California Megan’s Law

California’s Megan’s Law, enacted in 1996 Penal Code § 290.46,  mandates the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) to notify the community about specified registered sex offenders. Megan’s Law also authorizes local law enforcement agencies to inform the public about sex offender registrants found to be supposing a risk to public safety. Megan’s Law owes its name after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, who was a victim of a known child molester. Raped and killed by Jesse K. Timmendequas, who had moved across the street from her family home without their knowledge. In the wake of that struggle, the Kankas endeavored to have local communities notified about sex offenders in the region. All states within the U.S. now have their form of Megan’s Law.

You can visit the website based on Megan’s Law which provides information on registered sex offenders under California Penal Code § 290.46 so that members of the public can better protect themselves and their families.

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The California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR) is the source of sex offender information displayed on their website. The database contains registration information provided by the offender to local law enforcement agencies. This site indicates that some of the registrants are currently in violation of their registration requirements. Please report any information you may know of these individuals to your local law enforcement agency.

By law, persons convicted of sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders with a local law enforcement agency. Before release from prison, jail, mental hospital, or on probation, sex offenders required to register are notified in writing of their duty to do so. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the recipient of all this information.

When a sex offender goes out from jail to the community, he or she must register within five working days at the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over his or her residence and are required to update their information annually with local law enforcement within five business days before or after their birthday.

Sex Offender Notification And Registration (SONAR)

One of the security measures used by the SONAR Unit to protect the public against sex offenders is the Community Notification. Upon learning of a registered sex offender residing or working in an area assisted by the Sheriff, the SONAR Investigators perform a thorough examination and evaluation of the offender’s criminal record, as well as an in-depth questionnaire of the sex offender. The decision to make a Community Notification relies on two extra factors: Are there citizens/children in the area at risk? Do those citizens/children have the probability of encountering the offender?

Out of the approximately 3,500 registered sex offenders living in Orange County, about 500 live within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department. The investigators designated to the SONAR Team are responsible for risk assessment and monitoring of these registered sex offenders residing in the community. Prevention is the SONAR Team’s primary goal, and they use the following methods to control registered sex offenders.

  • Residence and workplace visitations
  • Family and neighborhood meetings
  • Extensive criminal and civil record investigations
  • Strict enforcement of the state’s registration laws
  • Undercover surveillance
  • Partnership with controlling agencies such as probation and parole
  • Prepare and service of search warrants and arrest warrants
  • Maintenance of the “Megan’s Law” database for public information
  • Community warnings

In a re-offense occurs, these investigators utilize the established methods in place within the Sex Crimes Detail to seek criminal prosecution and the re-incarceration of the offender.

Sex Registration

The California Department of Justice now classifies each convicted sex offender in categories:

FULL ADDRESS sex offenders are dangerous offenders who have multiple convictions for sex offenses and violent offenses. These offenders are identified by the California Department of Justice as having a greater risk of re-offending, and they pose the biggest danger to the public.

ZIP CODE sex offenders are registrants convicted of a felony sex offense, including misdemeanor child molestation.

NO POST sex offenders typically convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses like Sexual Battery, Indecent Exposure or Possession of Child Pornography. They are not considered to pose an immediate threat to the public. You may obtain information on sex offenders residing in Orange County, California by reviewing the California Department of Justice “Megan’s Law” website at meganslaw.ca.gov.

Those registrants who pass under the disclosure of Megan’s Law are only those considered as Full Address and Zip Code

Please Contact The Authorities

There may also be residents who are aware of convicted sex offenders who may be living within the area unregistered, or who may be engaging in suspicious behaviors involving children. In these instances, your help is most appreciated, and in most cases, the provider of such information can remain as anonymous.

Investigative Assistant V. Castro 714-647-4066 or vcastro@ocsd.org.

Watch a video about Megan’s Law

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