What Are Sex Offenders Not Allowed to Do in California?

Anyone convicted of a sex crime in California must register with state and national sex offender registries. They are also not allowed to work in positions that require them to interact with children.

Those who live together are subject to strict registration and housing regulations. They can only live with those who are related to them through blood, marriage, or adoption.

Living Near Parks and Schools

When a person is convicted of a sex crime, they might face local and federal restrictions that prevent them from living near schools or child-focused areas. Convicted sex offenders might also not be allowed to live within certain distances of parks and other locations where children gather. In California, the courts handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. If a convicted sex offender wants to come off of the sex offender registry, they must submit a petition to the court and have a judge say that they can stop registering. An experienced sex offender defense lawyer can help them understand the legalities of this process.

A petition for removal from the sex offender registry can be filed by a person that is on tier one or tier two of the registry. If the offender has met minimum registration requirements and hasn’t committed any more crimes, they might be able to get their name off of the list after 10 or 20 years.

While the courts handle these issues on a case-by-case basis, most of the time it is very difficult for sex offenders to live near schools and other types of locations that attract children. This is because Proposition 83, better known as Jessica’s Law, prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of school or parks, and the limit for some high-risk offenders extends to 2,640 feet.

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Living With Other Sex Offenders

While probation for non-sex crimes typically restricts a person from contact with the specific victims of their crime, sex offender probation usually contains more extensive restrictions. Among these are limitations on living near schools, parks, and other places where minors gather. Probation terms can also prohibit sex offenders from teaching or working with children in any capacity, even if they have no direct interaction with the victims of their crimes.

The exact residency requirements imposed on a registered sex offender are decided on a case-by-case basis, but California courts can prohibit people from living within a certain number of feet of a school or park. They can also limit a person’s ability to live with other registered sex offenders.

It’s important to remember that convicted sex offenders are not “bad” or “troubled”. They are simply people who committed criminal acts. They may be well-educated, trusted, longstanding members of the community who suddenly found themselves with a very serious criminal record.

Sex offenders that reside in California are obligated to register their status on the Megan’s Law website. The site reveals a person’s name, photo, and general description to the public. They are not obligated to notify neighbors, but people can find out if someone in their neighborhood is a registered sex offender by searching the website. If an offender is on active probation or parole, they must get clearance from their probation or parole officer before they can move into another state.

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Working With Children

Depending on the specifics of your sex crime conviction, you may be restricted from living near schools or parks. You are also prohibited from working at jobs or volunteering in places where children are likely to gather, unless you are employed or a volunteer with a family member who is a registered sex offender. Additionally, you must disclose your status as a sex offender if you apply for or accept a job where the primary duties involve contact with minors.

While most employers cannot ask you about your sex offender status, some can—particularly in certain industries such as schools and daycares. Likewise, you can be legally required to disclose your status if you apply for or are offered a job in certain types of businesses, such as real estate, health care and finance.

In general, sex offenders must register for life in California, though there are some exceptions to this rule. If you have fulfilled your minimum registration requirements, you can petition to be removed from the registry after a certain period of time—the amount of time depends on which tier you are placed in by law enforcement (based on your offense). You must respect all the other rules regarding your lifestyle while on the registry until your request is approved. However, even if you fulfill your minimum registration requirements, it is important to discuss your situation with a Riverside sex offender defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your record stays clean.

Moving Into Other States

If a convicted sex offender has to remain on California’s Sex Offender Registry for a decade or for life, they cannot move into other states without first checking that state’s local laws. If they are on probation or parole, their parole officer must approve the relocation before they can proceed.

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A new law, which will take effect in 2021, will change a 2006 voter-approved ban on sex offenders living within 1,000 feet of schools and parks to restrict the restriction only to pedophiles and other offenders who committed crimes against children. The change will be a result of a Supreme Court ruling that found the current restriction unconstitutional.

Convicts can still face restrictions if they work in certain industries that deal with children, such as schools and daycares, or are deemed high risk by their probation or parole officers. These restrictions may require them to live with a relative who is related by blood, marriage or adoption. They also may not be allowed to work in places that have young children, even if they are registered sex offenders.

If a convicted sex offender moves into another state, the local laws of that state must be examined. They could have to register as sex offenders, comply with Megan’s Law or other state laws that prevent sex offenders from living too close to schools and parks or from working with children.

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