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. See CALCRIM 1170 Jury Instructions – Failure to Register as Sex Offender.
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.
In a prosecution for a violation of Penal Code Section 290 a jury will be given an instruction from the CalCrim Jury Instructions that says to prove a defendant guilty of this crime:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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