According to A.R.S. § 13-3821 and § 13-3824, any person who has been convicted of specific sex crimes must register as a sex offender if they live in Arizona either permanently or temporarily. This statute applies to all sex offenders residing in Arizona regardless of what jurisdiction their crime was convicted in as long as the laws in that jurisdiction are in alignment with Arizona laws regarding crimes of a sexual nature.
In some cases, non-Arizona residents must also register as a sex offender provided that certain conditions are met regarding employment or enrollment within an educational program. This stipulation includes those who work for an employer within Arizona for 30 days out of the year. Anyone who enrolls in an Arizona school for 14 consecutive days or who attends school for 30 days or more during calendar year must also register as a sex offender. If you have a juvenile conviction, then your responsibility for registration will end when you reach 25 years of age or when the court releases you from your duty to register. Often, this occurs once a juvenile has finished serving their probation.
Registration as a Sex Offender
Notifying Arizona that you have a sex offense conviction requires a visit to the local sheriff’s department so you can provide them with your contact information including your address. You must register within either 10 days following your conviction of a sex crime or 10 days after moving to a new county within Arizona. At the time of registration, you will be required to pay a $250 fee initially. Registered sex offenders are also issued a new license every year with an updated photo and address. For this new license each year, there will be an additional $100 fee that must be paid annually.
If you move from the county at any point during the year or change your name, you must notify the sheriff in writing and visit in person to provide your new information within 72-hours of normal business days. This same procedure must be completed any time you move to another county in Arizona. For those convicted of a sex crime, registration as an offender must be completed for the rest of your life. If you fail to do so, you will then be charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender as defined by A.R.S. §13-3824.
Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
Failure to register as a sex offender in Arizona is penalized according to the specific circumstances of a person’s conviction and the action that contributes to the charge. If a person fails to register for a new driver’s license, then this can be classified as a Class 6 felony which usually carries a punishment of probation with zero days in jail up to one year in jail.
If the person has a prior conviction, then a person’s sentence can escalate to 9 months to 2.5 years in prison. Once a person has two allegeable prior felony convictions, the prison time can include a range of 2.25 to 5.75 years in prison.
All other violations of the requirement to register will result in serious penalties due to the classification of a Class 4 felony. Those charged with this crime can face the following penalties:
- First-offense non-felony sex offenders: probation with up to one year of jail-time
- Prior conviction of either sex or non-related felony: two and two-quarter years to seven and three-quarter years in prison
- Two or more historical allegeable prior felony convictions: six to fifteen years in prison
Legal Defenses for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Often, a person fails to register as a sex offender when they experience frequent moves or job changes. This can make it hard for a person to register within a new county every time they experience a change. If a defendant changes residence or their job multiple times within a ten-day time frame, then we can use this defense to prove they did not actually reside within a county for more than the ten days required before registration becomes necessary. Many times, we can ensure our client gets into compliance with Arizona laws, and this is enough to convince the prosecution to drop the charges. For the best outcome, we can use records that prove a defendant was not living in the area for more than ten days or that they did not break the 72-hour reporting stipulation.
At DM Cantor, we also can defend our clients using other arguments that prove their rights to legal counsel were withheld, or that mistakes were made during the investigation. Due to the penalties that are involved for those accused of failure to register as a sex offender in Arizona, we urge our clients to act quickly. For a free consultation, contact us 24-hours a day at 602-737-2812 or fill out our simple online form so we can help you today.