In accordance with California’s Penal Code 290, an individual found guilty of a specific sex crime or sex crimes in the State of California, must register as a sex offender, per the law. The convicted sex offender’s information then is made available to the public on the state’s Megan’s Law website, also known as Megan’s List. The website is operated by the California Department of Justice. The department regularly maintains the sex offender database for the safety of the residents of California.
What is Megan’s Law?
Megan’s Law came about shortly after a young girl was sexually assaulted and murdered by a known child molester dwelling in her neighborhood. The child molester moved across the street from the family of the little girl, Megan Kanza, without the family’s knowledge. California enacted Megan’s Law in 1996 to permit government entities to inform the public concerning sex offenders who may pose a safety risk and their locations.
Categories on Megan’s Law Website
A sex offender is listed on the Megan’s Law website in California either in the home address category, the zip code category, or the undisclosed category. A sex offender is listed in one of the three categories based on the exact sex offense or offenses that he or she were convicted of committing. Those convicted of the most serious sex offenses will have their complete addresses posted on the website. Similarly, those convicted of the least serious sex offenses are excluded from public disclosure on the Megan’s Law website.
Who Can Be Removed From the Megan’s Law Website?
Convicted offenders may apply to be removed from the Megan’s Law website in California. To qualify for removal from the website, however, someone had to be convicted of sexual battery by restraint; molesting or annoying a child; or any other offense which did not involve oral copulation or penetration, and only if the victim was a relative, and if probation was completed successfully. If the requirements are met, then a person can request removal from the Megan’s Law website by submitting a Megan’s Law exclusion form to the California Department of Justice. Approval commonly takes about a month from the time the complete application has been submitted. A person wishing to be removed from the Megan’s Law website also may be able to do so if he or she qualifies for and received a California Governor’s pardon or a certificate of rehabilitation. These two avenues allow someone to have his or her information removed from the site, as he or she no longer has the duty to register as a sex offender with the State of California.
Will Someone Stay Off Megan’s List Permanently?
As soon as someone is convicted for an additional sex offense, he or she will be added back on to the list of registered sex offenders dwelling in California. However, if someone does not violate the law another time, he or she will stay off of the Megan’s Law website.
Visit the California Department of Justice- Megan’s Law for more information and other resources.