Sex Offender Restrictions in California

Shadow of a man in jail

Do Sex Offenders Have Any Rights?

A conviction for a sex offense in California is not only punishable by jail time and fines in many cases. In fact, those are seen as the least damaging penalties, according to many convicted sex offenders. The more troubling outcome of a sex crime conviction is the personal, professional, and social consequences it may carry.

Convicted sex offenders need to understand what they’re up against, as going to jail and paying hundreds and thousands of dollars in fines is not the worst of it.

Megan’s Law

By law, any person who is convicted of specified sex crimes must register as sex offenders with their local law enforcement agency. Offenders must register within 5 working days of their release into the community and must update their information every year, every 90 days, or every 30 days depending on their situation. In addition, offenders must update their information with local law enforcement under the following circumstances:

  • Change of address
  • Transient status (homeless)
  • Deemed a “sexually violent predator”

As a result, all of their personal information will be accessible to the public under Megan’s Law, a statute that requires the CA Department of Justice to notify the public about specified registered sex offenders. The following information will be included in the publicly-accessible database:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Scars/marks/tattoos
  • Height and weight
  • Hair color and eye color
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex
  • Offense type and description

Keep in mind that you are not allowed to search the database yourself, or else you may get fined $1,000 and be sentenced to 6 months in jail. However, any members of the public such as employers, landlords, credit agencies, and university officials can run a sex offender search and find your name in the California Sex Offender Registry. When they do, they will likely lose interest in giving you the much-needed opportunities you’re seeking, including a job, housing, loan, and higher education. This drawback alone is enough to derail your ability to succeed in society after their release from prison.

Can Sex Offenders Live Near Schools and Parks?

This is a tricky question to answer because it varies on a case-by-case basis. Some registered sex offenders in CA can live near schools and parks while others can’t. Those who can’t live near schools and parks as a condition of probation or parole may be told to live a certain distance away from these areas until further notice. Again, knowing whether or not you can live near schools and parks is entirely based on your specific case and circumstances.

Do Registered Sex Offenders Have to Notify Their Neighbors?

A common question we receive is, “Do I have to tell my neighbors that I’m a registered sex offender?”

The answer is “no.” You are not required to notify your neighbors about your sex offender registration, but under Megan’s Law, your neighbors can research your name in the California Sex Offender Registry themselves. Under certain circumstances, however, law enforcement agencies may take it upon themselves to notify neighbors if a violent sex predator is moving into their neighborhood.

Give Us a Call Today

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a sex crime, you must defend yourself right away. As you can see, the consequences of a conviction are immensely severe and could destroy your life for many years. To maximize your chances of avoiding these penalties, retain our criminal defense attorney by contacting (707) 418-5352. We are here for you!

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