If you are convicted of a sex crime in California, you will likely face the harsh punishment of registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life. For years, groups have pressured lawmakers to reform laws regarding this severe consequence. Now, it seems that California is closer than ever to making major changes to its sex offender registration system.

Senate Bill 421 Fails to Pass

In recent months, California lawmakers were pushing a bill that would drastically overhaul the California sex offender registration system. That bill, SB 421, would have created a tiered registration system in California, giving some sex offenders a chance to be removed from the registry after 10 or 20 years.

The proposed tiered system would have worked like this:

  • Tier 1: Misdemeanor and non-violent sex offenders would be required to register for 10 years
  • Tier 2: Serious and violent sex offenders would be required to register for 20 years
  • Tier 3: Violent sex predators and habitual sex offenders would be Tier 3 offenders, which carries lifetime registration.

Under the proposed law, registrants would be able to file a petition for removal from the registry after completing their mandatory registration period.

The bill was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year, but it failed to pass the Assembly in September. However, lawmakers revived the push for tiered registration by amending Senate Bill 384 to include sex offender registry reform.

New California Tiered Sex Offender Registration Bill (SB 384)

After SB 421 was stopped by the Assembly, author Senator Scott Wiener revitalized the bill by amending existing Senate Bill 384 to include the tiered registration system. The author made changes to the original proposed tiered registry in order to improve its chances to be passed.

Under SB 384, the tiered registry would work similar to the way it would’ve worked if SB 421 had passed, but it significantly reduces the number of people who would be assigned to tiers one and two, and adds more to tier three. For instance, anyone who is convicted of a child pornography offense would be assigned to tier three and required to register as a sex offender for life.

Lawmakers say there will be an opportunity to revise this part of the bill in 2019 before it would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

SB 384: Path to Tiered Registration in California

In its amended form, the tiered registration bill was passed by the California State Assembly and has already been passed by the Senate.

The bill is now on the desk of the governor, who has publicly stated support for the bill. However, he has yet to sign the bill into law. He must do so by Oct. 15.

Are You Looking to End Your Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender?

Having to register as a sex offender creates a negative stigma that follows you for your entire life. However, you may be able to end your obligation to register as a sex offender. Speak to an experienced sex crimes attorney to find out if you are eligible to seek post-conviction relief.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled post-conviction attorneys have been successfully helping our clients obtain relief from registration and Megan’s Law for more than 35 years. We’ve helped thousands of people in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available near you no matter where you are located.

Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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