If you are convicted of a serious sex crime in California, you may be required
to register as a sex offender every year for the rest of your life. This
is known as “Megan’s Law,” and requires you to register
with the police in the city or county where you live. It’s extremely
important that you do so, as failing to follow this requirement is actually
a crime that could further broaden your criminal history. California Penal
Code 290(b) cites this as “failure to register as a sex offender,”
which carries potentially heavy penalties.
Registering as a Sex Offender
Those who are required by the court to register as a sex offender must
do so every year within five days of their birthday, or whenever they
move their residence. Those who move into
California from out of state, and were required to register as a sex offender
in their other state must also register when they arrive.
To register, you must make an appointment with your local law enforcement
agency, be it a city police or county sheriff’s department. When
you go for your appointment, the law enforcement agency will take your
information and update it in the system which they then forward to the
Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then updates the information
in the database of registered sex offenders, which is available to the public.
Penalties for Failure to Register
willfully fail to register as a sex offender, the district attorney can choose to
file charges against you as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the offense
that required you to register as a sex offender was a misdemeanor, then
your failure to register will also be considered a misdemeanor and subject
you to up to a year in county jail.
However, if you fail to register for a felony offense, the district attorney
can choose to pursue felony charges (which they usually do if given the
option). This can lead to a prison sentence of 16 months, two years, or
a maximum of three years.
If you were on probation when you failed to register, then you will very
likely have violated the terms of your probation and will be sent to jail
to serve out the remainder of your sentence, plus the added time for failing
What if You Cannot Register?
What happens when you cannot register for one reason or another? What if
you became seriously injured or ill and could not make it to the police
station within the allotted time? What if you submitted your registration
information but it was lost or not received in some way? These are circumstances
that are entirely out of your control, and could be used to have your
charges dismissed or dropped. If you do face charges of failing to register,
be sure you speak with an attorney who can advise you on how best to proceed.
Carodza Law Offices, Inc., our attorneys understand the importance of helping you seek the best
possible outcome to your legal issue, as an unfavorable decision could
have life-changing consequences. Our Walnut Creek criminal defense lawyers
are highly-skilled and experienced in criminal defense law, and can provide
you with knowledgeable and aggressive representation both in and out of
the courtroom as you face your charges. Trust your case to a legal team
that has been trusted by so many others, including media outlets like
Today, Larry King Live,and more!
Call the Cardoza Law Offices today at 925.274.2900 to schedule a
free initial consultation!