This is probably one of the biggest questions I get when I represent somebody who is either being investigated for a sex-related offense or being charged with a sex crime.
They want to know whether or not they are going to 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 that relate to sex registration have the person registering for life. However, there is now a three-tier system that is about to go into effect that will break up some of the sex crimes into less than life registration.
Avoiding A Sex Crime Conviction Requiring Registration
When you talk about how to avoid sex registration, probably the easiest way to look at it is, obviously, 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 sort of a long prison sentence, for example, then you may have to plead guilty to some sort of a sex-related offense.
Then the issue is going to be, exactly 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 some sort 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; and number two, they're going to be serious, violent sex crimes that require lifetime registration.
So, really, you have to look at the facts and circumstances of your case, and also your prior criminal record — whether you have any prior sex-related offenses on your record.
That's going to be one of the big determining factors in whether or not the prosecutors might consider some sort of a charge that does not involve sex registration.
I was just 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 because he had a lot of good things going for him and we were able to put together a strong mitigation package, I was able to convince the prosecutor to charge him with conspiracy to commit the crime he was charged with.
This allowed him not to have to register as a sex offender and that was huge for him. Obviously, he was very happy.
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 sort of a problem with their case and they might not be able to prove it, so they have to negotiate.
Obviously, one of the biggest negotiating points for a criminal defendant in a sex crime case is that registration requirement.
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 that they could equate his actions to and he had a whole bunch of character letters. He also had a good job, he possessed a number of professional licenses.
So, we were really able to 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 was going to be put on five years of felony probation, so were he to violate that probation, obviously he would be looking at a lot of prison time. So, the prosecutors sometimes have their own 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 very large sentence on top of them.
Retain an Experienced Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
So, everybody has there own perspective on it, but the bottom line is, you're going to need to hire a great attorney if you want to have any chance of not having to register as a sex offender.
Obviously, whether you register as a sex offender and how long you register for, are concerns as well, and 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 sort of a long prison sentence.
A lot of times, that's what it comes down to. 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 chose between going to prison for along 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 sort of a 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 the facts and circumstances of your case and also 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.