November 2, 2009 By Stephen Klarich

People convicted of certain sex offenses in Riverside have the onerous requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender. This means that they must register with the local police department every time they move and every year within 5 days of their birthday. Many sex offender registrants are displayed on the state’s Megan’s Law website for the world to see.

Being labeled in the community as a convicted sex offender brings terrible shame–and danger–to those on “the list.” Those who have to register experience difficulty finding jobs, housing and friends, and many get targeted with threats of violence from their local community. Some of the fear and disdain towards registrants is warranted, but many of them are rehabilitated people trying to make a life for themselves in an increasingly hostile world.

Sex offender registration is today’s equivalent of leprosy in biblical times. Not surprisingly, we get frequent calls from people desperately seeking a reprieve from Penal Code Section 290 sex offender registration requirements. Can this be done…and how?

There are three paths to clearing one’s status as a California registered sex offender. The first is seeking to vacate the underlying conviction that triggered the registration requirement. This usually rests on showing that the attorney was incompetent, that new exonerating evidence was discovered, or that the person plead guilty without being properly apprised of the consequences.

The second basis for ending Penal Code Section 290 registration is through a certificate of rehabilitation. A person free from custody and out of trouble for 7 to 10 years may apply for a certificate of rehabilitation. If granted, it relieves one of registrant status except for certain underlying convictions, mainly those involving sexual abuse of a child.

The final basis for clearing Penal Code Section 290 registration status lies with a governor’s pardon. Although these are difficult to get granted, it will relieve someone of sex offender registration status regardless of the underlying conviction offense.

None of these options comes easy, and not all people qualify. But a registered sex offender who succeeds in “de-registering” can achieve redemption and a second chance at a normal life.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a Sex Crime in California, they need the legal counsel and representation of an experienced California Sex Crime defense attorney. Wallin & Klarich has been aggressively defending the constitutional rights of those accused of crimes in California for over 30 years. With offices throughout Southern California, our lawyers can provide you effective assistance. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (877) 466-5245.

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