Relief from sex offender registration requirement in California can mean the difference between moving on with your life after a criminal conviction for a sex crime.  When a person is accused of a sex offense, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, there are many options and defenses a defendant can use to avoid the extremely harsh outcome of being required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.   An experienced criminal defense attorney can utilize many options to alter the outcome of a very serious charge to benefit their client by not only avoiding jail or prison time but also avoiding the lifetime registration requirement.

Is is possible to obtain relief from having to register as a sex offender under California Penal Code 290 ?

Perhaps the biggest hurdle in successfully defending felony or misdemeanor sexual assault  cases is protecting yourself  from the Cal. Penal Code section 290 requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender.   Regardless of jail or prison time, people soon realize that having to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives is a stigma that will negatively effect you and your family’s lives forever. Even though a person may ultimately be required to register as a sex offender in California including Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can still apply for relief from the registration requirement by obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation.  Penal Code section 4852.01 provides in pertinent part: “Any person convicted of a felony who has been released from a state prison .   .   . may file the petition [for a certificate of rehabilitation] pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.”

In the recent California Court of Appeal case of People v. Tirey (2013) DAR 15127, the California Court of Appeal found that even persons convicted of charges under Penal Code section 288(a) may file for a certificate of rehabilitation relieving that person from the requirement of registering as a sex offender.   Obtaining such certificate still requires an experienced criminal defense attorney who has defended persons accused of sex crimes that face the lifetime registration requirement.

Some of the most serious charges one may face whether it be a misdemeanor or felony deal with claims of sexual assault including rape, date rape and statutory rape.   Most of these charges are very serious.  Even if an experienced criminal defense attorney can obtain a favorable plea negotiation which includes no and/or a small amount of jail time, most defendants desire to have the charges dismissed to avoid having to register as a sex offender.   Whether your criminal defense lawyer has to deal with a criminal case in Los Angeles or other parts of California, most prosecutors insist on having a defendant register as a sex offender as part of a plea negotiation dealing with charges of sexual assault.   As such, if a criminal defense lawyer cannot negotiate a reduction in charges that would avoid sex registration, it is important to hire a lawyer who can successfully apply for a certificate of rehabilitation to obtain relief from the registration requirement at the proper time.

When a person is accused of a sex offense, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, there are many options and defenses a defendant can use to avoid the extremely harsh outcome of being required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.   An experienced criminal defense attorney can utilize many options to alter the outcome of a very serious charge to benefit their client by not only avoiding jail or prison time but also avoiding the lifetime registration requirement.