Registration Requirement for Sexual Offenses

When a person is convicted of any crime listed in section 290(c) of the California Penal Code they are required to register as a sex offender.

Penal Code section 290(c) is comprehensive in its scope and includes crimes ranging from forcible sex crimes involving non- consenting adults, to most sex crimes involving children, including child pornography-related crimes. Also listed are prostitution, kidnap or assault for purposes of committing a sex crime, soliciting another person to commit a sex offense, and attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the included crimes.

A person can also be required to register based on convictions for crimes that are not specifically included in section 290(c) if they committed the crime "as a result of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification." To fit this standard the supporting facts must be found true by a trier of fact, either a judge or jury, at the time of their conviction or sentencing.

If a person has been convicted of a qualifying offense but have had their conviction dismissed following completion of probation (expunged), they still must register as a sex offender.

Some others are required to register even if they have not been convicted of a qualifying crime,

  1. If a person was adjudicated as a ward of the juvenile court for certain sex offenses and committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) (formerly the California Youth Authority or CYA) or the equivalent agency in another state;
  2. If a person has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of any of the offenses listed in Penal Code section 290(c);
  3. If a person has ever been found to be a Mentally Disordered Sex Offender (MDSO) or Sexually Violent Predator (SVP);
  4. If a person has been convicted in another state or in a federal or military court of any offense that would be punishable as one of the offenses listed in section 290(c).

Also, if you are required to register as a sex offender in another state, you also in most instances would be required to register in California.

A person should be informed of their duty to register by the court when they are sentenced for a sex offense and by the prison, jail, probation or other custody authority before they are released.

Also, if a person was convicted of a sex offense by a plea of guilty or no contest, they should have been informed of the registration requirement as part of the plea bargain.

If a person is required to registration, then registration is mandatory and they are required to register for life, or so long as they reside in California.

A person may also be required to register in California if they are living in another state, but are employed in or doing business in California for more than 14 days in a row or more than 30 days in a year, or if they are attending school full- or part-time in California.

If a person moves out of state, they must notify the local California authorities, in person, within 5 working days of their move. After that, they don't need to keep registering in California, so long as they don't spend qualifying time in California.