PC 290

Failure to Register as Sex Offender

The punishment for being convicted for a sexually related offense extends beyond fines, jail/prison time and victim restitution. As a part of your punishment for performing illegal sex acts you must register as a sex offender every year (within five days of your birthday) and every time you move to a new residency for the entirety of your life. If you fail to do so you will be convicted of CA Penal Code 290[1].

In order to be convicted of CA Penal Code 290 the prosecutor must prove that you:

  1. Have a conviction in the past of one of California’s sex crimes
  2. Reside in California
  3. Knew you had to register as a sex offender
  4. Willfully failed to register

If the prosecution cannot prove these four elements of the crime then you will not be convicted of failure to register as a sex offender.

The first element of the crime states that you must have a prior conviction of a California sex crime:

  • CA Penal Code 288 – Lewd acts with a child
  • CA Penal Code 272 – Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • CA Penal Code 266i and 266h – Pimping and pandering with a minor
  • CA Penal Code 288.5 and 269 – Continuous sexual abuse with a child
  • CA Penal Code 286 – Sodomy
  • CA Penal Code 289 – Forcible penetration with a foreign object
  • CA Penal Code 314 – Indecent exposure
  • California incest law penal codes
  • California child pornography crimes

If you fail to register as a sex offender and your initial sex crime was a misdemeanor then you will face up to one year in county jail.

If you fail to register as a sex offender and your initial sex crime was a felony then you face up to three years in state prison. You will also face up to three years in a state prison if this is your second time failing to register.

It’s important to note that every time you fail to register you will be charged. Meaning if you forget to register within five days of your birthday and after moving to a new residence you will faced with two separate CA Penal Code 290 violations.

Prosecuting CA Penal Code 290

As previously stated, in order for the prosecution to prove that you failed to register as a sex offender he/she must prove the four elements of the case:

  1. Have a conviction in the past of one of California’s sex crimes
  2. Reside in California
  3. Knew you had to register as a sex offender
  4. Willfully failed to register

If the prosecution cannot prove these four elements of the crime then you will not be convicted of CA Penal Code 290.

The second element of the crime is that you reside in California. The law does not state however that you need to register as a sex offender in California if you live outside of the state and drive into the state everyday for work. On the other hand, if you leave California for any amount of time and move back to the state then you absolutely have to register.

The third element of the crime is that you knew you had to register as a sex offender. This can be relatively hard for the prosecution to prove because if you did not know you had to register then you’re not guilty. For most crimes in California ignorance is not a valid defense, but for CA Penal Code 290 it is a valid defense. If the prosecution cannot definitively prove that you were aware of your need to register as a sex offender then you will not be convicted.

The final element of the crime is that you willfully failed to register. Willfully in the eyes of California law makers means deliberately or on purpose. The prosecution must prove that you deliberately opted not to register.

Defending CA Penal Code 290

There a several defense strategies that your criminal defense attorney can explore in an attempt to prove your innocence of failing to register as a sex offender. The first technique is to prove that you did not know that you had to register at all. This defense technique can be relatively difficult for the defense to prove if you signed papers acknowledging your duty to register. However, if you have a learning disability, language barrier, or other obstacle that would inhibit you from understanding your duty then this might be a viable defense.

This defense becomes increasingly difficult to prove if you previously registered and then decided to stop. Absent mindedness is not a valid California defense for failing to register as a sex offender.

Another defense strategy is to prove that you mailed in the appropriate paperwork to register but it was never received by the police agency. Under these circumstances your attorney can prove that you did not willfully refuse to register but something happened that was out of your control. You should not be penalized if paperwork was lost in the mail.

We Want to Help

Each failure to register as a sex offender case is different and requires it’s own strategies. If you, or a loved one is facing a CA Penal Code 290 conviction then it’s imperative that you talk to a skilled and efficient criminal defense attorney who will have your case dropped.

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert in Criminal Law who has practice defending all sorts of criminal matters, including CA Penal Code 290 convictions.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

Read our Client Reviews

 

References

[1] Sections 290 to 290.024, inclusive, shall be known and may be cited as the Sex Offender Registration Act. All references to “the Act” in those sections are to the Sex Offender Registration Act.

(b) Every person described in subdivision (c), for the rest of his or her life while residing in California, or while attending school or working in California, as described in Sections 290.002 and 290.01, shall be required to register with the chief of police of the city in which he or she is residing, or the sheriff of the county if he or she is residing in an unincorporated area or city that has no police department, and, additionally, with the chief of police of a campus of the University of California, the California State University, or community college if he or she is residing upon the campus or in any of its facilities, within five working days of coming into, or changing his or her residence within, any city, county, or city and county, or campus in which he or she temporarily resides, and shall be required to register thereafter in accordance with the Act.

(c) The following persons shall be required to register: Any person who, since July 1, 1944, has been or is hereafter convicted in any court in this state or in any federal or military court of a violation of Section 187 committed in the perpetration, or an attempt to perpetrate, rape or any act punishable under Section 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 207 or 209 committed with intent to violate Section 261, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 220, except assault to commit mayhem, subdivision (b) and (c) of Section 236.1, Section 243.4, paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261, paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 262 involving the use of force or violence for which the person is sentenced to the state prison, Section 264.1, 266, or 266c, subdivision (b) of Section 266h, subdivision (b) of Section 266i, Section 266j, 267, 269, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.3, 288.4, 288.5, 288.7, 289, or 311.1, subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2, Section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, 311.11, or 647.6, former Section 647a, subdivision (c) of Section 653f, subdivision 1 or 2 of Section 314, any offense involving lewd or lascivious conduct under Section 272, or any felony violation of Section 288.2; any statutory predecessor that includes all elements of one of the above-mentioned offenses; or any person who since that date has been or is hereafter convicted of the attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above-mentioned offenses.

Recent Victories

Loading Quotes...

Case Evaluation

We Respond Immediately

Call Now For a Free Case Review
Seppi Esfandi

© 2017 Law Offices of Seppi Esfandi | Seppi Esfandi Law Scholarship