Cobb County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Every person required to register as sex offender should take the time to read, and memorize, the statute governing the registration requirements in Georgia. This is a very detailed and very complicated law, and the implications of breaking it can be quite serious. A first conviction for failing to register is punishable by 1-30 years, and a second conviction is punishable by 5-30 years.
Failing to Register is a Strict Liability Crime
What this means is that the State does not have to prove any intent on the part of the registrant to violate the law. An offense can be committed completely by accident or by a simple lapse in memory. Yet it can land you in prison for a long time.
Most strict liability laws in Georgia are traffic-related offenses. A driver does not have to intend to leave their lane of travel before causing an accident in order to be proven guilty of failing to maintain their lane. A driver can fail to notice a readily apparent stop sign and be guilty of disobeying a traffic control device.
If there are any other laws in Georgia punishable by up to 30 years in prison for which you don't have to have any particular form of intent, Ben is not aware of them. In other words, the registry law is very serious and needs to be adhered to 100% to avoid any trouble. Particularly if one has any hope of getting removed from the registry in the future, a conviction for failing to register does not help matters at all.
Defending a Failure to Register Charge
If you have been charged with a violation of this nature, you will need an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney like Ben on your side. An attorney must first determine, as with any other criminal charge, whether the State has sufficient evidence to convict you. If so, all hope is not lost. Measures can be taken to argue for dismissal of the charge, reduction of the charge to a misdemeanor, or a resolution that involves only probation and no jail/prison time.
In all of the counties across metro Atlanta, Ben has represented people charged with registry violations. He is available to give you a free consultation on your case as well.