Sex Crime Lawyer will tell you that being convicted of a sex crime can be one of the most life-changing events a person can go through because even after serving time, he or she may still be labeled as a sex offender. While not all sex crimes require registration as a sex offender, persons required to register as such will often face harassment and discrimination for years as they follow the strict rules set forth by the California legislature. These laws restrict where sex offenders can live and also require them to register with the local government every year and every time he or she moves or changes jobs. Moving to a new state cannot help you avoid these consequences either as every state has a sex offender registration program.
The Sex Offender Database
If you have been convicted of a sex crime, after registering with the government, your name will then appear on an online database where anyone can view your name, address, photo and the offenses you committed. While this registry is intended to protect the public, many vigilantes have used this information to illegally hunt down and harm or harass registered sex offenders.
As if the threat of harassment wasn’t bad enough, convicted sex offenders also have difficulty finding employment and are even barred from certain lines of work. Finding suitable housing can also be problematic as many landlords feel uncomfortable renting to sex offenders.
Even a non- sex crime done for a sexual motivation may result in mandatory sex offender registration. For example, false imprisonment for the purpose of committing a sex crime can require registration.
Failing to Register
Failure to register with the state is a crime. If the original sex crime was a misdemeanor and you fail to register, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If it was a felony and you failed to register, you will be charged with a felony. That means that if you already have two strikes on your record, you could be imprisoned for 25 years to life just for failing to register thanks to the state’s three strikes law.
In some extreme cases, offenders labeled “sexually violent predators” may even be hospitalized after their release from prison, in many cases, resulting in the person being committed for the rest of his or her life. Similarly, those who are convicted of forceful sex crimes against victims under 13 and who have at least one prior conviction must undergo chemical or surgical castration in order to be released on parole.
California’s New Tiered Sex Offender Registry
It’s worth noting that registration on the sex offender database was once a lifetime requirement. In 2021 though, California will be enacting a new registry system with three tiers of offenses. Non-serious and non-violent felonies as well as minor misdemeanors will be characterized as tier one offenses that only require registration for 10 years. More serious offenses that fall short of being the most serious offenses will fall into the tier two category, which will require 20 years of registration. The most serious offenses, such as violent rapes, will be labeled as tier three and will continue to require lifetime registration. A second offense will result in someone being added to the next highest tier and time already spent on the registry will not count towards this waiting period for removal. Failure to register will add another year to the waiting period as well.
Even those who have already spent the minimum amount of time on the registration for their offense type will not automatically be removed from the registry. Instead, a Vista sex offender defense lawyer will need to help them file a request with the court, which can be fought by the local district attorney and the judge will have the discretion on whether or not someone should be removed from the registry.
If you have been accused of a sex crime, it is absolutely critical you contact a skilled Vista criminal attorney as soon as possible. Sex offenses are notoriously difficult to fight and require a strong defense from a dedicated representative like Peter M. Liss. If you were charged with a sex crime, please call (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons Image by Kevin Spencer