After being convicted of certain sex crimes, you could be ordered to register as a sex offender. This means that you would need to provide your name and address as well as other details to your local court or police department. If you move, then you need to update your address so that you can be monitored. There are also certain places you will likely be ordered to stay away from as a sex offender including schools and playgrounds. If you fail to register as a sex offender, there are consequences that you could face. A defense attorney can look at the details of the charges against you and listen to your statement in order to put together the best defense possible for when you go to court.
The exact consequences that you could face will depend on where you live as each state is usually different in how they handle sex offenders and failure to register. If you live or work in multiple areas in the state, then you’ll likely need to register in each area, which is one way to be charged with failure to register. This is a defense that could be used by your attorney as you can submit information about not knowing that you needed to register in each specific area.
Even though each state usually has its own requirements for registering as a sex offender, the consequences for failing to register are often the same if you’re convicted. In most situations, you can be charged with a federal offense if you’re convicted. In most cases, the court would need proof that you intentionally failed to register. Your attorney can work to show that you did not intend to make the decision not to alert the court of any changes or to register for the first time. The court could also show that you did not comply with the regulations set forth by the sex offender registry. An example would be going near a school knowing that you were not allowed to do so in your state. If you are not clear about the requirements that you need to comply with after being convicted in court, you need to discuss them with your attorney so that you aren’t charged with failure to register or comply. If the prosecutor is unable to prove each element of the crime that is said to have been committed, then the court will usually dismiss the charges. This is a time when you need to examine the details of being on the sex offender registry so that you aren’t charged again in the future.
If you’re convicted of failing to register as a sex offender, your punishment will likely vary based on where you live. If you don’t have an extensive criminal background, then your attorney might be able to approach the court to ask that you receive a lesser sentence than someone who has several past charges. Keep in mind that if you are charged with a crime again or if you fail to register or comply after your court hearing, then you could be required to serve your initial sentence as well as any new sentence the judge orders.
Failure to register is considered a misdemeanor in some states while it’s considered a felony in others, which can impact the type of sentence that you receive. The type of sex offense can play a role in whether failing to register is considered a misdemeanor or a felony as well. In most states, you could have to spend three to four years in prison if you’re convicted and pay fines of up to $5,000 or more.
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