Failure to Register


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Registering as a sex offender is a humiliating experience. However, if you have been convicted as a sex offender and you fail to comply with registration requirements in the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act, you risk more time in prison. If you are charged with failure to register, it is critical to retain a defense attorney.

What You Need To Know About Failure To Register

Failure to comply with your requirement to register as a sex offender means that you have not:

  • Registered with the Pennsylvania State Police.
  • Verified your address and been photographed as required.
  • Provided accurate information when registering.

Based on the severity of their original conviction and how many years they have to register, an individual who does not comply will be charged with a first, second or third degree felony.

If you did not receive a notice from the police to register, it is not a defense. You still need to register to avoid charges.

On December 20, 2012, changes were made to the registration law, previously known as Megan’s Law and now called the Sexual Offender and Notification Act. In many cases, the new law impacts the length of time that people have to continue registering.

What To Do If You Are Charged

If you are charged with a failure to register offense, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or assert your innocence.

  • As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
  • If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case.

  • Your attorney will investigate to find out if you did have an obligation to register.

Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against a failure to register charge, you will be facing both a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and help you determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania Failure to Register Law

Failure to register is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.