Sex Offender Registration

Penal Code 290 —  Sex Offender Registration

The Sex Offender Registration Act is one of the most severe conviction consequences under California law.  Sex offender registration creates an extreme burden on a person’s life.  Sex Offender Registration information is publically available, and can greatly affect a person socially, professionally, financially, and in relationships with friends and family.

Under Penal Code 290, anyone who lives in California after being convicted of most California sex crimes must register with the police in the city or county where they live.

This registration must be renewed every year within 5 days of the person’s birthday, and every time the person moves his or her residence.  If a person moves a certain distance, law enforcement in both the location they formerly lived and  their new location must be informed.

Under California law, it is a crime to willingly or knowingly fail to register as a sex offender when required to do so.  Punishments for failing to register as a sex offender may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. For example:

  • Misdemeanor – if your initial sex crime conviction was for a misdemeanor, failing to register may be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in county jail.
  • Felony – if your initial sex crime conviction was for a felony or it is your second conviction for failing to register, failing to register may be charged as a felony, punishable by 16 months, 2 or 3 years in state prison.

In the most serious sex offense cases, a conviction for failing to register may be charged as a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.   This may occur if the defendant has two prior strike convictions and one of the convictions is for a particularly severe sex crime.

What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict a Person for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

In order to convict someone of failing to register as a sex offender, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did all of the following:

  • You were convicted of a sex crime that requires sex offender registration OR the judge ordered sex offender registration as a term of your sentence.
  • You reside in California.
  • You knew you were required to register as a sex offender; AND
  • You willfully failed to register as a sex offender (merely forgetting to register or being careless is not a defense).

Contact Us Now

Schwartz & Naderi’s team of criminal defense attorneys has over 80 years of combined experience aggressively defending clients facing all types of sex-related charges, including all matters related to sex offender registration under Penal Code 290, and will strategize a vigorous defense from the moment of arrest until the completion of the case.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any sex offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Naderi today at (310) 246-9550.

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