What may happen to me if I fail to register on the sex offender registry?

Sex Offender Registering on the ComputerIn Virginia, individuals convicted of certain sex offenses must register with the sex offender registry. If you are required to register and fail to do so, or if you provide false registration information, you may be charged with a criminal offense and face additional penalties.

Crimes That Require You to Register as a Sex Offender

You may have to register as a sex offender if you commit a sex offense or other specified offenses under federal or state law. Some of the crimes that require registration under Virginia Code § 9.1-902 include:

  • Object sexual penetration
     
  • Sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery
     
  • Rape and attempted rape
     
  • Child pornography
     
  • Taking indecent liberties with a minor
     
  • Solicitation of a minor
     
  • Murder
     
  • Criminal homicide

What Are the Penalties for Failing to Register on the Sex Offender Registry?

Virginia Code § 18.2-472.1 makes a first offense of failing to register or reporting false information a Class 1 misdemeanor if the crime committed was a non-violent sex crime. A second or subsequent offense where the sex crime was non-violent would be a Class 6 felony.

If you were convicted of a violent sex crime or murder and violated the registry requirements, you may also be charged with a Class 6 felony. A second or subsequent offense can be charged as a Class 5 felony.

The potential punishments if you are convicted include:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor: Up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
     
  • Class 6 felony: One to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500 unless the judge or jury exercises their discretion and reduces the penalty to up to 12 months in jail
     
  • Class 5 felony: One to ten years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500

Have you been charged with a sex offense? Have you violated your obligations to report as a sex offender? Our experienced sex crimes defense lawyers are here to help. We represent clients facing federal or state charges in Fairfax, Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. To learn how we can help you mount a strong defense, start an online chat or call (703) 352-0100 to schedule a free consultation.