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Penal Code 290.5- New Rules on Sex Offender Registration

Posted by Seth Chazin | Oct 12, 2020

In short, this statute states that any person who is required to register as a sex offender, and is tier one or tier two, may file a petition in the superior court in the county they are registered in to  terminate their obligation to register as a sex offender after their next birthday following July 1, 2021. If the person was required to register under the Section 290.008, for juvenile sex offenders they may file a petition in juvenile court on or after their next birthday after July 1,2021, once they have completed their mandatory minimum registration period. The petition must contain proof of the person's current registration as a sex offender.

If the termination from the registry is denied, then the court shall set a time period after which the person can file a petition again, which is usually at least one year from the date of denial but not more than five years.  Upon denial, the court will provide reasons for its determination in setting the time to petition again.

If you are registered as a tier two offender, you may petition the superior court for termination from the registry after 10 years from release from custody on the offense in which you registered, if the offense involved no more than one victim from 14 to 17 years of age, or if the offender was being under the age of 21 at the time of the offense, and the registerable offense is not specified in subdivision( c ) of Section 667.5. This does not apply to penal code except subdivision (a) of section 288(a)  .

A tier two offender can file a petition with the court if the person has not been convicted of a new offense requiring sex offender registration or an offense described in subdivision ( c ) of Section 667.5 since they were released from custody on the offense requiring registration pursuant to Section 290, and has registered for 10 years pursuant to subdivision ( e ) of Section 290.  The court will determine whether community safety would be enhanced if the petitioner remained on the registry and may consider the following factors: whether the victim was a stranger at the time of the offense, the nature of the registerable offense, including whether the offender took advantage of a position of trust; criminal and relevant noncriminal behavior before and after the conviction for the offense,  whether the offender has successfully completed a Sex Offender Management Board-certified sex offender treatment program; whether the offender initiated a relationship for the purpose of facilitating the offense, and the person's current risk of sexual or violent reoffense.

A person required to register as a tier three offender based solely on the person's risk level may petition for termination of the registry after 20 years from release from custody on the registrable offense if the person has not been convicted of a new offense requiring sex offender registration or an offense described in subdivision ( c ) of Section 667.5. since the person was released from custody on the offense requiring registration and has registered for 20 years pursuant to subdivision ( e) of section 290. If the petition is denied, the person may not re-petition for termination for at least three years.

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson

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