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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

Failure to Register as a Sex OffenderThe sex offender registration rules in Arizona can be complex and detailed. It’s easy to make one small mistake and find yourself facing criminal charges for failure to register as a sex offender.

The prospect of being sent back to prison can be overwhelming. It’s important to remain calm. If you’ve been charged with failure to register, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Orent Law Offices, PLC for a free consultation today.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help if I’ve Been Charged With Failure to Register as a Sex Offender?

Criminal charges don’t always lead to conviction. It’s important to remember this if you’re facing charges for failure to register as a sex offender in Phoenix. A smart, evidence-based defense strategy can be key to beating the charges. Hiring an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer is the clearest path toward putting a mistake in the past.

Remaining calm is key. You don’t want to say anything to make the prosecutor’s job easier. On the other hand, you shouldn’t take the situation lightly. It’s important to get experienced legal help when the stakes are this high.

At Orent Law Offices, PLC, we can help. We have an Arizona certified Criminal Law Specialist on our team. With more than 30 years of practical, real-life experience in your corner, you can rest assured that we’ll explore every available defense strategy in your case.

That means our lawyers will:

  • Negotiate with the prosecutors to get the best possible deal in your case
  • Make sure your constitutional rights are respected throughout the process
  • Investigate to get the evidence needed to back a strong defense
  • Make sure you have the full information necessary to understand your legal options and make smart choices
  • Help ensure that you’re properly registered to avoid problems in the future

You need a sex crime defense lawyer who can see the big picture on your team. Prosecutors don’t want to take failure to register cases all the way to trial. Our criminal defense attorneys have helped countless clients minimize the fallout of criminal charges in Phoenix.

If you’re interested in learning more about how our lawyers can use our skills to your advantage, call for a free case evaluation today.

Overview of the Arizona Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Defendants who are convicted of sex crimes in Arizona are almost always subject to Megan’s Law registration requirements. Arizona Criminal Code Section 13-3821 requires sex offenders to register with local law enforcement if they were convicted of:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual abuse of a child under age 18
  • Sexual contact with a minor
  • Child molestation
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Taking a child for the purpose of prostitution
  • Unlawful imprisonment of a victim under the age of 18
  • Child prostitution
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Second or subsequent convictions for indecent exposure to someone younger than 15
  • Second or subsequent convictions for public sexual indecency to a minor under age 15

Sex offender registration for Arizona residents begins upon release from prison. Sex offenders must visit the Sheriff in the county where they intend to live within ten days of release. The initial fee to register as a sex offender is $250.

Non-Arizona residents may also be required to register under Arizona state law if:

  • They have to work in Arizona for 30 days or more
  • They are enrolled in school in Arizona for 14 consecutive days
  • They have physically attended school in Arizona for 30 days

The registration rules are detailed in Arizona and across the United States. If accused of violating any of the registration requirements, you’ll face new felony charges and possible jail time. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you’re facing failure to register charges.

Lifetime Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Unless you were convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense, you’ll probably have to continue to follow the sex offender registration rules for life. Whenever you move to a new county, you have a duty to register with the Sheriff of that county within ten days of entering the county.

If you move within the same county, you’ll have to inform the Sheriff within 72 hours of the move. You have to provide notice both in person and in writing.

You’re also required to notify the authorities if you change your name.

Every year, you’re required to get a new driver’s license. Your photo, address, and contact information are updated annually–and a $100 fee applies.

Failure to take any of these steps can be interpreted as failing to comply with the sex offender registry requirements.

What Type of Information Do I Have to Disclose?

The Arizona sex offender registry rules require disclosure of detailed personal information. Under Arizona Criminal Code Sections 13-3825 and 13-3827, convicted sex offenders must register and disclose:

  • Their name, age, and address
  • A current photograph
  • Their notification level, which is a range of between one and three–with offenders classified as level three posing the most severe risk of committing a repeat offense
  • A risk assessment
  • The date the offender was released from prison or sentenced to probation

Registered sex offenders are also prohibited from living in certain areas. For example, a convicted level three sex offender cannot live within 1,000 feet of the victim’s residence, a school, or a child care facility.

Punishment for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Phoenix, AZ

The punishment for failure to register as a sex offender varies depending upon the exact registration rule that was broken. If the prosecutor alleges that you failed to comply with the driver’s license requirement, you could be charged with a Class 6 felony under Arizona Criminal Code Section 13-3824.

That means you might face:

  • Probation, and between zero days to one year in prison, or four months to two years in prison, if your prior conviction was a misdemeanor or too old to be considered
  • Between nine months and 2.5 years in prison if you have a prior felony conviction
  • Between 2.25 years and 5.75 years in prison if you have two prior felony convictions

The state classifies any other violation of the sex offender registration requirements as Class 4 felonies. If convicted, you could face up to 3.75 years in prison.

Repeat offenders are subject to even harsher punishments. A Class 4 felony conviction carries up to 7.5 years in prison if you have one prior felony conviction and as long as 15 years in prison if you have two prior felonies on your record.

Potential Defenses for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

Failing to comply with the strict sex offender registry rules is taken seriously in Arizona. Police and prosecutors assume that you’re trying to “hide”–perhaps in order to commit additional sex crimes.

Unfortunately, things can happen in life that make it difficult to comply with every detail of the sex offender registry laws. If you made a mistake and failed to register properly, there might be a valid defense that can keep you out of jail.

People are commonly charged with failure to register as a sex offender when they have to travel frequently for work. If you leave Maricopa County for work and end up staying more than 10 days, you can inadvertently violate the sex offender registry rules without really moving residences.

Law enforcement can also get the facts wrong in some cases. We might be able to get information from your employer to prove you weren’t out of the county for more than 10 days.

Other viable defense strategies that might come into play include:

  • Violation of your Miranda rights
  • Violation of your right to be free from illegal searches and seizures
  • Challenging the credibility of witness testimony

You keep your constitutional rights even if you’re required to register as a sex offender. That means you have the right to an attorney and to refrain from incriminating yourself. If you made a statement and law enforcement violated those rights, we might be able to get the statement thrown out.

We can also help you get into compliance with the sex offender registry rules. Prosecutors are often willing to negotiate in cases where you made an honest mistake. Our lawyers can work with the prosecution to minimize the fallout and protect your rights.

With over three decades of legal experience, our criminal defense attorneys at Orent Law Offices, PLC know how to find the evidence needed to back your defense. These cases often come down to the small details. Give us a call today for more information about how we can help.

Charged With Failure to Register as a Sex Offender? Contact a Qualified Defense Attorney For a Free Consultation Today

Your punishment upon conviction for a Phoenix sex crime can extend well past prison–it can impact you for the rest of your life. You don’t have to face it alone. If you’ve been charged with failure to register as a sex offender, don’t hesitate to call Orent Law Offices, PLC for a free consultation. We’ll do everything we can to minimize the consequences of the new charges you’re facing.

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Orent Law Offices, PLC

11811 N. Tatum Blvd. STE 3031

Phoenix, Arizona 85028

(480) 656-7301


Orent Law Offices Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Firm