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Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Penal Code 290

California sex offender registration laws and requirements are found at penal code 290 (PC 290). The following is a brief over of PC 290. For more information, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.

PC 290 requires mandatory sex offender registration for defendants convicted of any sex offense listed in Penal Code 290(c). Those crimes include:

  • PC 182 Conspiracy to Commit Sex Crime

  • PC 187(a) Murder during a sex crime

  • PC 209(b) Kidnap for Sex Offense

  • PC 21a Attempt to Commit Sex Offense

  • PC 220 Sexual Assault

  • PC 236.1(b) or (c) Human Trafficking

  • PC 243.4 Sexual Battery

  • PC 261 Rape Crimes

  • PC 264.1 Rape in Concert

  • PC 266 Entice Minor into Prostitution

  • PC 266c Sex by False Pretenses

  • PC 266h(b) Pimping a Minor

  • PC 266j Transport Minor for Lewd Act

  • PC 267 Abduction for Prostitution

  • PC 269 Aggravated Sex Abuse of Child

  • PC 285 Incest

  • PC 286 Sodomy by Force or Fear

  • PC 287 Oral Copulation by Force

  • PC 288 Lewd Act upon a Minor

  • PC 288.2 Send Harmful Matter to Child

  • PC 288.3 Contact Minor for Lewd Act

  • PC 288.4 Arrange to Meet Child for Sex

  • PC 288.5 Continuous Sexual Child Abuse

  • PC 288.7 Sexual Conduct w/ Child <10

  • PC 289 Sexual Penetration by Force

  • PC 311.11 Possession of Child Porn

  • PC 314 Indecent Exposure

  • PC 647.6 Annoy or Molesting a Minor

  • PC 653f Solicitation to Commit Sex Crime

  • PC 664/261 Attempted Rape

Important: The crimes listed in PC 290(c) mandate sex offender registration. However, if the court finds that a crime, which is not listed in PC 290(c), was committed due to defendant’s uncontrolled sexual compulsion, the court may require the defendant to register as a sex offender for up to ten (10) years (PC 290.006).​

Sex Offender Website: Most convicted sex offender information must be listed in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) online sex offender website. The DOJ has different categories of registered sex offender disclosures. Some PC 290 convictions require more disclosure than others.

Information that might be disclosed includes name, photograph, physical description including gender and race, date of birth, criminal history, and ZIP Code or home address. The duty to disclose information on the sex offender registration website might be modified by petition in some cases (PC 290.046).

How to Register Per PC 290

Where to Register: A convicted sex offender must appear in person to register their information with the local police department of the city in which he/she resides, or with the Sheriff's Department if the convicted sex offender lives in an unincorporated area.

What to Register: Registration per PC 290 includes photographing and fingerprinting the registrant, recording the name, address, and telephone number of the registrant, and of his or her employer, recording the birthdate of the registrant, recording the license plate number of any vehicle registered to the registrant, and more (PC 290(e)(2)).

When to Register: Registration must be completed within five working days after release from custody or placed on probation. A person also has only five working days to update sex offender registration if he or she changes his or her residence. Also, a registrant must update his or her registration annually within five working days of his or her birthday (290.012).

Sexually Violent Predators: Those convicted sex offenders who are deemed sexually violent predators must update their registration no less than every 90 days (290.011).

Transient Registration: If the convicted sex offender is currently homeless, he or she must still register as a sex offender within five working days of release from custody. Rather than including his or her address when registering, the defendant must register as a transient. The defendant must then continue to register as a transient sex offender every thirty (30) days thereafter until he or she finds permanent housing.

Length of Registration (PC 290.5)

California recently enacted law that affects the length of time that a convicted sex offender must register as such pursuant to PC 290. Essentially, the new law creates a tiered system for sex offender registration. The tiers are divided as follows:

Tier One: Ten-Year Registration Requirement: This tier is reserved for sex crimes that are the least serious of the sex crimes that otherwise require sex offender registration, including, misdemeanor sexual battery (PC 243.4)), misdemeanor indecent exposure (PC 314), misdemeanor lewd acts with a minor over fourteen (PC 288(c)), misdemeanor annoy or molest a child (PC 647.6(a), misdemeanor possession of child pornography (PC 311.11), crimes for which the court mandated sex offender registration pursuant to PC 290.006, and more.

Tier Two: Twenty-Year Registration Requirement: This tier is reserved for sex crimes that are more serious than tier one level sex offenses, but not as serious as tier three level sex offenses, including, lewd and lascivious acts on a minor less than fourteen years of age (PC 288(a)), oral copulation on a minor less than fourteen years of age without force or violence (PC 287), sodomy of a minor less than fourteen years of age without force or violence (PC 286), incest (PC 285), and more.

Tier Three: Life-Time Registration Requirement: This tier is reserved for defendant’s convicted of the most serious and violent sex offense, including, sex trafficking of a minor (PC 236.1(c)), sodomy by force or violence (PC 286), sexual penetration by force on a minor (PC 289), sex, sodomy, oral copulation or sexual penetration of a minor under ten (PC 288.7), aggravated sexual assault of a minor (PC 269), kidnapping for a sex offense (PC 209(b)), and more.

Juveniles & SB 384: SB 384 creates a two-tiered system for juvenile sex offenders. For the most part, felony sex crimes listed in PC 290(c), which are committed by juveniles, require a ten-year sex offender registration, and misdemeanor sex crimes listed in PC 290(c), which are committed by juveniles, require a five-year sex offender registration requirement.

For brevity, only the most common sex crimes requiring sex offender registration are listed above. Also, some sex crimes convictions that require sex offender registration may fall under more than one tier in certain situations.

Important: Sex offender registration requirements do not automatically terminate upon the passage of time. In other words, sex offender registration is for life, even for tier one and tier two sex offenses, unless the convicted petitions the court to terminate sex offender registration. See Termination of Sex Offender Registration.

Note: Sex offender requirements may be terminated or modified in some cases. For more information, Terminate Sex Offender Registration, Certificate of Rehabilitation, and Exclusion from Sex Offender Website.

Failure to Register: Willful failure to register as a sex offender after conviction of a qualifying PC 290 crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. (PC 290(b) & PC 290(g)(2)) depending on whether the underlying PC 290 conviction involved a misdemeanor or a felony. For more information, see Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.

Note: Other crimes not listed here may require sex offender registration per PC 290, and PC 290.006. Also, other requirements for sex offender registration may apply, including other requirements listed in penal code 290, or requirements ordered by the sentencing court.

For more information about California sex offender registration rules and requirements per PC 290(c), contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our team of successful and highly experienced defense attorneys have helped hundreds of defendants charged with misdemeanor and felony sex crimes in the Inland Empire, and we can help you too.


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