Duty To Register California

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1.1. Tier one (minimum 10 years on the registry)

Tier one-level crimes include:

1.2. Tier two (minimum 20 years on the registry)

Tier two-level crimes include:

  • Penal Code 285 PC incest
  • Penal Code 261 PC rape when the victim is at least 18 and is incapable of giving consent due to a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability
  • Penal Code 286 sodomy when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent
  • Penal Code 286 sodomy with a minor under 14 years of age and more than 10 years younger than the defendant (and there is no force)
  • Penal Code 288 PC lewd acts with a minor under 14
  • Penal Code 287 oral copulation when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent
  • Penal Code 287 oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age and more than 10 years younger than the defendant (and there is no force)
  • Penal Code 288.3 contacting a minor with intent to commit a felony when committed with the intent to commit a violation of subdivision (b) of Penal Code 286, subdivision (b) of Penal Code 287, or subdivision (h) or (i) of Penal Code 289
  • Penal Code 289 acts of penetration with a foreign object when the victim is incapable of giving consent due to a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability
  • Penal Code 289 acts of penetration with a foreign object when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, or when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent
  • Penal Code 647.6 annoying a child as second or subsequent offense (reoffending)

1.3. Tier three

Tier three-level crimes include:

  • Penal Code 187 PC murder committed during the commission or attempted commission of rape or another specified forced sexual act (PC Sections 261286288287, or 289)
  • Penal Code 207 and 209 PC kidnapping during the commission or attempted commission of rape or another specified forced sexual act (PC Section 261286288287, or 289)
  • Penal Code 220 assault with intent to commit a felony but not assault to commit mayhem
  • Penal Code 236.1 PC sex trafficking children when the defendant violates (b) or (c) of Penal Code 236.1
  • Penal Code 243.4 sexual battery as a felony (most cases)
  • Penal Code 261 PC rape (most cases)
  • PC 262 spousal rape by force
  • PC 264.1 aiding a rape or acts of penetration with a foreign object
  • PC 266h and 266i pimping and pandering with a minor when the defendant violates (b) of PC Sections 266h or (b) of 266i)
  • PC 266j giving or transporting a child under 16 for a lewd purpose
  • PC 267 taking away a minor for purpose of prostitution
  • PC 269 aggravated sexual assault of a child
  • lewd and lascivious conduct under PC 272 contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • PC 286 sodomy when the defendant is acting in concert with another or when the victim cannot consent because of intoxication or being unconscious; specifically, when the defendant violates subdivision (d), (f), or (i) of PC Section 286
  • PC 286 sodomy by force (specifically paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of 286)
  • PC 288 lewd acts with a minor under 14, subsection (a) of Penal Code Section 288 (the defendant was convicted of two charges brought separately)
  • PC 288 lewd acts with a minor under 14 by force, or the victim is a child of 14 or 15 years, and that person is at least 10 years older than the child, the defendant is a caretaker and the victim is a dependent
  • PC 287 oral copulation by force (specifically paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of PC Section 287)
  • PC 287 oral copulation when the defendant is acting in concert with another or when the victim cannot consent because of intoxication or being unconscious; specifically, when the defendant violates subdivision (d), (f), or (i) of PC Section 287)
  • PC 288.2 sending harmful material to seduce a minor
  • PC 288.3 contacting a minor with intent to commit a felony unless committed with the intent to commit a violation of subdivision (b) of PC Section 286, subdivision (b) of PC Section 287, or subdivision (h) or (i) of 289.
  • PC 288.4 arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes as a felony
  • PC 288.5 continuous sexual assault of a child
  • PC 288.7 sex acts against a child 10 or younger
  • PC 289 acts of penetration with a foreign object by force or duress, or when the victim is under 14 and more than 10 years younger than the defendant, or the victim is too intoxicated to consent, or the victim is unconscious
  • The person’s risk level on the static risk assessment instrument for sex offenders (SARATSO), pursuant to Section 290.04, is well above average risk at the time of release on the index sex offense into the community, as defined in the Coding Rules for that instrument.
  • Child pornography (specifically, people convicted of a felony violation of PC Sections 311.1 or Penal Code 311.11 or of violating subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of PC Section 311.2, or PC Sections 311.3, 311.4, or 311.10)
  • Penal Code 653f soliciting someone to commit a sex crime
  • The defendant was convicted to life pursuant to California PC 667.61
  • The defendant was convicted to 15 to 25 years to life pursuant to California PC 667.61
  • The defendant is a habitual sex offender pursuant to California PC 667.71

It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive of the offenses for which you may be required to register as a sex offender under PC 290, but is simply a list of some of the most common.2

On that note, a judge may order you to register as a sex offender for any offense…even if it’s not specifically listed in the Sex Offender Registration Act… if the judge believes that you acted based on sexual compulsion or for sexual gratification.3

Note that for tier one and tier two registrants, removal from the sex registry is not automatic. Each tier one and tier two registrant must petition the court at the end of the 10- or 20-year registration period. The court can deny the registrant’s petition, and the DA can request a hearing to oppose the petition. And if a tier one or two registrant is convicted of another crime, the 10- and 20-year waiting periods are tolled during any period of subsequent incarceration.

Duties of registration

In order to fulfill your initial reporting requirements under Penal Code 290, you must personally register your primary address with your local law enforcement agency within five working days of your

  • sentence (if no jail/prison time is imposed),
  • release from custody, or
  • discharge from a hospital or mental institution,

depending on your earliest release into the community.4

Once you are required to register as a California sex offender, the court notifies the California Department of Justice who then monitors your reporting compliance.

In general, the Sex Offender Registration Act requires…at a minimum…that offenders annually update their information within five working days of their birthday.5

Beyond that, your registration requirements will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether (1) you move, (2) you are a transient, (3) the judge declares you a sexually violent predator, or (4) you are enrolled at or employed by a California institution of higher learning.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these specific reporting requirements.

  • Moving

Anytime you move, you are required personally to report your new information to your local police within five working days of the move.6 Similarly, if you have more than one place where you regularly reside, you must report each of your addresses.

In addition, if your homes are located in different cities, you must report the information to the local law enforcement agency in each location.7

It should also be noted that if you move outside of California, your new home state may additionally require you to register as a sex offender in accordance with the laws of that state.

If you don’t live in California…but work or go to school here…and are a registered sex offender in the state in which you live, you must register with the local law enforcement agency located in the area in which you work or attend school.8

  • Transients

If you are living as a transient…which means that you have no permanent residence…you are required to update the local law enforcement agency of the area in which you are physically present at least once every 30 days.9

If, upon your initial duty to register as a sex offender, you have not remained in one location for a period of five days, you must report to the agency in which you are physically present on the fifth working day following your order to register in order to fulfill your obligation under Penal Code 290.10

You must additionally report to the campus police (if there is one) if you are physically present on a California college or university or in any of their facilities.11

If you move into a residence, you have five working days to report your new address to your local law enforcement agency.  If you thereafter become transient again, you must report that fact within five working days as well.12

Finally, if you move out of this state, you must personally inform your local California law enforcement agency in the area in which you are physically present of your intent to move within five working days of that move.

When you report, you must tell the agency where you plan to move and if you knowingly have any plans of returning to California.13