How Can You Avoid Registering as a Sex Offender?
Being required to register as a sex offender can be devastating. It can also have long-term collateral consequences for almost every aspect of your life. Being a registered sex offender could impact you indefinitely.
Roughly two dozen sex crimes require offenders to register on the California sex offender registry. There are very few sex crimes that do not require registration. For many individuals, registering as a sex offender is their top concern after serving jail or prison time.
How Can I Avoid Registering as a Sex Offender in California?
Many sex crimes require registration under Penal Code §290 if you are convicted or plead guilty, including, but not limited to:
- Lewd conduct with a minor
- Indecent exposure
- Child pornography
- Sexual penetration with a foreign object
- Sexual battery
- Oral copulation
- Spousal rape by force
- Kidnapping during rape
- Child sex trafficking
- And many more
Other than having the criminal charges dismissed or being acquitted in court, the only other way to avoid the sex offender registry is to plead down the sex charges. Your attorney must convince the prosecution that you are not a danger to children or society in general and will not commit another sex crime.
The best thing you can do is contact a Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer immediately after your arrest. The sooner an attorney begins working on your case, the more options you might have available to avoid registering as a sex offender in California.
California’s Tiered Sex Offender Registry
California was the first state to begin a sex offender registration program. Under the old laws, sexual offenders had to register for life. However, that changed when the state passed Senate Bill 384.
SB 384 created a tier system for the sex offender registry. Many offenses do not require lifetime registration as of January 1, 2021. Your placement in a tier depends on the criminal offense, whether you are a habitual offender, and your risk of re-offending:
- Tier One requires a minimum of ten years on the sex offender registry. It consists of low-level misdemeanor sex crimes.
- Tier Two requires a minimum of twenty years on the sex offender registry. Low-level felonies and aggravated misdemeanors are included in this tier.
- Tier Three sex offenders are registered for the rest of their lives. Many of the sex crimes involving young children or the use of force are included in this tier.
A person can be required to register as a sex offender because it is required by law. Additionally, the court has the discretion to order a person convicted of a sex crime to register as a sex offender.
What Happens if I Refuse To Register as a Sex Offender in Los Angeles?
If your sex crime conviction requires registering as a sex offender, you do not have a choice. Failing to register as a sex offender can have serious consequences. The state could charge you with failing to register as a sex offender.
The state must prove the following elements for a conviction for failing to register as a sex offender:
- You were convicted of a sex crime listed in Penal Code §290;
- You live in California;
- You knew you were required to register with the sex offender registry; and,
- You willfully failed to comply with the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a wobbler offense. The prosecutor can charge you with a felony or a misdemeanor. The charge is based on the sex crime you were convicted of committing that required you to register.
The penalty for a misdemeanor conviction of failing to register as a sex offender can include summary probation, a maximum fine of $1,000, and up to 12 months in county jail. A conviction for felony failing to register as a sex offender carries a maximum fine of $10,000, up to three years in prison, and formal probation.
Are There Defenses To Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in California?
If you are arrested for failure to register with the sex offender registry, the first thing you should do is contact a Los Angeles sex crimes attorney. An attorney can help you prepare a defense to criminal charges to avoid jail time and fines. Several defenses could apply, including:
- You did not understand or know that you had to register with the sex offender registry
- The state made a mistake in charging you because you are on the registry
- You did not act willfully to try to avoid registering
- A clerical error or other mistake prevented your registration from being processed
- You have a disability that prevents you from understanding the legal requirement to register
Regardless of what you might believe, you deserve an aggressive defense against criminal charges. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer is the best person to talk to after an arrest.
Contact the Los Angeles Sex Crime Law Firm of The Rodriguez Law Group Today For Help
The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States