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New Law to Expand Sex Offender Registration

15-Mar-2012 by Kenneth L. Schreiber

In a report provided by mydesert.com, Governor Jerry Brown is soon to sign a new law that would eliminate a loophole in California’s Sex Offender Registration Act. Under the current Act, people who have been convicted of certain sex crimes in other state, federal or military courts have been required to register as sex offenders upon moving to California. The Act specifically applies to out-of-state offenses that, if they were committed in California, would also require sex offender registration.

However, the law did not apply unless the out-of-state offense contained all of the elements of a specified California offense. For example, a person convicted of rape in Nevada might not be required to register as a sex offender in California because the elements required for conviction in California are not applicable in Nevada. California law requires that some degree of force be used during the rape, but Nevada law does not. As such, the offender would not have been convicted of rape in California under the same set of facts, and would ostensibly not be required to register.

This created a loophole for some sex offenders, and prompted the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to make inquiries into whether out-of-state convicts should also be registered in California. After a lawsuit was filed by scrutinized offenders, Third District Court of Appeal, severely limited this practice, by narrowing the elements that could be considered in reviewing out-of-state offenders for registration.

SB 622 would allow the DOJ to make unfettered inquiries as to whether out-of-state offenders should be compelled to register as sex offenders. Prosecutors will also be allowed review the elements required in such cases, as well as additional facts, to determine whether registration would be appropriate in California.

While this bill is yet to become law, questions abound as to what out-of-state crimes currently require registration in California. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. An experienced criminal defense attorney can answer your questions.

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Serving Southern California: Irvine criminal defense attorney Kenneth L. Schreiber represents clients throughout California's Inland Empire, including Riverside, San Bernardino, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Ventura, Los Angeles, Mission Viejo, Beverly Hills, Corona Del Mar, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Huntington Beach, Orange, Villa Park, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Tustin, Lake Forest, Westminster, Anaheim, Vista, Fallbrook, Temecula, Marietta, and other communities in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.