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Penal Code 290: Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

Posted in Sex Crimes on November 20, 2017

If the courts have found you guilty of a sex crime, part of your conviction may be a requirement to register as a sex offender in the jurisdiction where you live. Failure to register may result in criminal and civil prosecution and a range of penalties depending on where you live and the nature of your conviction. 

Who Must Register as a Sex Offender in California? 

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, SORNA, is a federal law that requires convicted sex offenders to register with state authorities following their release from jail. As a federal law, this establishes the requirement in all 50 states, regardless of where you live. What each state determines to be a sex offense may vary from state to state, however, the law categorizes these crimes in three tiers that entail different reporting requirements.

Differing Reporting Requirements

A Tier I offense carries the lightest reporting requirement. Offenders must register for 15 years after release from prison. However, if the offender maintains a clean record after his or her release, completes a parole period or sex offender treatment program, the courts may reduce this to 10 years.

A sexual crime is a Tier II offense if it is punishable by at least one-year imprisonment and involves sex trafficking, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sex activities, sexual activities involving a minor under 13 years of age, or other special conditions. Tier II offenses carry a 25-year reporting requirement, and the courts will not reduce it based on someone’s record after release.

A Tier III offense is the most serious of convictions and carries a lifetime reporting requirement. Tier III convictions are crimes punishable by at least a year in prison and accompanied by aggravated sexual abuse or abusive sexual contact when committed against a minor under the age of 13. A crime may also fall into Tier III if it involves kidnapping of a minor or if it was committed subsequent to committing a Tier II crime. There is no possibility of reduction of Tier III reporting requirements.

Who Do CA Sex Offenders Report To? 

Usually upon release from prison, an administrator will give specific instructions to a convicted sex offender regarding who he or she must report to and when. In general, a person required to register as a sex offender must report to a local police station within three business days of a change of name, residence, or employment. The offender must also report annually for a Tier I offense, every six months for a Tier II offense, and every two months for a Tier III offense. Offenders must do this for every jurisdiction in which he or she works, resides, or attends school.

Consequences of Failure to Register

Failing to register as a convicted sex offender results in a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment. Additionally, the law requires jurisdictions to provide for a criminal penalty for failure to register that provides a maximum term of greater than one year in prison. Courts may also impose fines for failing to register. If you are accused of committing sex crimes, do not wait to contact an experienced Riverside criminal defense attorney