Anyone who is convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender and give their current address to local law enforcement under California Penal Code Section 290. The law requires that offenders also notify authorities within five days of changing residences. So what happens if you fail to register?
Recently, officials in Kansas conducted a sweep to verify the addresses of 439 registered offenders in west Wichita and Sedgwick County to ensure those offenders were obeying the law. Officers from three departments conducted the sweep and found that about 24 offenders had registered with false addresses, never lived at the address they provided, or moved and failed to provide their new address. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office said these offenders are facing felony non-compliance charges and the cases will continue to be investigated. 1
Failing to Register a New Address in California -Penal Code Section 290
Sex offender registration laws are clearly defined in California PC 290. The law requires that any person who is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives update their registration each year on their birthday as well as within five working days of changing their residence. 2
Offenders who fail to register or fail to register a new address with both the authorities of the old address and the authorities at the new address face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on their criminal history and the specifics of their case. Even a first offense for failing to register a new address can be a felony if the crime you are required to register for was a felony. If you failed to register for a felony conviction, your punishment will be up to three years in jail or more. However, if you were convicted of a prior sex offense that was a misdemeanor, then a failure to register will be a misdemeanor carrying a punishment of up to one year in county jail.
It is important to note that failing to register is a continuing offense, meaning that every time you fail to register or update your registration, you could be charged with a new violation. Simply put, you receive a jail or prison sentence for each time you fail to update your registry information. 3
In order to be convicted of failing to register a new address under PC 290, the prosecution must prove the following elements of the crime:
- You were previously convicted of a crime that requires you to register as a sex offender, and
- You reside in California or live on a campus or facility in California, and
- You knew you were required to register as a sex offender at your new address within five working days of your move, and
- You willfully failed to register as a sex offender with the authorities within five days of changing your address.
Facing a Registry Violation? Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with failing to register as a sex offender, it is critical that you contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients facing sex crime charges and sex offender registration issues. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.