Collateral consequences sex offender registration

In this case we decide whether Joshua Williams, who pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a minor in violation of military law while serving in the Navy, is exempt from registration as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code sections 290, subdivision (c) and 290.005 (undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code), and therefore entitled to have his name removed from the Justice Department’s sex offender registry. We conclude that based on Williams’s plea, he was denied equal protection of the law in that persons convicted in California of the equivalent offense of unlawful sexual intercourse in violation of section 261.5 are not required to register. (People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185, 1206-1207 (Hofsheier).) In reaching this conclusion, we focus on the offense of which Williams was convicted, not a hypothetical offense of which he could have been convicted based on the conduct underlying the charge. (People v. Ranscht (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1369, 1374-1375 (Ranscht).) Accordingly, the trial court erred in denying Williams’s request to have his name removed from the registry.

Williams v. Superior Court of San Diego, D055457 (10 March 2010).