In 1993, our client, then 29 years old, was found guilty of indecent exposure (Penal Code § 314) in the Compton Superior Court.
He was then sentenced to serve two years in state prison and, upon being released from prison in 1995, register for life as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290. He then served two years on parole, discharging from parole in 1997.
Our client eventually moved to Georgia, where he worked as an accountant and registered with the DeKalb County Sheriff for the next 24 years until 2021 when he saw on the news that California passed Senate Bill 384, allowing certain sex offenders to petition the court to end their obligation to register.
In May of 2021, he called up Greg Hill & Associates and discussed the new law with Greg Hill. The client explained that he thought his rather minor felony sex offense would be categorized as Tier One, which meant he had fulfilled the ten years of registration that Senate Bill 384 required before one could petition to end the registration obligation and remove his name from the Megan’s List website.
Greg recommended that the client first clarify if his conviction was truly Tier One, as the judicial council form for petitioning for termination required this information, so Greg provided the client with the phone number to call the Violent Crime Information Center, California Sex Offender Registry in Sacramento (phone number 916-210-3113) to request a letter be mailed to him stating his conviction classification level.
Greg explained that under the new law, even if one’s original sex crime conviction requiring registration was Tier One, the Violent Crime Information Center, California Sex Offender Registry could change that to Tier Two if one was subsequently convicted of any further sex offenses that did not require registration, certain drug offenses or strike offenses as listed under California Penal Code §§ 667.5(c) (Violent Felonies) and 1192.7(c) (serious felonies). The client assured Greg that he had not even been arrested for anything in the last 24 years.
Greg then requested the addresses for his point of contact in DeKalb County where he registered, the arresting agency for his crime back in 1993 and his original parole officer in California. The client provided the DeKalb County address and Greg was able to find the parole office address as well as the Compton Police Department address as well.
Greg explained, in discussing the statute, that he was a bit unsure where a registrant such as our client, living outside California and registering outside California, should file the petition. The law states that it should be filed in the Superior Court of one’s county where one resides.
In the client’s case, this would be DeKalb County, Georgia. However, this seemed wrong to Greg because the superior court in DeKalb County would probably not know how to apply California law.
Greg and the client then decided to instead file the petition in the courthouse where the client was convicted and hope the judge assigned to the matter acted on the petition.
Greg then explained that the petition could not be filed until after the client’s first birthday after the effective date of the statute, which was July 1, 2021. Luckily, our client’s birthday was in August, so he did not have to wait too long to file.
The petition also required our client to submit his most recent proof of registration.
Greg then briefly explained how long the process would take. Greg explained that a copy of the petition would be filed in the court, but a copy would also be served on the parole office in California, the arresting agency and the law enforcement agency, as well as the district attorney in the county where the client registers. Our office would also serve a copy on the Compton Superior Court district attorney’s office. In other words, there are a lot of copies of the petition being served to many different agencies.
After this was done, law enforcement had sixty days to report back to the judge and the district attorney in the county where the petition was filed whether petitioner met the requirements of being removed from the registration requirement. Since our clients petition would be filed in August, he would have to wait until October for the response from law enforcement to the judge assigned to the case.
Once the district attorney receives the report, he or she has a further sixty days to file an opposition with the court as to why the request should be denied. Senate Bill 384 explained that this sixty days was for the prosecutor to notify the victim of the petitioner’s request and then to file an opposition, as appropriate, on grounds that “community safety would be significantly enhanced by the person’s continued registration.” Such a response would then be due, for our client in early December.
We then filed the petition in August 2021 and in December 2021, we received a minute order from the Compton Superior Court notifying us that the judge had granted the petition, without even a hearing.
The client was happy with this great news.
For more information about SB 384, please click on the following articles: