Does a California Sex Offender Have To Register in Another State?

The Supreme Court of New Mexico is pondering a question that’s very important to many California sex crimes lawyers – does a person who has been convicted of a sex offense in California, have to register when he moves to another state?

The case involves 65-year-old Bruce Hall, who pleaded no-contest to charges of child molestation13 years ago. The specific charges against him were misdemeanor annoying and molesting a child.

Hall is still included in California’s sex offender registry, but the website does not mention his whereabouts. He later moved to Las Cruces in New Mexico. However, he did not register as a sex offender there.

In 2008, prosecutors in Dona Ana County charged him with a 4th degree felony, and tried to force him to register as a sex offender in that state. He appealed, and the New Mexico Court Of Appeals ruled in his favor, finding that he did not have to register as a sex offender in that state, because New Mexico has no law which is equivalent to the one that he was convicted of violating when he was in California. Now, the state of New Mexico is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

According to Hall’s attorneys, the law that he’s convicted of breaking in California does not exist in New Mexico. In New Mexico, a person must commit at least one out of 11 specific crimes to register as a sex offender. Annoying and molesting children are not among those crimes. However, prosecutors deny this, and say that the State of New Mexico does indeed have a law that is similar to the one that Hall was accused of breaking.

A decision here would determine the responsibilities of a person who is convicted of a sex crime in California and has moved to another state.

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