People convicted of certain sex offenses in California have the onerous requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender. This means they must register with the local police every time they move and every year within 5 days of their birthday. Many sex offender registrants are displayed on the state's Megan's Law website for the world to see.
Being labeled in the community as a convicted sex offender brings terrible shame--and danger--to those on "the list." Registrants experience difficulty finding jobs, housing and friends, and many get targeted with threats and violence. Some of the fear and disdain towards registrants is warranted. But many of them are rehabilitated people trying to make a life for themselves in an increasingly hostile world.
Sex offender registration is today's equivalent of leprosy in biblical times.
Not surprisingly, we get frequent calls from people desperately seeking to a reprieve from the Penal Code 290 sex offender registration requirements. Can this be done...and how?
There's basically three paths to clearing one's status as a California registered sex offender. The first is seeking to vacate the underlying conviction that triggered the registration requirement. This usually rests on showing that the attorney was incompetent, that new exonerating evidence was discovered, or that the person pled guilty without being properly apprised of the consequences.