Penalties for Failing to Register and Miscelanious Requirements

Failure to register is a crime.  In order to be a crime, your failure to register must be “willful.” That means a person must have actually been aware of the requirement. If the sex offense conviction that requires you to register was a misdemeanor or a juvenile adjudication, then failure to register is usually a misdemeanor for the first violation and a felony for subsequent violations.  If a person’s sex offense conviction was a felony, failure to register is usually a felony.

There is no statute of limitations on failure to register since courts consider it to be a continuing offense.

A person can be convicted of a separate offense for each requirement they violate. For example, a person can be convicted of two crimes for failing to update their registration annually and failing to inform authorities of a change of address, even if both offenses happened during the same time period.

Removing The Registration Requirement

There are very few ways to get a registration requirement removed and only a few people are likely to be successful in challenging a registration requirement under certain specific conditions.

If a person obtains a full governor’s pardon, then they do not have to register as a sex offender.

There are two ways to obtain a full pardon. 

  1.   A person who obtains a certificate of rehabilitation will automatically be recommended for a full pardon; however, a pardon is not normally available by this means to a person who has twice been convicted of a felony.
  2.   A person may apply directly to the Governor
GPS Tracking
  1. If a person has been convicted of a felony that requires them to register as a sex offender and,
  2. They were sentenced to prison, then they must wear a GPS tracking device (usually an ankle bracelet) during their parole, and for the rest of their life.
Residency Restrictions

A sex offender parolee may not reside in a single-family house with another person who is also required to register as a sex offender, unless they are legally related by blood, marriage, or adoption.

A registered sex offender may not live within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children regularly gather. This requirement applies to all sex offender registrants, regardless of whether the underlying offense was a felony or misdemeanor, whether the offense involved children, and whether the sex offender is on or off parole. 

Public Notification

Unless a person falls under certain exceptions or their sex offense was committed as a juvenile, the state can publish their name, photograph, physical description, date of birth, and zip code on the internet.

The state cannot publish the name of their employer or any criminal history not related to their registration requirement.

Any person who is required to register is not permitted to look at this website; it is a misdemeanor to do so.

A few people can apply to be taken off the website.  These are people who have never been found to be Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs), and whose only registerable sex offenses are for:

(1) A violation of section 243.4(a) of the California Penal Code.
(2) A misdemeanor violation of section 647.6 or former section 647(a); or (3) an offense which did not involve penetration or oral copulation, the victim of which was a child, stepchild, grandchild, or sibling of the offender, and for which the offender successfully completed or is successfully completing probation.

 Effective January 1, 2010, people convicted of sections 311.1; 311.2(b), (c), or (d); 311.3; 311.4; 311.10; or 311.11 may also ask to be removed from the website if the victims of their crimes were 16 years or older.