Were you required to register as a sex offender in Los Angeles? One of the toughest consequences of a sex crime conviction is getting your name on the California sex offender registry. This label can follow you for the rest of your life, affecting your job opportunities, housing arrangements, and personal and professional reputation. However, some people can request removal from the registry. A successful petition can open the door to opportunities currently out of reach for you.
At The Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling, we want you to get your life back. The court might grant removal from the sex offender registry if you meet various requirements, including completing your prison sentence and proving you are not a danger to the public. Our firm has over two decades of experience helping individuals obtain post-conviction relief for qualifying sex crimes. Contact us today for a free consultation.
California’s Three-Tiered Sex Offender Registration System
In California, a sex offender falls under one of three tiers depending on the crime. The three-tiered sex offender registration system establishes the required registration period and whether the offender can request removal from the registry.
The three tiers include:
- Tier 1 – A Tier 1 offender must register as a sex offender for at least 10 years. They are allowed to file a petition for removal.
- Tier 2 – A Tier 2 offender must register as a sex offender for a minimum of 20 years. They can also request removal from the sex offender registry.
- Tier 3 – A Tier 3 offender must register for life. However, they can petition the court for termination from the registry if they are a Tier 3 offender solely because of their risk level on the static risk assessment instruction for sex offenders (SARATSO). That group of Tier 3 offenders must wait until 20 years after their release from custody to file the petition.
Who is Eligible for Removal?
Tier 1 and Tier 2 offenders are eligible for removal after the required period passes. A Tier 3 offender might also qualify to get their name removed from the registry if:
- They had the charge expunged.
- The victim was a member of their immediate family when the crime occurred.
- They received a certificate of rehabilitation.
- The conviction was for a non-penetrating sexual act, sexual battery, or child molestation.
- They completed a period of court-ordered probation.
How Can a Sex Offender Be Removed from the Registry?
You must wait until the minimum required registration period ends based on your tier before requesting removal from the sex offender registry. However, you can submit your request before the registration period ends by sending a completed Megan’s Law Exclusion form to the Department of Justice.
You can apply for a certification of rehabilitation to qualify for removal from the registry. You must wait seven to 10 years to apply after your release from custody, probation, or parole. The eligibility requirements include:
- You haven’t gone back to prison since expunging your case.
- The court expunged your case after you fulfilled the probation conditions or discharged your sentence before the probation period ended.
- You have proof of residence in the state during the five years before applying.
- You are not on probation for other felonies.
You can also get removed as a sex offender if the California governor issues a pardon for your conviction. You can apply for a pardon if you do not qualify for a certificate of rehabilitation. Typically, pardons only occur if an offender meets sentencing requirements, including annual registration as a sex offender, and has at least 10 years of lawful behavior.
There is no guarantee your petition for removal from the sex offender registry will succeed. A prosecutor may argue you still are a hazard to public safety. In those cases, it’s critical to hire a sex crime attorney to represent you at hearings and advocate for your removal.
Contact a Sex Crime Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
Not sure how to get your name off the sex offender registry in California? A Los Angeles sex crimes attorney at the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling can determine your eligibility and help you petition for legal relief. Contact us today for a free and confidential case review.