In California, a criminal defendant may be ordered to register as a sex offender, upon criminal conviction or sentencing, if the court finds that the crime was committed because of sexual compulsion or for the defendant’s sexual gratification (PC 290.006).
Mandatory v. Discretionary Registration
Some California crimes require sex offender registration. In other words, the court has no choice but to order the defendant to register as a sex offender upon conviction. These crimes include any crime listed in California penal code section 290(c), including the following:
Attempt an Above-Listed Offense, & More.
Note: The length of sex offender registration for the above-listed offenses ranges from 10 year to life, depending on the offense committed. For more information on Sex Offender Tier Levels in California.
Other California crimes do not require sex offender registration, but the court, its discretion, may require the defendant to register as a sex offender. These discretionary sex offender registration crimes include the following:
Important: A criminal court will not usually order sex offender registration for a discretionary registration crime unless the court finds that the defendant committed multiple and separate violations of a crime, which were motivated by either sexual compulsion, or for the defendant’s sexual gratification, and where the defendant showed no remorse for his or her conduct.
Example: John is caught taking “upskirt” videos of unsuspecting ladies in a department store in violation of PC 647(j)(2) [Video Person in Undergarments]. PC 647(j)(2) is not a crime that requires sex offender registration; however, the court, in its discretion, orders John to register as a sex offender pursuant to PC 290.006. The court’s reasoning for using its discretionary authority is that the judge believes John takes the “upskirt” videos out of sexual compulsion and that he will not be able to control his criminal behavior even with his PC 647(j)(2) conviction.
Tier-Level Registration for PC 290.006
Discretionary sex offender registration crimes will usually result in a tier-one level registration (PC 290(d)(1)); however, the court may, in its discretion, order a tier-two (20 years), or tier-three (life) registration, so long as the court explains its reasons on the record for deviating from the standard tier-one registration under PC 290.006. For more information, see Tier-Level Designation for Sex Offenses in California & Petition to Terminate Sex Offender Registration.
PC 290.006 Law (Abbrev.)
Per penal code 290.006, any person ordered by the court to register as a sex offender, who is not otherwise required to register as sex offender, shall so register, if the court finds at the time of conviction or sentencing that the person committed the offense because of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification. The court shall state on the record the reasons for its findings and the reasons for requiring registration (PC 290.006 Abbrev.).
The person shall register as a tier one sex offender in accordance with PC 290(d)(1), unless the court finds the person should register as a tier two or tier three offender and states on the record the reasons for its finding (PC 290.006(b) Abbrev.).
In determining whether to require the person to register as a tier two or tier three offender, the court shall consider all of the following:
The nature of the registerable offense (PC 290.006(c)(1)).
The age and number of victims, and whether any victim was personally unknown to the person at the time of the offense (PC 290.006(c)(2)).
Note: A victim is personally unknown to the person for purposes of this paragraph if the victim was known to the offender for less than 24 hours.
The criminal and relevant noncriminal behavior of the person before and after conviction for the registerable offense (PC 290.006(c)(3)).
Whether the person has previously been arrested for, or convicted of, a sexually motivated offense (PC 290.006(c)(4)).
The person’s current risk of sexual or violent re-offense, including the person’s risk level on the SARATSO static risk assessment instrument, and, if available from past supervision for a sexual offense, the person’s risk level on the SARATSO dynamic and violence risk assessment instruments (PC 290.006(c)(5)).
For more information on mandatory versus discretionary sex offender registration in California, or penal code 290.006, contact our sex crimes criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.
Our award-winning sex crimes attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony sex crimes in the Inland Empire, including post-conviction relief issues such as certificate of rehabilitation, expungement of sex crimes, termination of sex offender registration, exclusion from the sex offender’s website, and more. Call today!