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Megan's Law - Penalties for Misuse of Sex Offender Registrant Information

Misuse of Information on this Web Site

Any person who uses information disclosed on this web site to commit a misdemeanor is, in addition to any other punishment for that misdemeanor, subject to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000. Any person who uses information disclosed on this web site to commit a felony shall, in addition to any other punishment for that felony, be punished by a five-year term of imprisonment in the state prison. (Pen. Code, 290.46, subd. (h)(1).)

Penalty for Registered Sex Offenders Who Enter this Web Site

Any person who is required to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290 who enters this web site is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. (Pen. Code, 290.46, subd. (h)(2).)

Use of Web Site Information Is Authorized Only to Protect a Person at Risk

A person is authorized to use information disclosed on this web site only to protect a person at risk. Except to protect a person at risk or as authorized under any other law, use of any information disclosed on this web site for purposes relating to any of the following is prohibited:

  • Health insurance
  • Insurance
  • Loans
  • Credit
  • Employment
  • Education, scholarships or fellowships
  • Housing or accommodations
  • Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business establishment

Use of information on this web site for purposes other than to protect a person at risk or for a prohibited purpose as described above, shall make the user liable for the actual damages caused, and any amount that may be determined by a jury or a court, not exceeding three times the amount of actual damages, and not less than $250, plus attorney's fees, exemplary damages, or a civil penalty not exceeding $25,000. (Penal Code 290.46, subd. (j).)

This prohibition on use of the web site information shall not affect authorized access to, or use of information pursuant to, sections 11105, 11105.3, or 8808 of the Family Code; sections 777.5 and 14409.2 of the Financial Code; sections 1522.01 and 1596.871 of the Health and Safety Code; and section 432.7 of the Labor Code.

Pattern or Practice of Misuse of Web Site Information

The Attorney General or any district attorney, city attorney, or any person aggrieved by misuse of information on this web site, when there is reasonable cause to believe a person or groups of persons is engaged in a pattern of practice of such misuse of this information (see Penal Code 290.46, subd. (j)(2)), may bring a civil action requesting preventive relief, including an application for injunction, restraining order, or other orders against the person(s) responsible for the pattern or practice of misuse. (Penal Code 290.46, subd. (j)(4)(B).)

Other Penalties for Misuse of Information Disclosed About Registered Sex Offenders

Other, similar penalties exist for misuse of information disclosed by law enforcement agencies about registered sex offenders. (Penal Code, 290.4, subd. (c).)

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