6 Unexpected Ways You Could End Up On The Sex Offender Registry

The Penal Code under Section 290 requires that sex offender informs the local law enforcement agency of their whereabouts provided that they live, work or attend school in California. In addition, this section requires that anyone who, while residing in California, attending school, or working in California, is convicted of certain sex crimes must register with the local law enforcement agency as a sex offender. This registration must be done every year within five days of the offender’s birthday and within five days of moving residences.

Furthermore, a person is considered a sex offender when convicted of any sex crime listed in PC 290, such as sexual battery or assault, indecent exposure, child molestation, child pornography, rape, and other forms of sexual abuse.

There are various unexpected ways one could end up on the Sex Offender Registry. The SB 384 brought about changes to the duration of time for registration by introducing the three tiers as follows:

  1. Tier One

This tier requires those sex offenders convicted of the lowest level sex offenses such as indecent exposure and misdemeanor sexual battery to register for ten years. These sex crimes include:

  1. Tier Two

Persons convicted of mid-level sex offenses such as lewdness and non-forced sodomy with a minor below 14 years must register for at least twenty years. The sex crimes under this tier are:

  1. Tier Three

Lifetime registration is provided for under this tier and involves very serious crimes such as rape, forceful lewdness with a minor, sex trafficking of children, repeated sex crimes, sex crimes against children of 10 years and below, among others. The crimes involved here are:

Besides the above, a judge may simply require an offender to register for any offense, including those not specified in the Sex Offender Registration Act, provided the judge believes that the defendant has acted on sexual compulsion or for sexual indulgence.

There are, however, some unexpected ways in which one could end up on the Sex register. For instance:

  1. For a minor, taking nude photos.

It is criminalized in the Penal Code under Section 647. While it may be thought not to be an offense, minors who take naked pictures of themselves can be charged with child pornography and thus put on the sex register. For instance, a 14-year old girl who takes naked photos of herself and thereafter shares them online will be charged with spreading pornography and, as a result, will be required to register as a sex offender.

  1. Visiting a Prostitute

The Penal Code under Section 261 generally criminalizes prostitution. The mere act of even inquiring about a prostitute’s rates can be deemed a sex crime that requires registration as a sex offender. 

  1. Peeing in Public

Indecent exposure is defined in the Penal Code 314 PC as the wilful exposure of one’s naked body or genitals in a public place where others are annoyed by it. In this regard, peeing in public may fit into that definition and thus amount to a sex registrable offense.

  1. Flashing

This is a registrable offense as it amounts to indecent exposure. It must be noted that the mere show of one’s breasts or genitalia, even as a joke, will amount to an offense.

  1. Consensual sex between two teenagers

Even if you are a teenager and engage in sexual intercourse with another teenager, you will be liable for a sex registration offense. This is as prescribed in the Penal Code under Section 261.5.

  1. Sexual Relations with a Relative

California law considered incest a registerable offense under Penal Code 285PC. Therefore, it is important that you are well conversant with these laws to avoid winding up on the sex register.

Some people who end up on the registry don’t even know they committed a sex crime in the first place. Having your name on the national registry is just one of the most serious ways to ruin your life. Here at Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C., we’re keen to educate our clients on what constitutes a registerable sex crime according to California law. If you’re currently facing charges for these crimes, call us at (323)529-3660 to schedule your first appointment.


AUGUST 2023 Long Beach Courthouse: In an alleged DUI, indecent exposure (314(1)), and resisting arrest (148(a)(1)) case, Criminal Defense Heroes negotiated a dismissal of the DUI and 314 counts with a diversion on the 148, which will lead to a complete dismissal of the entire case. Client was stopped at the gates to Fort MacArthur, a military housing community, when officers smelled an odor of alcohol. Her passengers had been drinking, but client had not been drinking. She was upset at being wrongfully accused of DUI, so she did not cooperate with the investigation. She allegedly refused the blood test, but we already won that issue with the DMV. When officers wouldn’t remove the handcuffs so she could pee, she managed to get her pants down and pee on the floor of their admin building, leading to the bogus 314 charge. It clearly was not in public or with lewd intent. #longbeachcourthouse #ResistingArrest #criminaldefense

The DUI Attorney Don Hammond


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