Sunnyvale Megans Law Attorney
Megan's Law & Registration Violations
Megan's Law in Sunnyvale
When an individual is convicted of certain California sex crimes, the law provides that he/she is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code 290 PC. The California Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains and operates this sex offender database in its Sex Offender Tracking Program. This information is then made available to the public via the DOJ's "Megan's Law" website.
In order to better understand when you can have your personal information removed or excluded from the Megan's Law website, Sunnyvale sex crimes defense attorney Maureen Baldwin will address the following:
Overview of Megan's Law in Sunnyvale
Enacted in 1996, California's Megan's Law allows the government to notify the public about sex offenders whom it believes pose a public safety risk. The law was named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a known child molester who moved across the street from Megan's family without the family's knowledge.
Each state now has some form of Megan's Law.
The good news is that there are two ways to prevent your information from being publically posted on the Megan's Law website. The first involves automatic exclusion. The second involves an exclusion application.
Although neither process will relieve you of your lifetime duty to register as a sex offender, your identifying information will be removed from the Megan's Law website. And as Sunnyvale Sex Crimes Attorney Maureen Baldwin believes this can make a world of difference to your freedom, privacy, and even your personal safety.
Automatic Exclusion from the Megan's Law Website
There are basically three categories of sex offenders with respect to disclosure on California's Megan's Law website. These categories include:
- the home address category
- the zip code category
- the undisclosed category
What category an individual appears in depends on the specific sex offense for which the individual was convicted. The website posts the complete address of those who are convicted of the most serious sex offenses. Examples include (but are not limited to):
- anyone designated a sexually violent predator
- murder committed during the commission or attempted commission of rape or another specified forced sexual act
- kidnapping with the intent to commit rape or another specified forced sexual act
- rape when accomplished through force or fear
- involving certain acts of oral copulation
- involving certain felony lewd acts with a minor
Those who are convicted of slightly less serious offenses have only their zip codes posted. Examples of these offenses include (but are not limited to):
- felony sexual battery by restraint
- a variety of misdemeanor sex offenses that involve minors
Finally, those convicted of any of the offenses that are not specifically addressed in the other categories are actually excluded from public disclosure. Examples of these include (but are not limited to):
- a variety of charges related to California child pornography laws
- sending harmful matter to a child intending to seduce that child
- solicitation of another to commit rape, oral copulation, or sodomy by force
It is important to understand that just because you don't appear on the Megan's Law website does not mean that you are relieved of your lifetime duty to register as a sex offender... but it does alleviate the scrutiny that goes along with public registry.
It should be noted that even if you meet the above criteria, a finding that you are a "sexually violent predator" will exclude you from eligibility
Approval typically takes about 30 days from the time you submit the application for exclusion until you receive a confirmation or denial letter from the DOJ.
It is important to understand that the only criminal offenses that will terminate your exclusion are sex offenses. If you commit a sex offense in Sunnyvale that is not one of the crimes that allows you to apply for exclusion... or commit an offense in connection with one of those listed offenses... you will not be able to reapply. If, however, you are convicted of one of those crimes and meet the exclusion criteria, you can reapply to have your information removed from the website.
If you have additional questions, or would like to discuss your case confidentially with Maureen, please contact her office at 1-408-279-4450.
For more information on Megan's Law and sex offender registration, violations, charges, and defense please contact Sunnyvale Megans Law Attorney Maureen Baldwin today.