California has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation. Whether a person has been convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure, felony possession of child pornography, rape, or felony child molestation, all convictions which carry sex registration, require registration for life.
This means theoretically that someone convicted of sexually assaulting a small child, or producing thousands of images of child pornography, would be required to register for the same length of time as someone who ran through a park and exposed himself inappropriately to another person.
California Penal Code 290 contains the current version of California sex registration laws.
Under a new proposed bill, Senate Bill 695, three tiers of sex registration, requiring a different time period of minimum registration, would be created depending on the type of sex conviction.
Tier 1 registration would last for a minimum of 10 years and apply to certain specified sexually-related misdemeanor offenses and non-violent, non-serious sexually-related felonies.
Tier 2 registration would last for a minimum of 20 years and apply to certain specified felonies enumerated as a serious or violent felony (Cal Penal Code 667.5(a) or 1192.7(c)) or otherwise specifically enumerated in the new bill.
Tier 3 would last for life and would apply to repeat offenders who were convicted of a subsequent violent sexually-related felony as specified under 667.5 (c) (after being required to register for a prior conviction) or after the person was deemed a sexually violent predatory and committed to a hospital.
Defense attorneys, and District Attorney’s alike, have long advocated for a more nuanced and tiered sex registration system in California to account for the seriousness of the alleged conduct. This legislation seems like a step on the right direction. However, it is unclear whether this bill will pass in whole, in part, or with substantial modifications.
Organizations such as the California Sex Offender Management Board CASOMB have weighed in with proposed changes to the bill. Undoubtedly, given the sensitive nature of this topic, it will be long road ahead before any real change is realized.
Perhaps, just perhaps, California will be moving towards a slightly more reasonable, and less draconian, penalty structure for those convicted of sexually-related offenses.
Here is a link to the proposed legislation: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB695
The Law Offices of Karen L Goldstein dedicated a substantial portion of its practice to defending against sexual offenses. If you would like to speak with an aggressive and compassionate sexual assault lawyer, please call (888) 445-6313 for more information.