When convicted of a sex offense, an accessory penalty imposed that affects a criminal would be the requirement of registration under Penal Code 290 PC or the Sex Offender Registration Act. The registration requirement is an updated database of individuals that have been convicted of sexually related crimes. Being a public database, the public can view the registry.
This database is often the basis that many previous sex offenders are subjected to ridicule, physical injury, difficulties in obtaining housing, employment and eventually psychological isolation.
The crime of failing to register as a California sex offender is committed with the following:
• The individual must have been convicted of a sex crime under the California Penal Code 290;
• The individual is a resident of California;
• The individual had full knowledge of the requirement of registry as a sex offender;
• The individual willfully failed to register in the database.
Once the above elements have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, the individual, aside from service of the penalties under the sex crime, would serve the penalties for failing to register as a sex offender. These include:
• One year imprisonment in a county jail if the sex crime conviction was a misdemeanor;
• Imprisonment between sixteen months to three years in a California State Prison if the sex crime conviction was for a felony;
It must be noted that this crime is a continuing offense and each failure to comply with the requirements of the law would result in increasing prison sentences for the individual. One of the requirements of the law would be to annually update their information within five (5) days of every birthday or within five (5) days of changes in address. Each failure would constitute one offense.
Another aspect of this crime is its inclusion under the California’s Three Strikes Law. In essence, the conviction of the same offense for the third time would result in an imposable penalty between twenty five years to life incarceration in a state prison. This crime also cannot be absolved by a judge nor negotiate for the elimination of this penalty in a plea bargain agreement, unless the offense is not subject to Penal Code 290 sex offender registration.
There are defenses available to this crime, such as absence of knowledge that there was a requirement to register as a sex offender, an attempt to register information but was not received and false accusation. You would need an expert regarding violations of sex crime statutes in order to prove these defenses if available.
The sex offender registration is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.