Sex Offenders

Who is Required to Register?

In California, anyone convicted of a sex crime listed in Penal Code Section 290 is required to register. Additionally, the Court can order a person convicted of any crime to register if the judge finds that the crime was motivated by sexual assault intent. Juveniles are subject to registration for certain crimes, but only if they go to the California Youth Authority or a similar prison setting.

When Do Sex Offenders Have to Register?

Since 1947, California has required that sex offenders register annually with local law enforcement. The records are updated regularly through the law enforcement registration process. Some events which require registration or re-registration with a police department or sheriff's office include:

  • Registrant's birthday (annual registration)
  • Change of residence
  • Use of multiple addresses on a regular basis (transients are required to register every 30 days)
  • Upon release from custody
  • Name change
  • If working in California more than 30 days per year, but living elsewhere

Can Sex Offenders Live or Work Near Children?

Penal Code Section 3003.5(b) prohibits sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of a school or "park where children regularly gather." In most circumstances, registered offenders are restricted from being at schools and working with children if they are going to have primary control and supervision of those children. A registrant may not be at any school building or on school grounds without "lawful business" and permission of the school. Registered sex offenders may not volunteer or work with children directly and unaccompanied on more than an incidental and occasional basis without divulging their status to the person, group, or organization. If the underlying crime was against a child under 16, a registrant cannot volunteer or work with children, even if he or she discloses. A parent-offender can lawfully be at his or her child's school to drop off, participate in parent/child conferences, etc., but should generally have the permission of the school to be there.