criminal attorney san-diego

Overview of Defenses for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

In San Diego, a person convicted of a California sex crime is required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290(c). If they fail to do so, they will be charged with failure to register as a sex offender. Even if this does happen, it is possible to employ a number of legal defenses. Below is the detailed overview of the three legal defenses that can be applied.

Defense #1: Failure to register was not ‘’willful’’

The first of the three applicable defenses refers to whether the convicted offender deliberately failed to register with the law enforcement, or the failure was not deliberate, that is, not ‘’willful’’.

If the defense lawyer can prove that the charged was unable to register, the said defense can apply. For example, if the charged was in a hospital, their lawyer can argue that they did not fail to register willfully.

It’s important to point out that the charge applies if the failure to register was deliberate (‘’willful’’). Both the prosecution and the defense have to offer proof of (un)deliberate failure to register on the part of the charged.

Defense #2: The attempt to register failed

This defense applies to the situation in which the charged tried to register as a sex offender, but the registration failed. The information the charged is supposed to submit may get lost or misplaced, to name a few reasons why the information may not reach the law enforcement.

The possibility that the documents may have been misplaced is an important factor to consider, although may not be the easiest to prove by the defense. Nevertheless, if the charged submitted the required documentation, they complied with the law. As such, they shouldn’t be charged. The fact that the documents were misplaced is not their fault. The charged should obtain the services of an aggressive San Diego criminal attorney who would present the evidence and make sure the charge is negated in case of a bureaucratic oversight.

Defense #3: False accusation

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for sex offenders to be falsely accused of not registering. The stigma that goes with the conviction of a sex crime may jeopardize the objectivity of certain law enforcement officers. In some cases, a sex offender may submit the documentation and comply with the law, only to be deliberately ignored or misplaced by an officer.

If the defense can prove that the officer’s personal bias has conflicted with their duty, resulting in a failed registration, the charge can be negated.

Final considerations

While some sex offenders deliberately fail to register, there is still a great number of those who simply don’t understand or are unaware of the legal requirements following their conviction. As a result, they may be completely unaware that they are supposed to register and what information they are required to submit.

For example, it’s not commonly known that one does not have to live in California to register as a sex offender in California. They may live just a few miles off the California border but work in California, which makes it obligatory for them to register. For these reasons and more, it’s imperative to get thoroughly informed and obtain the services of a reliable and unbiased defense attorney.