Under the California Penal Code 290 PC, when an individual is convicted of a certain sex crime they are required to register as a sex offender. The California sex offender database is run by the California Department of Justice, and the information is uploaded to their “Megan’s Law” website for the public.
What is Megan’s Law?
After seven-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and killed by a known child molester in her neighborhood, Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996. This California law allows the government to notify the public about sex offenders whom it believes pose a public safety risk and every state now has some form of Megan’s Law.
With that said, there are a couple of ways to keep your information from being posted on Megan’s Law website, which we will discuss below.
It is important to note that the California sex registry has three tiers. Tier three requires lifetime registration. Tier two requires a twenty (20) year minimum, and tier one requires ten (10) years minimum.
Completing either process will not relieve you of your lifetime duty to register as a sex offender under the California Penal Code 290 PC. Only your identifying information will be removed from Megan’s Law website. Although this can seem minor, getting your information removed from Megan’s Law website can aid greatly in your freedom, personal safety, and privacy.
Automatic Exclusion from Megan’s Law Website
On California’s Megan’s Law website, there are primarily three categories of sex offenders, and depending on what category an individual appears in, is related to the specific sex offense for which they were convicted. The following three categories are subject to automatic exclusion:
Home Address Category:
Megan’s Law website posts a complete home address for individuals who have been convicted of the most serious sex offenses. Some examples of this are:
- Anyone identified as a sexually violent predator
- Penal Code 288 involving certain felony lewd acts with a minor
- Penal Code 261 rape when accomplished through force or fear
- Penal Code 207 kidnapping with the intent to commit rape or another specified forced sexual act
- Penal Code 187 murder committed during the commission or attempted commission of rape or another specified forced sexual act
Zip Code Category:
The website posts only the zip code of those who are convicted of slightly less serious offenses. Some examples are:
- A range of misdemeanor sex offenses that involve minors
- Penal Code 243.4 felony sexual battery by restraint
Sexual offenses that are not included in the two categories above are excluded from public disclosure, meaning no information will be posted on Megan’s Law website. Some examples are:
- a variety of charges related to California child pornography laws
- Penal Code 288.2
Here, it’s necessary to include that even if you will not appear on the Megan’s Law website, you still have to uphold your lifetime duty to register as a sex offender. However, not appearing on the website will help relieve some of the scrutinies that come from being listed on the public registry.
Application for Removal from Megan’s Law Website
You may be entitled to have your information removed from Megan’s Law website if you were convicted of:
- Penal Code 243.4(a) sexual battery by restraint
- Penal Code 647.6, annoying or molesting any child under the age of 18
- If you have successfully completed, or are completing, probation for the following:
- An offense that did not involve penetration or oral copulation
- the victim of which was your child, stepchild, grandchild, or sibling
In order to initiate this process of removal, you must submit a Megan’s Law exclusion form to the California Department of Justice. If you meet the above criteria, the Department will approve your application for exclusion. Generally, approval takes about 30 days from the time you submit the application for exclusion. After that, you will either receive a confirmation or denial letter from the DOJ.
Lastly, it’s important to note that if you are a “sexually violent predator” you will be excluded from the application process eligibility.
Speak with a Top Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing sexual criminal charges, it is critical to retain the services of the best federal criminal defense lawyer you can find. Premier Federal Criminal Defenders has a strong track record of helping people successfully navigate criminal charges and know what it takes to make sure that your case is resolved in the best possible manner. Call for a free consultation. Hopefully, we can help you avoid Megan’s Law website altogether.