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What Happens If You Fail to Register as a CA Sex Offender?

Posted by Jarrod M. Wilfert | Aug 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

According to California's Sex Offender Registration Act--also called Megan's Law--sex crime convicts are required to register with law enforcement of the city or county where they live. This registration must be renewed every year within five working days of the individual's birthday, as well as every time that person moves to a new residence.

Failure to register as a California sex offender each year or after each move can result in serious consequences. The penalties for failure to register depends on a number of factors.

For example, if a person was convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime, then it will be a misdemeanor for failure to register--with a maximum jail sentence of one year. By contrast, if a person was convicted of a felony sex crime, or if failure to register is a repeat offense, then it will be charged as a felony that will carry a potential prison sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years.

Since courts consider failure to register to be a continuing offense, there is no statute of limitations. You can be charged and convicted of a separate offense for each requirement (i.e. failing to register annually or failing to notify law enforcement of a change of address) you violate. However, you cannot be given two sentences for two failing to register violations which arise from a single course of conduct.

The prosecution must prove that you failed to register “willfully” to convict you. Common legal defenses available can be that you didn't willfully register, you attempted to register but your information wasn't received or became lost, and/or you were falsely accused.

If you have been accused of a sex crime in Ventura County, contact Wilfert Law P.C. and request a free consultation with our Ventura criminal defense attorney today.

About the Author

Jarrod M. Wilfert

Founding Attorney A Reputation of Excellence Jarrod M. Wilfert has been involved in criminal law for over a decade and as a former Police Officer, Prosecutor and certified Drug Recognition Expert, he brings a unique and aggressive perspective to the practice of criminal defense and civil litig...


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