Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Arizona
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Sex Offender Registration in Arizona
If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Arizona, sex offender registration might be mandatory for you. In addition to other penalties, some sex crimes also require people to register as sex offenders after they are released from jail or prison.
After you have served your sentence, you must register with the sheriff’s office in your county on a temporary or permanent basis if your sex offense was a felony or an attempted sex crime. If you fail to comply with the registration procedures, you could face a new criminal charge carrying severe penalties, including prison time.
If you are currently out of compliance with your sex offender registration, you should talk to an experienced sex crimes attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta for help.
Arizona Sex Offender Registration Requirements
The sex offender registration requirements are found in ARS 13-3821. Under this law, people who are convicted of any of the following crimes below are required to register as sex offenders:
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Sexual assault
- Sexual assault when the spouse was your victim if the offense occurred before Aug. 12, 2005
- Sexual conduct with a minor
- Taking children for prostitution
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Child molestation
- Sex trafficking involving children
- Child prostitution that occurred before Aug. 9, 2017
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Luring a minor for purposes of sexual exploitation
- Public sexual indecency
- Indecent exposure with a victim under the age of 15
- Aggravated luring for sexual exploitation
If you have a previous sex conviction and are not a resident of Arizona, you might still be required to register in Arizona under certain circumstances, including if you work or attend school in the state for more than 30 days in a year, or for 14 or more consecutive days.
If you were adjudicated as a juvenile for a qualifying sex crime, your registration requirement would continue until you turn 25 or until the court orders the termination of your registration following the successful completion of juvenile probation.
The Sex Offender Registration Process in Arizona
People who are convicted of qualifying sex offenses must report to the sheriff’s office in the counties where they live. They must report their address and name no later than 10 days after their convictions or within 10 days of arriving in the county with the intent to remain.
You must also report to the sheriff’s office any time you change your name or address. This report must be made in-person and within 72 hours, with the exception of holidays and weekends. The cost of the initial registration is $250. For subsequent registrations each year, the cost is $100. You will also have to get an updated driver’s license with a new photo each year with a current address.
If you relocate to a new county, you must report to the sheriff of both counties to report your move. If you fail to register within the prescribed times or to do so correctly, the police can charge you for failing to register.
Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
Under ARS 13-3824, failing to register as a sex offender is a Class 4 felony. However, if your failure relates to a failure to update your annual license, it is a Class 6 felony. If you are already out of compliance with the required times for reporting to your county sheriff’s office, you should talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible for help.
Failing to register as a sex offender for a driver’s license violation is a Class 6 felony and carries the following potential penalties:
- If your sex offense conviction was a misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail or prison from four to 24 months.
- If you have a previous conviction, you will face prison from nine months to 2.75 years.
- If you are convicted as a third felony conviction, you will face from 2.25 years to 5.75 years in prison.
Other failure to register convictions are Class 4 felony offenses carrying the following potential penalties:
- If you have only one prior felony, your sentence will range from 2.25 years up to 7.5
- If you have two prior felonies, you will face from six to 15 years in prison.
Common Defenses to Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
The defenses that might be available will depend on what happened in your case. Your attorney will carefully review the evidence to determine the approach to take.
Possible defenses that you might be able to raise will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some of the arguments that might be available to you include the following:
- You traveled to a new county but did not stay for 10 days.
- You worked in the state for less than 14 consecutive days.
- You worked in the state for less than 30 aggregate days in a year.
- The sheriff’s office made a documentation error.
- The police interrogated you without reading your Miranda rights.
- The police interrogated you after you asked for an attorney.
Many people are charged with failing to register when they move from one county to another or from one state to a new state.
If you fail to register each time you move, you can be charged.
However, if you did not remain in the new county for 10 days before returning to your previous state, you can defend against your case.
Similarly, if you have an out-of-state sex offense conviction and are a registered sex offender, you can defend against a failure to register charge in Arizona if you worked in the state for fewer than 14 consecutive days or less than 30 aggregate days during a calendar year. To prove this type of defense, your attorney will want to get documentation from your employer showing you were in the new county or in the state for less than the time that would have prompted you to register.
If you are out of compliance, your attorney might be able to help you get your registration straightened out so that you are in compliance. After that, your lawyer may negotiate with to the prosecutor to try to get him or her to dismiss the case against you.
Your defense lawyer may need to secure records showing where you were during the time you were allegedly out of compliance with the law to demonstrate that you did not violate the 10-day or 72-hour reporting requirements.
Other Defenses to These Charges Caused by Other Individuals
In some cases, the sheriff’s office will make clerical mistakes that make it appear as if someone failed to report on time. If this happened to you, your attorney will secure copies of the records, receipts showing payment, and other evidence that you did report on time to fight against your charge.
In many cases, police will try to subject a person who has been arrested to custodial interrogation. They do this to try to secure incriminating statements to use against the defendants and to learn about new evidence that they can gather. Before they can question you, the police must read you your Miranda rights.
If you were not properly Mirandized, your attorney might seek a court order to suppress any statements you made and any evidence the police were able to gather as a result.
If you tried to assert your right to an attorney, the police should have ended your interrogation immediately. If they refused your request for an attorney and continued questioning you, your attorney can ask the court to suppress your statements.
If the police executed a search warrant, your attorney may examine the affidavit the police filed to secure the warrant to see if any flaws were made or if the police included misstatements. If the affidavit contains false statements or the police searched a larger area than what was allowed in the warrant, your attorney may file a motion to challenge any evidence gathered as a result of the unlawful search.
Police officers sometimes make mistakes in their reports. Your attorney will carefully examine the reports and use the information they contain to help with the cross-examination of the police.
Anything contained in the police reports that are misleading or false can be challenged in court, helping to demonstrate that the officer lacks credibility.
Get Help from Experienced Sex Crime Attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta
Being charged with failing to register as a sex offender might be frightening. If you are facing this charge, it is still possible to defend against it. If you have not yet been charged but have fallen out of compliance with your registration requirements, you should also get legal help immediately.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (602) 825-2500.
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