Have You Been Accused Of Failure To Register As A California Sex Offender?
Tully & Weiss Criminal Lawyers Have Well-Proven Defenses.
On top of that, failure to register is an additive, continuing offense, a possible felony, and can count as a third strike in California’s Three Strikes Law.
The charge is serious, but with the right legal defense, can be lessened or eliminated altogether. If you have been accused of failure to register in the state of California, it is critical that you speak with an experienced California sex crime defense lawyer who specializes in sex offenses.
The legal team at Tully & Weiss know exactly how to prepare the most effective defense to protect your future from further, unwarranted penalties resulting from a failure to register conviction.
Located in Contra Costa County, California, Tully & Weiss sex crime defense attorneys represent people charged with crimes in Alameda County, Santa Clara County, and throughout the state.
What Qualifies As A Failure To Register As A Sex Offender in California?
According to California’s Sex Offender Registration Act (290b PC), also known as Megan’s Law, any individual convicted of a sex crime who lives in the State of California must register with the police department of their city or county each year and every time they move to a new address.
Under California Penal Code 290b, a prosecutor must prove the following elements of the legal definition of failure to register for an individual to be convicted of this offense:
- You were convicted of a sex crime requiring registration under 290c PC;
- You resided in California;
- You knew you had a duty to register as a sex offender; and
- You willfully failed to register or update your registration.
What Are The California Penalties For Failing To Register As A Sex Offender?
Failure to register as a sex offender in the State of California may be punishable as a misdemeanor or felony and can lead to surprisingly serious penalties. The sentence that will apply to a charge of failure to register will depend largely on the initial crime that activated the registration requirement.
Misdemeanor failure to register: If you are required to register based on a misdemeanor sex offense conviction and have no prior failure to register convictions, you may qualify for a misdemeanor failure to register. The potential penalties for misdemeanor failure to register include:
- Misdemeanor probation,
- Up to 1 year in county jail, and/or
- A fine of up to $1,000
Felony failure to register: If you are required to register based on a felony sex offense conviction or have one or more prior failure to register convictions, you may qualify for felony failure to register. The potential penalties for failure to register as a felony include:
- Felony probation,
- Sixteen months to 3 years in state prison, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000
Failure to register is a continuing offense: Failing to register as a California sex offender is a “continuing offense,” meaning that every time you fail to report, you are subject to the above penalties and can accumulate massive criminal charges. The one exception to this rule is the failure to report a new address to both your old and new law enforcement agencies.
Felony failure to register and California’s Three Strikes Law: Failure to register can result in a third strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. If all of the following conditions apply, conviction for felony failure to register can result in 25 years to life in state prison:
- You are required to register based on a felony sex offense conviction,
- You have previously been convicted of two violent or serious felonies, and
- One of your prior felony convictions was for a serious crime, including a sexually violent offense, oral copulation, sodomy, sexual penetration with a person under 14 years of age who is more than 10 years younger than you, lewd acts with a child under 14, murder, manslaughter or attempted homicide.
If you are facing a failure to register charge, your freedom and future are at stake. The prosecution is preparing to convict you, but an aggressive defense strategy can result in a successful outcome in your case.
Joseph Tully’s expertise in the arena of sex crime defense is well recognized by the legal community and Tully & Weiss attorneys advocate aggressively for you from day one.
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What Legal Defense Strategies are Options for a Failure to Register Charge?
The requirement to register as a sex offender is a harsh punishment in itself. Even after you have served the time for your offense and paid your fines, this penalty continues to hover over you.
Additional penalties for failure to register are not something anyone wants to deal with. A highly skilled sex crime defense attorney can provide you with a defense strategy that may help reduce or even cause dismissal of a failure to register charge using one of the following common legal defenses:
Lack of willfulness: If you can demonstrate that you did not willfully fail to register, lack of willfulness can serve as a strong defense. Perhaps you did not realize you were required to register or you were limited in your ability to register due to illness or hospitalization of yourself or a family member.
Human error: If you can show that you attempted to register, but the information was never received, human error can serve as a valid defense. Perhaps the paperwork was mailed and never received, or an official or clerk made errors when entering your information into the system.
False accusation: Unfortunately, law enforcement may manage to “lose” your paperwork or other situations may arise that prompt a member of law enforcement or civilian employee to tamper with your information and report that you failed to register. If your information is not listed on the registry to the public, a person with knowledge of your conviction may choose to report that you “failed to register.” Our skilled sex crime defense investigators will thoroughly examine the false accusation defense option.
In cases of failure to register, it is crucial that you begin to prepare your defense immediately by retaining a California defense attorney with specific experience in California sex crime cases.
Our mission at Tully & Weiss is to provide you with the most powerful defense possible. We will assemble an experienced, focused, and dynamic legal team around your individual circumstances who are dedicated to ensuring an effective defense for your case.
Call Our Criminal Defense Team at the Tully & Weiss Law Firm today at 925.229.9700.
Tully & Weiss, Attorneys at Law serves clients throughout the Bay Area and California. We have our principal office in Martinez in Contra Costa County covering in the cities of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Pittsburgh, Antioch, Danville, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, We also cover Northern California, including Shasta, Oakland and Alameda, Yolo, Solano, Butte, Sacramento, Yuba, Tehama, Trinity, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara Counties and beyond.
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