If you have been convicted of a crime that is sexual in nature, you likely needed to register for the official California Sex Offender Registration list. This list is a publicly available domain that notifies the public of those who have transgressions with the law involving sex acts.
These registrations are often for life, and severely limit a person’s ability to find work, housing, and employment. It is critical to understand the possible consequences a sex crime conviction may have on your life and you should contact an experienced San Diego sex crimes defense attorney right away if you have been charged with any such crimes.
What Sexual Acts Require Sex Offender Registration?
The short answer is that most individuals convicted of sex-related crimes must register as sex offenders within a certain time frame of being convicted, and then continue to register annually thereafter. The distinction between misdemeanor and felony criminal charges is one of the distinguishing factors regarding whether a criminal charge will result in mandatory sex offender registration. Consider some of the following common sex offenses:
- Child Molestation or Sex With a Minor can mean life in prison and mandatory sex offender registration
- Sexual battery may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony and often requires sex offender registration as a punishment
- Lewed Acts on a Child or Statutory Rape involves minor children. The punishment depends on the age of the child and the level of sexual contact. A child under 14, for example, will be a mandatory eight years in prison, or more if force was used. Statutory rape, specifically, is defined as sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. Certain statutory rape acts, when charged as misdemeanors, may not require sex offender registration.
- Rape is one of the most commonly charged sexual acts in California and often requires sex offender registration, especially when force is used (even for first time offenders)
Note that there are many other sex offenses that can lead to mandatory sex offender registration in California such as indecent exposure, child pornography possession, date rape, sexual assault, prostitution, pimping, online sexual harassment or webcam offenses, or other acts that may lead to sex offender registration being required at sentencing if the offender is ultimately convicted. It is important to grasp the severity of sex offender registration in addition to the possible fines and prison sentence that may accompany conviction, especially if the prison term is relatively “short” and release back into the community is imminent.
What is Sex Offender Registration?
Known as “Megan’s Law,” California has a mandatory sex offender registry in which all convicted offenders must register certain publicly available information about their demographics and residence. The California Department of Justice governs who must register, what information must be provided to the registry, and whether the offender may qualify to exclude his or her name from the list in certain circumstances.
Registered sex offenders have an obligation to register before their release from jail/prison and every year thereafter; they must also provide up-to-date information if they intend to move or change addresses. Registered sex offenders face significant restrictions in finding housing, in finding gainful employment, or being accepted into educational programs. Sex offender registration is burdensome, though the consequences of failing to register or keep the government apprised of your whereabouts will create possibly greater consequences than your initial offense.
San Diego, California Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you are facing sex crimes charges for the third time or if you are truly innocent of the allegations against you, the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj can help. Attorney Bajaj has significant experience in San Diego and surrounding areas defending individuals accused of sex crimes ranging from misdemeanors to violent felonies.
Mr. Bajaj understands what is at stake when you are accused of a sex crime and will work tirelessly to mitigate the damage of the allegations and work to dismiss the charges, negotiate for more lenient charges/sentencing and advocate to keep your name off of the California Sex Offender Registry. If you have been accused of a sex crime in the greater San Diego area, contact San Diego criminal defense lawyer Vikas Bajaj at (619) 525-7005 today to protect your future and legal rights.