California Sex Offender Registration – Penal Code 290
IS THERE A DEFENSE TO THE CRIME OF FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER?
The simple answer to this question is that there are many defenses that are available to someone that is charged with a failure to register as a sex offender in Los Angeles. Of course not every defense will apply to each case that is prosecuted. .
The most common defense relates to fact that the authorities must first and foremost give the offender notice of exactly what their requirements are. If the person is not clear on what they are suppose to do, then they would have a defense to this crime.
One of the first things that I look at is what specifically the judge told the person their responsibilities were regarding registering as a sex offender at the time the plea was taken in the cases.
Next, we have to look at what the person was told when they first registered. I am looking for any inconsistencies in what the person was told and if the person was not give enough clear information. Further, many times I have seen that persons tasked with the responsibility of registering are given wrong or incomplete information at the police department when they go to register.
The only way to flush out some of the deficiencies in what a person was told is to litigate the case and put the police on the hot seat and ask them pointed questions about exactly what they told a particular person and the documents they made them sign.
In my experience, each person that comes into my office with this type of offense has their own personal story that applies to them and their particular circumstances. The key is to come in and be very honest about what happened and exactly what you were told and what you did.
Once everything is out in the open, we can decide whether the case should be fought or negotiated. See related: Factors that Determine Whether you have to Register as a Sex Offender in Los Angeles.
WHAT DO THE PROSECUTORS HAVE TO PROVE IN A FAILURE TO REGISTER?
In a prosecution for a violation of Penal Code 290 PC a jury will be given an instruction from the CALCRIM Jury Instructions that says to prove a defendant guilty of this crime:
- The defendant must have previously been convicted of a crime that required him or her to register as a sex offender. This means that the legislature has come up with a list of crimes that require a person to register as a sex offender. When the person pleads guilty to one of these enumerated sex crimes then they must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
- The defendant must live in California. This requirement is being placed in there because if the person lives in California then they have to register with their local law enforcement police department on their birthday or they will be in violation.
- The defendant must actually know that they have a duty to register as a sex offender within five working days of their birthday. At the time the person pleads guilty to the crime, they must be told by the judge what their requirements are moving forward. Also, when they go to register, they are suppose to sign a form that tells them all of their requirements related to their registration responsibilities. When I defend clients during a preliminary hearing or trial, this element is usually at issue, because the client messed some part of the registration up and is indicating that they did not understand what they were suppose to do. If it the judge and / or the police did not make it clear to the person exactly what they were suppose to do, then his can be a good solid defense angle.
Another issue that comes up relates to when the person moves or becomes homeless. If this occurs, then they have five days to go to the last place they registered at and let them know that they moved or became homeless and where they will be staying.
Once again, this is a big area that is litigated in these cases, because many times the client indicates that they are living a one location, but are really staying at another. If the police can prove that you are living at a location that you did not register at, then this would be a violation of Penal Code Section 290 as well.
Consult with Experienced Sex Crime Lawyer
The bottom line, is that if you are charged with this penal code section, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Because most sex crimes are also strikes in California.
Anyone that is arrest for not registering as a sex offender is facing a substantial amount of prison time, unless their attorney can either show that they are innocent, or that they simply made a mistake and even though they may have technically violated their duty, they should not be punished like someone who did it intentionally so they could continue to commit sex crimes and the police would not be able to track them.
Are you being charged with a sex crime? Have you been convicted with a sex crime? Contact our Los Angeles Sex Crime Defense Attorneys so we can help you with your situation, whether you are facing charges of a sex crime or whether you are facing charges of failing to register after being convicted of a sex crime.
Pursuant to the California Penal Code Section 290, if you have been charged with a sex crime, you are required to register and re-register as a sex offender for the rest of your life so long as residing or working in California. registration must be done within five business days of coming to a particular area to reside.
Sex crimes include but are not limited to: sex with a minor, statutory rape, child molestation, lewd conduct, oral copulation, and other similar offenses. We might be able to help you avoid sex registration.
Although there is a possibility to get your sex crime charge dismissed after the completion of probation (expunged), but unfortunately sex offender registration is still required under California law. Our sex crime defense lawyers are here to break down all this information for you and to discuss all your available options and how to avoid sex registration.
Our Los Angeles sex crime lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you if you are facing sex crime charges. Contact us for a free face to face consultation.
July 2015 – Van Nuys Court – Successful Case Result
My client was charged with failure to register a sex offender under California Penal Code 290 Registration. He had a sexual related conviction and was registered for many years. He decided to move to another state and did not notify the local police department which resulted in a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested in Idaho and extradited back to Los Angeles where is was facing a strike allegation for the prior sex crime. Prosecutor was seeking a minimum offer of 32 months in state prison. I was able to negotiate a deal where the DA struck the strike with no jail time. My client was permitted to travel back to Idaho where he was placed on non-reporting probation in Los Angeles.