Getting convicted of certain sex crimes in Las Vegas carries not only high fines and prison time. Even worse, you may also be required to register as a sex offender in Nevada. And if you do not register, the state may bring further felony charges against you.
It is very tempting to defy a court order to register as a sex offender in Las Vegas. Registration is a social stigma and makes it harder to get work and housing. But failing to register subjects you to more penalties and reduces the chances of a judge eventually allowing you to de-register.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have been very successful in relieving our clients from having to register as sex offenders. Scroll down to learn the law, defenses, and penalties for failing to register as a sex offender in Nevada.
The Law of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Nevada (NRS 179D.550)
People are typically required to register as sex offenders if they have been convicted of any of the following sex crimes in Nevada:
- child pornography in Las Vegas, NV
- prostituting a child in Las Vegas, NV
- sexual assault (rape) in Las Vegas, NV
- battery with intent to rape in Las Vegas, NV
- sexually abusing a child in Las Vegas, NV
Not registering as a sex offender after you have been ordered to do so by a court is a criminal offense in Nevada. Specifically, it is illegal for a convicted sex offender to:
- fail to register with a local law enforcement agency within 48 hours of being released from custody, or
- fail to notify the local law enforcement agency within 48 hours of any change of name, address, employment, student status, or remaining in a jurisdiction for longer than 30 days after initially reporting a stay of less than 30 days, or
- fail to complete an annual verification form, or
- provide false or misleading information to the Nevada Central Repository or a local law enforcement agency
Unfortunately, Nevada law draws no distinction between willfully defying a court order to register as a sex offender and innocently forgetting to register . . . Both are equally illegal. However, these details may make a difference in what penalties the judge ultimately imposes.
Defenses for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Nevada
There are various defenses your attorney may try to use to fight charges of failing to register as a sex offender in Las Vegas, Nevada. The following are three of the more common strategies:
- False allegations - It is not uncommon for angry citizens or even cops to try to punish you further by falsely accusing you of not registering. If we can show you were framed and did nothing wrong, chances are good your case will be dismissed.
- Human error - It is also not unusual for government workers to make mistakes when entering your data. Criminal charges should not stand if the failure to register was the state's fault and not yours.
- You did not need to register - Perhaps you were not convicted of a crime that required sex offender registration. Or perhaps you no longer live in Nevada. If you were no longer obligated to register as a sex offender, you are not criminally liable.
Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Nevada
A first offense of not complying with a Nevada court order to register as a sex offender is prosecuted as a category D felony in Las Vegas. The judge may either grant probation or impose:
- 1 - 4 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- up to $5,000 in fines
A subsequent failure to register within seven years is a category C felony in Las Vegas. The judge may not grant probation and instead must order:
- 1 - 5 years in Nevada State prison, and
- up to $10,000 in fines
The judge will consider the defendant's motivation when determining a sentence. The judge might order a less serious punishment if you accidentally forgot to register than if you deliberately chose not to.
Note that the DMV and Gaming Control Board deny licenses to people convicted of violating registration requirements. Also note that failure to register is a separate crime from the underlying sex offense. Therefore a conviction for failure to register counts as a "strike" under Nevada's habitual felon law, which punishes people with three or more felonies on their record.
To learn more about Nevada sex offender registry laws, go to our informational article on Nevada Sex Offender Registry Laws.
Arrested? Call us . . .
If you are accused of failure to register in Nevada under NRS 179D.550, call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) today. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can meet with you for free to discuss whether we may get the charge reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed completely.
For information on California laws for failing to register as a sex offender, go to our article on California laws for failure to register as a sex offender (Penal Code 290 PC).