According to California Penal Code Section 290 a person convicted of sex crimes and some certain other crimes is required to register as a sex offender with local authorities. Failure to register as a sex offender is considered a separate criminal offense which results in additional prison sentences.
Elements of Penal Code 290 Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
The prosecutor must establish the following elements to prove that the defendant failed to register as a sex offender
- Defendant has a previous conviction of one of the sex crimes listed in California PC Section 290
- Defendant resides in California
- Defendant actually knew that he was obliged to register as a sex offender
- Defendant deliberately failed to register as a sex offender or update his registration.
Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender
Under Penal Code 290 PC the person declared a sex offender must register his identifying information with local law enforcement as long as he lives, works or attends school in the state of California. The registration must be register within the five days of his birthday and any time the person moves to a new residence.
Convictions That Require a Person to Register as a Sex Offender
Some of the most common sex crimes that lead to the lifelong requirement to register as a sex offender are the following:
- PC Section 261: Rape
- PC Section 243.4: Sexual battery
- PC Section 267 Abduction of a Minor for Prostitution
- PC Section 288 Sex or Sexual Act with a Child under Age 14
- PC Section 285 Incest
- PC Section 286 Sodomy with a Minor
- PC Section 1 Possession of Child Pornography or Representations of Simulated Sex Acts with a Minor
- PC Section 314. Indecent Exposure
Penalties for Violating Penal Code 290(b)
The penalties for violating California PC Section 290(b) depend on the underlying offense which led the defendant to register as a sex offender. The defendant will face misdemeanor conviction in case he was required to register based on a conviction for a misdemeanor sex offense and had no prior convictions for failure to register as a sex offender.
The defendant will face felony conviction in case his prior sex offense conviction was a felony or he has one or more prior convictions for this offense.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Penal Code 290 (b) Conviction
Potential penalties for misdemeanor Penal Code 290 (b) conviction include
- Up to one year in a county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Misdemeanor probation
Penalties for Felony Penal Code 290(b) Conviction
Potential penalties for felony penal code 290(b) conviction include the following
- Sixteen months, two or three years in California state prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Felony probation
Sex Offender Registration Act
Moreover, each time a person failures to register under The Sex Offender Registration Act it is treated as a continuing violation and can result in additional time in state prison.
Failure to register, in case the underlying crime is a felony, is considered a Strike and if a defendant has a prior Strike, the potential sentence is thirty two months to six years in California state prison. In case the defendant has already two Strikes and fails to register he will get the third Strike with the potential sentence from 25 years to life in California state prison.