Avoiding A Sex Crime Conviction Requiring Registration
This is probably one of the biggest questions I get when I represent somebody being investigated for a sex-related offense or being charged with a sex crime.
They want to know whether or not they will have to register as a sex offender, and if they do have to register as a sex offender, for how long.
Most of the Code sections related to sex registration have the person registering for life. However, a three-tier system is now about to go into effect that will break up some of the sex crimes into less than life registration.
When you talk about how to avoid sex registration, probably the easiest way to look at it is don't get convicted of a crime, and then you won't have to register.
But if the prosecution has the evidence against you to prove you guilty and you want to avoid some long prison sentence, for example, then you may have to plead guilty to some sex-related offense.
Then the issue will be, precisely what do you have to plead guilty to? That's really how you can avoid having to register as a sex offender. First and foremost, don't get convicted of a sex crime.
Secondly, if you are going to get convicted of a sex crime, don't make it a crime that you have to register as a sex offender.
Circumstances of the Case and Prior Criminal Record
The problem is if the prosecutors perceive you as somebody who is a sexual predator, the only crimes that you're going to be charged with are crimes related to whatever you did, number one. Number two, they're going to be severe and violent sex crimes that require lifetime registration.
So, you have to look at your case's facts and circumstances and your prior criminal record — whether you have any prior sex-related offenses on your record.
That will be one of the significant determining factors in whether or not the prosecutors might consider some charge that does not involve sex registration.
I was doing a case in Norwalk recently where my client was charged with a sex crime that would cause him to register for the rest of his life.
Because he had no criminal record and had a lot of good things going for him, and we were able to put together a robust mitigation package, I convinced the prosecutor to charge him with conspiracy to commit the crime he was charged with.
This allowed him not to register as a sex offender, which was huge for him. He was pleased.
Negotiation with Prosecutor in Sex Crime Cases
But they don't just do that because somebody asked them to do that. They do that because, number one, maybe they have some problem with their case, and they might not be able to prove it, so they have to negotiate.
One of the most significant negotiating points for a criminal defendant in a sex crime case is registration.
Number two, they did it in this case because I was able to show a lot of mitigation on his part.
There was no specific victim they could equate to, and he had many character letters. He also had a good job; he possessed several professional licenses.
So, we could paint a solid picture of him to show that his activities in the particular case I was defending him in were an aberration and weren't likely to happen again.
Especially since he would be put on five years of felony probation, so were he to violate that probation. He would be looking at a lot of prison time. So, the prosecutors sometimes have their thoughts in mind.
Like, if they think somebody is probably going to offend again, they'll set them up, so then when they do offend again, they could put a substantial sentence on top of them.
Retain an Experienced Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
So, everybody has their perspective on it, but the bottom line is that you're going to need to hire a great attorney if you want to have any chance of not registering as a sex offender.
Whether you register as a sex offender and how long you register for our concerns, you want to make sure that you don't try to avoid registering as a sex offender at all costs.
This would include going to trial and losing if the government has the evidence against you, and then not only do you have to register as a sex offender, you're going to get some long prison sentence.
A lot of times, that's what it comes down to. For people who are charged with serious sex crimes in Los Angeles or anywhere in the state of California, it is a very tough circumstance.
This state is very tough on sex-related offenses, so sometimes they find themselves in the position of having to choose between going to prison for a long time, registering as a sex offender, taking strikes on their record a host of other consequences.
Contact Hedding Law Firm If Charged with a Sex Crime
So, if you or a loved one is charged with some sex crime, you're concerned about registering as a sex offender, you've come to the right place.
I will give it to you straight. I will let you know whether you have any chance of avoiding sex registration based on your case's facts and circumstances and based on your criminal record.
So, pick up the phone. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. Call my office. We can set up a meeting. If you've got a criminal matter and you're charged with a sex crime, you've come to the right place.