Sex Crime Law in California

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A sex crime is a sexual act that the victim does not want and does not consent to.  There are hundreds of variations on this theme listed in the California Penal Code.  These crimes destroy trust in society.  Those who are convicted of sex crimes are usually classified as “sex offenders” and required to register with a public database.

Registration as a Sex Offender

In 1945, California was the first state to require sex offenders to register with a state registry.  Most other states did not require this until the 1990s.  California requires registry for the conviction of hundreds of sex crimes, including: touching a person intimately against their will for sexual arousal, indecent exposure, incest, and oral copulation with belief victim is spouse, while in prison, or where intoxicated.

Because California has been tough on sex offenders for so long, and has a lifetime registry requirement, California has the largest population of registered sex offenders.  Sex offenders must re-register at their local police or sheriff’s station within 5 days of their birthday every year, when they move, and when they attend school. 

Most of the sex offenders in Californian prisons are serving time for committing lewd acts with a child / minor.  In 2006, California passed Jessica’s Law, which requires lifetime Global Positioning System monitoring of felony sex offenders, increased jail sentences, and residence farther than 2,000 feet of a school or park. 

Expungement of Criminal Records

Sex offenders in California may be able to “exclude” their information from the Internet Registry website if they only committed one crime that was not serious or violent.  Likewise, sex offenders may have their criminal records “expunged,” or sealed from the view of employers, for a single instance of a crime such as: lewd and lascivious act (not involving children), failure to register as a sex offender, possessing obscene material, and indecent exposure. 

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Last Modified: 08-15-2011 03:24 PM PDT

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