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Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements: Where a Small Misstep Can Have Major Consequences


If you have been convicted of a crime which requires placement on Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registry, your troubles may be just beginning. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) has very strict guidelines and duties that reach every aspect of the offender’s life. Though you are briefed about your duties under the registry when you are placed on it, and have some things explained to you every time you register, it is easy to fail to completely adhere to the requirements of the registry and then find yourself in deep trouble.

The frequency on which you must report and register differs depending on whether you are placed on the 10 year, 25 year, or lifetime SORNA registry. The registrant must update their name, social security number, each and every residence, each and every employer, where they attend school, and the license plate and description of all vehicles owned and operated by the offender. It seems simple enough on its face, but compliance with these requirements is often quite draconian. Stay too many nights at a friend or girlfriend’s house, borrow a friend’s car a few too many times, have some part time work of a short term duration, and fail to include them as part of your registration, and you can find yourself facing incarceration for a significant period of time.

If you think the penalty for failing to comply with these terms to the letter is just a slap on the wrist, you would be sorely mistakenly. The charge of “Failure to Comply with Registry Requirements” under 18 Pa. C.S.A. 4915, is a Felony 1 with an Offense Gravity Score of 10 (on a scale of 1 – 14). That means someone charged with this offense is facing a statutory maximum of 20 years in jail, and a standard range minimum of at the very least 22 months before being eligible for parole depending on their prior record. The standard range minimum is far likely to be higher than 22 months due to the fact that the offense that landed them on the registry in the first place is likely going to add points to their prior record. For perspective, other charges deemed just as serious with an Offense Gravity Score of 10 are arson with a person inside the building, killing someone in a motor vehicle accident while drunk, Possession with Intent to Deliver between a half a kilogram and a kilogram of cocaine, and kidnapping.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for failure to comply with Sex Offender Registration requirements, or even if you are just confused as to what your registration requirements are, you need to know that this is an incredibly serious matter that needs addressed immediately. Attorney Frank Walker has years of experience dealing with offenders placed on the registry, and knows the ins and outs of Pennsylvania’s SORNA requirements. It’s not worth the risk to your freedom to just wing it. Call Walker Law at (412) 212-3878 today to set up a consultation!