Posted in Sex Crimes on January 23, 2018
A person can become a registered sexual offender in California for a wide range of crimes – from flashing body parts to taking nude selfies as a minor. If you are a registered sex offender in California, you will run into many roadblocks and barriers during tasks such as finding jobs and housing, or moving out of state. In 2015, the California Supreme Court ruled laws limiting where sex offenders could live “unconstitutional.” However, moving out of The Golden State can still prove difficult. Here’s what you need to know.
Over the years, federal and state courts have passed a handful of laws that place restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live. While the goal behind these laws has been to keep registered sex offenders away from “vulnerable” populations like children, they’ve grown a tad out of hand. For example, the California Supreme Court cut down Jessica’s Law, which prohibited registered offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks, regardless of whether the crimes involved children.
The reason for easing Jessica’s Law was that it increased the rates of homelessness, drug/alcohol dependency, health problems, and psychological issues among registered sex offenders by making it almost impossible to live in densely populated areas. Today, there is no longer a blanket restriction, but one that prohibits high-risk sex offenders and those whose crimes involved children under the age of 14 from living with half a mile from schools. Officials will assess each individual case according to the registered sex offender’s circumstances.
Despite this landmark ruling in 2015, registered offenders must still tiptoe around a number of other laws when it comes to finding a place to live – in or out of California. There are certain probation agreements that can restrict where registered sex offenders move, at least temporarily. If a sex offender does not have these restrictions, there is no law barring him or her from moving out of the State of California and relocating elsewhere. Upon moving, however, the person must abide by the new state’s sex offender laws.
California Penal Code § 290.013 states that registered sex offenders must notify the last registering agency in writing of their move within five working days of relocating. Registrants must re-register in person if the move takes them to a new jurisdiction. If leaving home results in homelessness, the offender is “transient” in the eyes of the law and must register as such within five working days of leaving home. Transient sex offenders must re-register every 30 days without exception.
If you move to another home out of state, you will have to give written notification of your move to the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction you are leaving, as well as the new jurisdiction you will be entering. You must give these notifications within five working days or face serious penalties such as criminal charges. If you’re moving and entering into employment, or becoming a student at an institution for higher learning, you must register with the campus police department. You must register as a sex offender in the state to which you are moving, even if you still live in California and are only temporarily cross state lines to attend school or go to work.