What Happens if you Fail to Register as a Sex Offender

What Happens if You Fail to Register as a Sex Offender in Arizona?

Arizona authorities take sex offenses very seriously and impose strict registration requirements for those who have been convicted of certain types of sex crimes. Registration requirements for offenders were enacted in 1996 after the state rolled out a notification system for citizens who wanted to keep track of offenders in their communities.

There are a variety of crimes that can force convicted persons to register as a sex offender. Some offenses include sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor, and multiple violations for indecent exposure. Sex offenders are also required to undergo a risk assessment that sets certain monitoring parameters in place depending on the level.

Those in the level one category usually just have a record of their offense at the local police department, while people at the highest-risk level three position have their information distributed on flyers to residents, school employees, and other community groups.

What is the Registration Process?

Those with a sex offense conviction are required to pass along their information to a local sheriff within 10 days of a sex crime conviction, or 10 days after relocating to a new county in the state of Arizona. Offenders are required to update authorities with their new contact information if they move in the state, and are also issued a new license each year with an updated photograph and address. People who are convicted of a sex crime are required to follow registration and reporting stipulations for the rest of their life.

Non-state residents are also required to register if they meet certain employment and educational conditions in the state.

What Happens If I Do Not Register as a Sex Offender?

Punishments for failing to register depends on a couple of factors. Those who do not properly register for a new license can face probation and jail time up to a year, which can go up in duration if the person has a previous conviction.

Any other violation of registration requirements is seen as the equivalent to a class four felony. Those who have a prior conviction for either a sex offense or a non-related felony face a prison sentence of 2.25 to 7.5 years of incarceration. People with two past felony convictions are subject to a 6-15-year prison sentence.  

Are There Any Legal Defenses for Not Registering?

Some people who have been convicted of a sex offense move across counties frequently for a job or family-related matters.  It can be difficult to keep up with registration requirements and comply with Arizona law in the required time frames if the move is an intensive process.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to advise on the best course of action for those who did not properly register as a sex offender. They will be able to work with clients to make sure they are compliant with Arizona law, and then potentially petition the prosecution to reduce charges.

If you are facing sex-offense charges, you need an attorney on your side. Call us today to schedule your confidential case consultation.