One of the more problematic consequences of being convicted of a sex offense can be managing your registration on the California sex offender registry.
Under California’s Megan’s Law, the state maintains a publicly accessible database of convicted sex offenders. It’s the responsibility of individuals on the list to ensure that their sex offender registration is current, and they are required to frequently report their residence information to local law enforcement. Life can get chaotic, and it can be easy to miss your reporting date. What happens if you do?
Penal Code 290 PC makes failure to register in California a criminal offense. This means that failure to keep your registration current can result in additional fines, jail time and other penalties.
To avoid these potential consequences, it is important for anyone convicted of a sex offense in California to understand their obligations when it comes to registering as a sex offender. We’ll break those down below, and as always, if you or someone you love needs help with a specific legal issue, it’s important to speak with a skilled California sex crimes attorney. Call attorney Robert M. Helfend today at 805-273-5611.
What responsibilities do sex offenders have in California?
In California, the sex offender registry is divided into three tiers. This also determines how long a person must be registered.
- Tier 1: Offenders must register for a minimum of 10 years
- Tier 2: Minimum 20 year registration
- Tier 3: Mandatory lifetime registration
State law is very strict with respect to when a sex offender must update their registration. Offenders must register with local police:
- Every year, within five working days of their birthdays
- Within five days of moving to a new address
Additionally, if someone has been deemed a sexually violent predator, they are required to register every 90 days with their local police department. Homeless people and transients are required to register every 30 days.
What qualifies as failure to register as a sex offender?
In order to prove that someone failed to register as a sex offender, a prosecutor must show the defendant:
- Was previously convicted of a crime that required them to register as a sex offender.
- Lived in California.
- Knew they had a duty to register as a sex offender.
- Willfully failed to complete their registration in the required time.
This is important, because it means that failure to register is a voluntary act that someone chooses to make. People cannot be convicted of failure to register if their failure was unintentional or beyond their control.
For example, if someone is involved in a car accident and misses their reporting date due to hospitalization, they cannot be convicted of failure to register as a sex offender.
Penalties for failure to register
The penalty for failure to register as a sex offender depends on the original crime. For misdemeanors, failure to register can result in a jail sentence of up to one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines.
If someone has been convicted of a felony sex crime, failure to register can result in a prison sentence of up to three years and $10,000 in fines.
Additionally, if someone is convicted of failure to register as a sex offender more than once, they may face harsher penalties and even an enhanced charge.
Speak with a Ventura sex crimes defense attorney today
If you or someone you love is facing charges for failure to register as a sex offender, you have options available to you. Speak with an experienced Ventura sex crimes attorney to explore your legal options.
Call Robert M. Helfend or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will review the facts of your case and provide you with honest insight into how we can help protect your rights and freedoms in court. Call us now at 805-273-5611 for a free case evaluation.