What is SB 384?
Effective January 1, 2021, SB384 transitioned California’s lifetime sex offender registration schema to a tier-based schema. SB384 established three tiers of registration for adult registrants for periods of 10 years, 20 years, and life, and two tiers of registration for juvenile registrants for periods of 5 years and 10 years. SB384 allows the registrant to petition the superior court or juvenile court for termination of their sex offender registration requirement on or after their next birthday after July 1, 2021, following the expiration of their mandated minimum registration period. Based on criteria listed in SB384, the court will either grant or deny the petition.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) began designating tiers for registrants. CA DOJ has until 2023 to complete the determination of tiers for all registrants. Until that time, some registrants may be listed “TBD” in the database.
Beginning on July 1, 2021, on or after their next birthday after July 1, 2021, registrants who meet the mandated minimum requirements may petition for court review of their sex offender registration requirement in the superior court or juvenile court in the county in which they reside.
Beginning on January 1, 2022, registrants will be displayed on the Megan’s Law website pursuant to Penal Code section 290.46 as amended under SB384.
When did SB 384 take effect?
The tier-based sex offender registration schema took effect on January 1, 2021. Pursuant to Penal Code section 290.5(a)(1) as amended under SB 118 and SB 384, tier one, tier two, and “Tier Three – Risk Assessment Level” registrants may file a petition in the superior court or juvenile court in their county of residence for termination of their California sex offender registration requirement. Registrants may petition the court following the expiration of their mandated minimum registration period on or after their next birthday after July 1, 2021. Beginning January 1, 2022, the CA DOJ will make information available to the public via the Megan’s Law website in accordance with SB 384.
For additional detailed information regarding SB384, please refer to the California Department of Justice Information Services.
How do I start the process?
Registrants wishing to initiate the petition process should refer to the California DOJ website (see above) for details. Registrants must initiate the petition process by completing the petition forms, requesting proof of current registration from their individual registering law enforcement agencies, filing their petitions, and serving copies of their filed petitions on the required parties.
Registrants that wish to petition the court must go to the law enforcement agency station where they are currently registered and obtain a Proof of Current Registration Form. They will then take that form to the superior court that has jurisdiction over the area where they are registered. If the registrant is a juvenile, he/she must go to juvenile court. The court may then provide the registrant with a stamped petition form. The registrant must then provide a copy of this stamped petition form to the front desk of the law enforcement station where they are currently registered. In lieu of going to the law enforcement agency, registrants may also simply scan the form and email it to the SB384 unit of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The SB384 Unit of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will then ensure the petition package is complete and perform the required assessment. They will then send a response to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, where a review occurs. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office determines if a court hearing is required, and if so, prepares the petition for court. A court process follows wherein a judge makes a determination regarding the petition.
Who grants or denies a petition for termination?
The superior court or juvenile court where the registrant filed their petition will either grant or deny the petition for termination. For more information on the criteria used to grant or deny a petition, please refer to Penal Code section 290.5 as amended under SB 384.
What will I receive from the court if my petition is granted?
Registrants will receive notice from the court whether their petition is granted or denied. Registrants should retain the court order for their own records.
What if I disagree with my tier designation?
Registrants who feel they have been designated in the wrong tier as specified in the Act as amended under SB384 should consult with a public defender’s office or a private attorney.
Factors that may make prevent you from successfully petitioning the Court
Please find below a list of some scenarios that make you prevent you from successfully petitioning the Court pursuant to SB384. Please note that the below list does not include all the reasons you may be found automatically ineligible to petition.
- You have not met your minimum mandatory registration period pursuant to Penal Code section 290(e)
- There are pending charges against you which could extend the time to complete your tier or change your tier
- You are in custody
- You are on parole, probation, or supervised release
- You are a “Tier Three – Lifetime” registrant
- You have not fulfilled the filing and service requirements
Who do I contact if I have questions about the process or the status of my petition?
You may contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department SB384 unit if you have questions regarding the petition process. The phone number to make inquiries is (951) 955-9366. You may also send inquiries via email.