The state of California takes sex offender registration very seriously. California’s Megan’s Law requires all authorities to notify the public of sex offenders in their area. The conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, since you must place your name on a public record if a court finds you guilty of certain sex crimes. If you need help combating a sex crime charge, contact a Riverside sex crimes defense attorney to build an effective case.
California’s Penal Code 290, also known as Megan’s Law, states that any person convicted of certain sex crimes must register as a sex offender. You must renew your registration every year within five days of your birthday or whenever you move. The primary objective of registering is for law enforcement to keep up to date on your whereabouts and for your neighbors to stay informed of sex offenders in their area. Law enforcement officers post the information of sex offenders on the Megan’s Law website.
Not all sex crimes in California require sex offender registrations, and some require shorter registration periods than others. In addition, not all sex offenders are on the Megan’s Law website. California divides registration requirements into three tiers, based on the severity of the crime, each with different penalties.
If you must register as a sex offender in California and fail to do so, you could receive a conviction under California Penal Code 290 PC. Since Megan’s Law requires you to register whenever you move and every year on your birthday, you can face significant charges.
If your conviction was a misdemeanor, a failure to register will be a misdemeanor punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year. If your conviction was a felony or you have failed to register as a sex offender in the past, you could receive a felony for failure to register. You could receive a prison sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years.
You can fight a failure to register charge with the help of a California criminal defense attorney. You can state that you did not willfully fail to register, you attempted to register but something went wrong, or you received a false accusation. To combat this charge effectively, contact a California defense attorney now.