CA Sex Offender Registration Act – Change is Happening

California Governor Jerry Brown signed in to law the Sex Offender Registration Act back in October of 2017. This bill will change the way the State of California manages it’s Sex Offender Registry. This law does not take effect until January 1, 2021.

Currently, the law in CA requires persons convicted of specific sex offenses to register with local law enforcement agencies while residing, attending school or working. If a convicted sex offender fails to register and it is considered willful, they can be charged with a felony of misdemeanor depending on the offense.

The new bill, SB 384, will create a three tiered sex offender registration system. Rather than treat all registerable sex offenses the same, the state will organize sex offenders into these three tiers based on their offense and risk of re-offending. The greater idea behind this tiered system is that it will allow some in the lower tier to get away from the stigma of being a sex offender, while giving law enforcement a greater understanding of who poses the greater risk.

The three tiers are as follows:

  • Tier 1 – Minimum 10 years of being on the registry from date of discharge from custody. This tier applies to: “A person is a tier one offender if the person is required to register for conviction of a misdemeanor described in subdivision (c), or for conviction of a felony described in subdivision (c) that was not a serious or violent felony as described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 or subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7”
  • Tier 2 – Minimum 20 years of being on the registry from the date of discharge from custody. This tier applies to: “A person is a tier two offender if the person was convicted of an offense described in subdivision (c) that is also described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 or subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, Section 285, subdivision (g) or (h) of Section 286, subdivision (g) or (h) of Section 288a, subdivision (b) of Section 289, or Section 647.6 if it is a second or subsequent conviction for that offense that was brought and tried separately.”
  • Tier 3 – Most serious, lifetime registrant. This tier applies, but is not limited, to: Those committed to mental health facilities as a sexually violent predator. Habitual offenders. The person’s risk level on the static risk assessment instrument for sex offenders (SARATSO), pursuant to Section 290.04, is well above average risk at the time of release on the index sex offense into the community, as defined in the Coding Rules for that instrument. Those who are sentenced to 15 to 25 years to life for an offense listed in Section 667.61. Certain other conditions listed in Section 2.5 of SB 384 Paragraph 3.