Any person convicted of a sex offense in California must maintain an active registration on the California sex offender registry. If you fail to do this, you will be violating Section 290 PC. The penalties for failing to register as a sex offender mostly depend on the original crime severity.
According to California law, a sex offender is an individual convicted of the sex crimes below:
- Rape: Engaging in non-consensual sexual relations with another individual through intimidation, force, or deceit
- Sexual assault: Touching someone else’s private parts without consent
- Indecent acts with a minor
- Indecent exposure – Exposing someone else’s private parts to annoy them or for your good
What will happen if you fail to register as a sex offender?
If you’re convicted of a sex offense in California, within five business days after your birthday or when changing your address, you’re legally obligated to register as a sex offender.
If a sex offense conviction was a juvenile adjudication or a misdemeanor and you fail to register for the first time, this is usually considered a misdemeanor. Subsequently, it becomes a felony if you fail to register again.
Failure to register is a continuing offense!
Fact check: Did you know that courts consider failure to register as a sex offender a continuing offense? Courts can convict a person of a different crime for every requirement he or she fails to honor. For instance, if a sex offender fails to notify authorities of an address and update his or her registration annually, the court might convict a sex offender of crimes mentioned above. It can happen even if the two crimes occurred at the same time.
Luckily, when the situation is dire, a qualified criminal defense attorney will know the best defenses to use. The most common defense is that unavoidable circumstances occurred that hindered your registration. You can also potentially use the old “I didn’t know” card because the authorities never notified you that you were supposed to register. It can be a plausible defense, especially since the system isn’t perfect.
What are the punishments for failing to register as a sex offender?
You might think that having your name plastered as a sex offender on a national database is the worst thing that could happen to you. But this doesn’t compare to the array of other misfortunes just waiting to happen if you do not register.
You also risk up to one year in jail, summary parole, or a fine of up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor offense. A felony conviction will most likely attract a three-year jail sentence or up to $10,000 in criminal penalties.
Where do you register as a sex offender?
So you want to steer clear of any penalties but don’t exactly know where to start. Well, this should be the first thing on your to-do list. Registration mainly occurs at your resident Police Department, Sherrif’s Department, or on-campus with the campus police. You’ll need to gather all relevant documents beforehand, like the addresses of all your current locations, proof of residencies such as ID or a utility bill, the name and address of your employer, and the license plate number of the car you regularly drive. You should also check to see if you fall under any distinctive category; for example, people who are required to register more than once a year are:
- People who had a home but later became homeless
- People who are homeless
- People found to be sexually violent predators
- People who obtained a name change
- Sexual offenders sent to a state mental hospital
Have you failed to register as a sex offender as a result of unavoidable circumstances? Or did you fail to register because you were never notified? The opinion and defense of a qualified attorney are essential in such cases if you want a judge to dismiss your charges or get your felony expunged. Because of this, it’s crucial to seek the help of a knowledgeable and bold criminal defense attorney to represent you. Call Attorney Don Hammond now at +13235293660 for a free consultation.