What does California's Megan's Law provide?
As per federal regulations, each state in the Union is required, by law, to maintain information on convicted sex offenders. The law requires every individual convicted of a sex offense to register with their local police department. California does so as well.
In 2004 California passed a new law that allows the public to locate registered sex offenders residing in the State of California. The new provision allows access to more than 63,000 registered sex offenders in the state. Before this statute was passed the only way to access this information was through a toll free hotline or by personally visiting the local police station.
What information is provided on www.meganslaw.ca.gov?
The State of California's Megan's Law website allows individuals to find information on the location of registered sex offenders in the state through a number of options. One can search by name, address, city, zip code, county, nearby schools and parks. Before being able to access these maps an individual must read a disclaimer and agree to the provisions within. The disclaimer advices the individual seeking to access the records that the information within is strictly for informational and protective services. In no way shall be used as a way to conduct violence.
Once in the system an individual seeking information has the option of getting a list of registered sex offenders or viewing a map as to the whereabouts of the registered sex offender. The information, which is contributed by the Department of Justice, is quite extensive. It includes the name, addresses, offenses, known aliases and distinguishing marks of each individual currently under registration in the state of California.
How thorough is www.Meganslaw.ca.gov
California's Megan's Law website discusses the formalities of sex offender registration in great detail. Not every individual registered as a sex offender is accessible by the public on www.meganslaw.ca.gov. 25% of all sex offenders may not be searched by the public. This is because their crimes are considered to have a minimal risk of repetition. A full list of these crimes is listed on the website. They include, but are not limited to: sexual battery by restraint; misdemeanor child molestation; any offense which did not involve penetration or oral copulation; the victim of which was a child; and those crimes in which the offender has, or is, successfully completing probation.
How long do convicted sex offenders in California have to register?
Unlike several states, California does not acknowledge varying timetables for sex offender registration. Once convicted of a sex offense an individual is required, by California law, to register yearly for life. Upon request, and the approval of the relevant authorities, that registration period may be reduced, but to no less than 7 to 10 years from the date of release. All other request for removal from the registry must occur through a pardon by the governor.