Can You Have a Sex Crime Conviction Removed from your Record in California?

A sex crime will generally adversely reflect on your reputation for a lifetime. This is because, for the longest time, California Sex Offender Registration Act required all sex offenders to register in the criminal offender record information system. For felony sex crimes, the records cannot be expunged from the information system and stay with the offender for life.

Misdemeanor sex crime convictions can be quite difficult to be expunged from the record, but depending on the specific circumstances of the case, they can be removed. Therefore, to successfully remove a sex crime conviction record in such circumstances, one needs a brilliant criminal attorney.

How long does a conviction stay on my record?

This duration heavily depends on the severity of the sex crime. In California, the duration within which a sex offender can be expunged is dependent on the three tiers established under SB384. 

With the passage of SB384, three tiers of registration were established: 10-year convictions, 20-year convictions, and lifetime convictions. Under the new SB384 law, only those convicted of the most grievous sex crimes will be required to register as sex offenders for life. 

Sex crime convictions that can be expunged in California

An application to have a sex crime conviction expunged will succeed by virtue of the Penal Code under Section 1203.4 if an offender:

  • Never served a state prison term
  • Has satisfied all the conditions for sentencing, such as paying fines
  • Has completed parole or probation
  • Is not facing any criminal charges at the time of making the application for expungement

Generally, these types of sex offense records can also be expunged depending on how well a case is put forth:

  • Arrests
  • Citations
  • County jail time records after successful completion of the probation period
  • Infractions
  • Non-violent felonies
  • Select misdemeanor convictions
  • Violations

Sex crime convictions that cannot be expunged

Any sex crime conviction involving a minor cannot be expunged in the state of California as stipulated in the Penal Code. They are:

  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a child under sixteen years of age by an individual above twenty-one years of age; Section 261.5(d)
  • Sodomy with a minor; Section 286(c)
  • Showing a minor obscene literature
  • Oral copulation with a minor
  • Lewd and lascivious acts with a child under Section 288
  • Forcible sexual penetration with a minor below fourteen years of age; Section 289(j)
  • Enticing or luring a child
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child as envisaged in Section 288.5
  • Child pornography, as highlighted under Section 311

In general, it should be noted that having a sex crime conviction expunged does not necessarily release an offender from the obligation to register as a sex offender. Instead, it enables one to secure a Certificate of Rehabilitation which can then be used to release the offender from the stipulation to be registered as a sex offender. Not everyone will be eligible for this. You will need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles or the Greater South Bay area to help you determine if you qualify to have your records cleared.

Your sex crime does not need to stay on your record. We can help you expunge it. We here at 290 Hero know the nuisances of criminal law can assist you with things like tracking down your criminal records, evaluating your crime and conviction, determining eligibility, and then filing for expungement. When you work with an experienced criminal defense firm like 290 Hero, you are more likely to have your request approved. Call us now at (323)529-3660 to schedule your first consultation.

The Criminal Defense Hero Attorney Don Hammond


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