In 1996, California enacted Penal Code section 290.46 and thereby created the California Sex Offender Registry in an effort to notify local communities when a convicted sex offender lives in the area. This registry has been nicknamed “Megan’s Law” in memory of seven-year-old Megan Kanka who was raped and killed by a known child molester who lived across the street from her family. Megan’s parents did not know about their neighbor’s criminal past. After her death, her family encouraged states across the country to create sex offender registries to help prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
All 50 states have since adopted some version of Megan’s Law, but the pros and cons of these registries are still being debated today. Those who oppose the registries state how greatly being listed can impact an individual’s life and argue that some offenders who are required to register do not pose a serious risk to their communities. In concession to these arguments and others, California now allows some registered sex offenders to petition our state’s Department of Justice to have their name removed from the registry. Consider the following which outlines who is generally eligible to apply for exclusion in California. However, for case specific information, currently registered sex offenders should consult with a local criminal defense attorney.
How to Get Your Name Removed from CA’s Sex Offender Registry