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Issues Regarding California Sex Offender Registration

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Oct 18, 2019

Some of the important issues when having to register as a sex offender, I see people run afoul of the sex registration laws all the time.  It's a very dangerous thing to do because a lot of times the people who have to register as a sex offender had to plea to a felony and are looking at state prison time. Sex offender registration is covered under California Penal Code 290.

If they violate their probation or even if they're not on probation, if they fail to register as a sex offender they can be charged with a felony and if they pled to a strike in the original case, it can be alleged as a second strike case and in a lot of those cases the person is looking at a minimum of thirty-two months in prison.  So, it's very serious business.

Annual Reporting to Police Department

Another big thing that I see that's particularly troubling and that people should look out for is that you have to go into a local police department every year on your birthday to register, and obviously, the local police department is going to be the one who enforces whether you're doing what you're supposed to and whether you're compliant.

California Sex Offender Registration

They have a bad attitude and a lot of times they're slanted against people who have to register as a sex offender, so they're really just looking for any excuse to violate you and be able to get you back in custody.  So, when you know if that's what you're up against, you really have to make sure that you do everything correctly and do not run afoul of your responsibilities.

Where I see trouble coming is when, for example, somebody moves to a different location and hey don't report that move to the police.  That's going to be a direct violation of your responsibility to register as a sex offender.

If you change addresses you need to immediately alert the police where you register, of that change and address, and if they find out that you're living in a different location and you're registered somewhere else, they're going to arrest you and charge you.  You're typically looking at a felony and potential prison time.  So, that's one area where people have issues.

Another area that I see people having issues is when don't have a home.  Maybe they become transient for a period of time or they're in the middle of getting one place and they're staying somewhere else.  Again, you have to go in and report that.

You can't just do nothing because if you don't report it and they catch you and they realize that wherever you're registered to, you're not living there anymore, then you're going to put yourself in a position where you're going to get charged and someone is going to have to defend you.

Moving Out of State and Failing to Register

Another area where I see people having trouble with is they decide they don't want to register as a sex offender.  They don't want to live in California anymore so they move.  When you move, you have to let the local law enforcement agency know that you moved, where you went, etc.

If you don't do that and you just move, as soon as it comes time to register and you don't register within five days of your birthday, they're going to issue a warrant for your arrest.  I've had a bunch of those cases.

Then they'll catch you in the stat that you're now residing in and then it will be matter of whether California wants to extradite you back based on that warrant and when it's a sex crime-related offense they usually do.  So, now you have to take a trip back from wherever you are and that sometimes can take two, three or four weeks to get back to California.  Meanwhile you're sitting custody.  It's a horrible result.

So, obviously if you have to register as a sex offender, just because you decide to move to another location, doesn't mean you no longer have the requirement to report to that law enforcement agency.  What you have to do is go in there, let them know you're moving; let them know where you're going and then you can follow the procedure to be able to not have to register any longer in the California jurisdiction because you're no longer living there.

Then you have the concern that when you move into a new jurisdiction, you need to check their laws and procedures related to whether or not you have to register as a sex offender and a lot of those jurisdictions have a lot of the same type of requirements that penal Code Section 290 does where you have to register there within five days of your birthday.

You want to make sure that you handle that the right way because if you don't and they find out about it, then you're going to pick up a new case there and have all sorts of issues that you just simply don't want to have.

Los Angeles Sex Crime Attorney

So, when it comes to registration, you really have to be pro-active.  When you go down there, they're going to make you fill out a bunch of paperwork.  Keep your paperwork.  Review it.  Make sure you completely understand your requirement to register that way you will not run afoul of their rules and you won't end up back in criminal court.

If you do, pick up the phone.  Make the call.  I can help you.  I've been handling these cases for many years.  I know how they're dealt with the right way.  I know when law enforcement has been over-zealous and not treated you fair, and when you really should not have had a criminal case filed against you and I will definitely, on your behalf if you hire me, take that up with the prosecutors.

Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436
(213) 542-0979

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.