Sex Offender Registration in Los Angeles
Sex Offender Registration Consequences
In California, sex offense penalties can be life-changing; in addition
to incarceration and other serious consequences, you may even have to
register as a sex offender for the rest of your life! Sex offender registration is one of the harshest
penalties facing anyone convicted of a sex crime in California. If you
have been accused of a sex crime or are currently being investigated,
speak to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately
to learn about your rights and the possible defenses available in your case.
Remember, anything you say to law enforcement will likely be held against
you, so do not speak to them without an attorney from Stephen G. Rodriguez
& Partners present. Also, do not contact the alleged victim or family
members as it may appear that you are trying to influence them, which
can make your situation worse. Contacting us sooner rather than later
can make a critical difference in your case.
Sex Offender Registration Law
California Penal Code Section 290, The Sex Offender Registration Act, requires
lifelong registration of individuals convicted of certain
sex crimes, including but not limited to:
Sexual Battery (Penal Code 243.4)
Rape (Penal Code 261)
Abduction of a Minor for
Prostitution (Penal Code 267)
- Sex or Sexual Act with a Child under Age 14 (Penal Code 288)
- Incest (Penal Code 285)
- Sodomy with a Minor (Penal Code 286)
Child Pornography or Representations of Simulated Sex Acts with a Minor (Penal Code 314.1)
- Indecent Exposure (Penal Code 314.1).
Convicted sex offenders who live in or are employed in California must
continuously register with law enforcement officials according to California
Penal Code Section 290(b). They must additionally register with university
or college law enforcement while they are living on campus or in any affiliated
facility, working or attending classes. In addition, sex offenders must
notify the authorities within 5 business days of the date that they move,
change address or temporarily reside at a different location. Updated
registration is also required within 5 business days of every birthday.
Some offenders, e.g., sexually violent predators, have to update their
registration more often. Sex offender information is forwarded to the
California Department of Justice (DOJ), which maintains the California
registered Sex Offender Database and updates the Sex Offender Locator website.
According to Penal Code Section 17, a judge cannot relieve a defendant
of the duty to register as a sex offender if the defendant is charged
with a qualifying offense or if a court or jury finds the defendant guilty
of committing a qualifying offense. Also, defendants are not allowed to
make a deal that eliminates sex offender registration if they plead guilty
to a crime that requires it. The only ways to avoid sex registration are
to have your charge dismissed, plead down to a charge that doesn't
carry with it sex offender registration or be found not guilty of the crime.
Megan's Law - Public Disclosure
Although California has mandated sex offender registration since 1947,
until recently the data has not been readily available. In 1996, Megan's
Law was enacted, which mandates public access to information about where
sex offenders live. More recently, the Megan's Law Sex Offender Locator
Website was launched,
www.meganslaw.ca.gov, which allows the public to access sex offender information. Although
registration in mandatory, approximately 25% of registered sex offenders,
due to their particular type of sex crime, are excluded from this public
Penalties for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in California
Penal Code Section 290.018 outlines the penalties for failing to register:
- A potential sentence of one year in county jail if the underlying conviction
was for a misdemeanor;
A state prison sentence of 16 months -3 years if the underlying conviction
was a felony. If the original crime was a "Strike" under The
Three Strikes Law, the state prison term can be doubled.
Furthermore, each time that a person who must register as a sex offender
violates reporting duties under The Sex Offender Registration Act, it
is treated as a continuing violation and could ultimately result in substantial
time in state prison. Failure to register, when the underlying crime is
a felony, counts as a Strike and if a defendant has a prior Strike, the
potential sentence for that failure is 32 months-6 years in state prison.
If a defendant has two Strikes already and fails to register the person
is looking at getting the third Strike, which means the penalty is 25
Unfortunately, individuals are often charged with failing to register when
actual registration was not required or when registration was completed
as required. Adding insult to injury, the charge is frequently filed against
the individual without the person's knowledge. An experienced criminal
defense lawyer at our firm will know how to work with these situations
without exposing the defendant to any unnecessary jail or state prison time.
Sex Crime Lawyer in Los Angeles
Sex offender registration creates a social stigma that can make it very
difficult to find a job, buy a home and maintain personal relationships.
With such high stakes, it makes sense to employ a legal team in your case
that is experienced in defending against sex crimes and sex offender registration
charges. The attorneys should also have a record of success with California
criminal appeals and writs, as a sex offense conviction can also be appealed. With 70 plus
years of combined legal experience in our firm, we are very skilled lawyers
who provide aggressive defense representation of sex crimes of all levels.
We are available to meet with you and your family to privately and confidentially
discuss the specific facts of your case and welcome you to call our office
to schedule your no cost consultation with us.
For representation from a law firm that will fight for you, contact a Los Angeles sex crime attorney
at your earliest opportunity.