There are a number of different things that can be done to get off the California sex offender registry, depending on when the person was convicted of the sex crime, and what the sex crime was. What they are looking to do is get some sort of a certificate of rehabilitation or a governor's pardon.
I have negotiated and seen cases where the person has to register as a sex offender just for the probationary period. Under that circumstance, they would be able to get off of it if they could get a certificate of rehabilitation. You either talk to an attorney who is experienced with sex crimes and sex crime legislation, or the people that are in charge of the sex crime registration can answer questions as well.
Can A Sex Offense Conviction Ever Be Expunged?
There are sex offenses that can be expunged. As far as sealing records, that's a juvenile term. You can seal and destroy juvenile records, but adult cases in California must be expunged. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a true expungement in California.
If you are able to get any crime in California expunged, it would still show on your record when somebody ran you with the Department of Justice, though it would show as dismissed. The court has started to call expungements dismissal instead of expungements, so nobody gets confused about it. Even if somebody gets a case expunged as a sex crime that still would not necessarily take away his or her requirement to register as a sex offender.
That's a completely separate thing that has to be dealt with on the level of getting a certificate of rehabilitation, some sort of a governor's pardon, or your attorney going to court and getting the judge to terminate your probation, if you only have to register during the probationary period.
Can Someone Represent Themselves In A Sex Crime Case?
Someone can represent himself or herself in a sex crime case, but it's absolutely ridiculous and it's extremely dangerous to try this. Sex crimes are such serious crimes and carry with them such large sentences, including life in prison, that to represent yourself is extremely dangerous.
If you go to trial, represent yourself and lose, the judge is going to perceive you not only as someone who committed a sex crime, but somebody who really doesn't care about the system, doesn't think to get an attorney to represent them, and basically just beat to their own drum. That's probably the most dangerous person from the court's perspective, as far as sex crimes go.
In addition, it's foolish to represent yourself because you are not a lawyer, you don't know what motions can be brought to defend yourself, and you don't know when you should negotiate a case and when you should try a case.
If you do decide to try a case, you don't know how to cross-examine witnesses like seasoned sex crime attorneys do, you don't know when to try and block the prosecutor's evidence, what evidence is appropriate and what evidence is not, and you are probably not going to know how to put evidence on the right way in your own defense.
Why It's Critical To Hire An Experienced Attorney
Sex crime cases are some of the most serious cases there are. You want somebody who does them frequently because each of the courts has their own special unit that just handles sex crime. They are called Sex Crime Prosecutors.
If a person is not familiar with defending sex crimes in LA County, they are going to be at a huge disadvantage in dealing with the sex crime prosecutors. They are already at a disadvantage because there are different rules for bail and sentencing.
There are a lot of different components and a lot of different moving parts when it comes to a sex crime case, and you need to have an attorney who has been down the path you are about to travel and has success—who knows how to deal with the personalities that you have to deal with, including the prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement personnel that deal with these cases. Law Enforcement has special sex crime units as well.
You definitely want to have somebody who has handled sex crime cases. I have been handling sex crime cases for the past 25 years. I worked for a superior court judge, and I have seen how they deal with these types of cases.
I have also worked for the District Attorney's office, and I see how they deal with sex crime cases. I have had my own criminal defense practice since the early 1990s dealing with sex crimes, and seeing how to win them, what it takes to negotiate them, and how to get the best possible resolution for my clients taking into consideration their family, their job, and their reputation.
Additional Information On Sex Crime Cases In California
People should realize that when you are charged with a sex crime case, there is such a stigma in society today that the pendulum has swung very far against people who are charged with sex crimes.
People can be completely innocent of the crime, or the prosecutors can overcharge the crime. People that I have talked to and that I have defended feel alone until they get an attorney on their side.
They feel like everybody is against them, everybody assumes they are guilty before they even hear any of the evidence. It's crucial to get someone who is battle-tested, who has been down the road that you are about to travel, who knows how to handle these cases, and who has the wisdom, experience, and the skill to make the right decision for you, and to guide you in the best possible direction.
For more information on Getting Off The Sex Offender Registry, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.