Arizona Sex Offender Laws and Registry Requirements

People who are convicted of certain sex crimes in Arizona will be required to register on the state’s sex offender registry. Sex offender registration lasts for a lifetime unless the registrant is younger than age 18 at the time of the offense.

If you were convicted of a sex crime in a different state that required you to register as a sex offender and then move to Arizona, you would also have to register in Arizona upon your arrival. Failing to register as a sex offender when required to do so can result in Class 4 felony charges.

People who do not live in Arizona but who have been convicted of sex offenses in other states might still have to register in Arizona in certain situations. For example, if you are registered in a different state and come to Arizona for 14 or more consecutive days or for more than 30 days in a year to attend school, you are required to register as a sex offender in Arizona.

People who work in Arizona for at least 30 days a year must also register as sex offenders on the state’s sex offender registry.

For Immediate Help

If you were required to register as a sex offender following a juvenile adjudication, you would be required to continue registering until you reach age 25 or until the court orders your requirement to end after you complete the terms of juvenile sex offender probation.

Arizona’s Sex Offender Registration Requirements

The sex offender registration requirements are outlined in ARS 13-3821. This statute requires people who have been convicted of any of the following sex crimes to register as sex offenders on the state’s sex offender registry:

  • Unlawful imprisonment of a minor by a non-parent under ARS 13-1303
  • Unlawful taking of a child by a non-parent under ARS 13-1304
  • Sexual abuse of a minor under ARS 13-1404
  • Sexual conduct with a minor under ARS 13-1405
  • Sexual assault under ARS 13-1406
  • Sexual assault of a spouse for offenses committed prior to Aug. 12, 2005
  • Child molestation under ARS 13-1410
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a minor under ARS 13-1417
  • Taking a child for prostitution under ARS 13-3206
  • Child prostitution before Aug. 9, 2017, under ARS 13-3212(A) or (B)
  • Child sex trafficking before Aug. 9, 2017, under ARS 13-3212(A) or (B), paragraphs 1 or 2
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor under ARS 13-3553
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor under ARS 13-3553
  • Luring a minor for sex under ARS 13-3554
  • Indecent exposure to a victim younger than 15 as a second offense under ARS 13-1402
  • Public sexual indecency with a victim younger than age 15 as a second offense under ARS 13-1403(B)
  • Third indecent exposure conviction under ARS 13-1402
  • Third public indecency conviction under ARS 13-1403
  • Failing to meet the registration requirements under ARS 13-3822 or ARS 13-3824
  • Aggravated luring of a minor for exploitation under ARS 13-3560
  • Sexual extortion of a child younger than 15 under ARS 13-1428

You might also be ordered to register if you are convicted of other crimes.

The Registration Process in Arizona

When you are convicted of a sex offense, move, or come to Arizona to work or attend school, you must go to the sheriff’s office in the county in which you live, attend school or work. You must provide your name and contact information no later than 10 days after you are convicted or come to the county with the intent to remain.

If you move or change your name, the change must be reported by you to the sheriff’s office. When you initially register as a sex offender, you will have to pay a fee of $250. You will also have to renew your registration each year at an annual cost of $100 and get a new driver’s license and photo with a current address.

If your name changes or you move somewhere else within the same county, the changes must be reported to the sheriff’s office no later than 72 hours other than on weekends or legal holidays. These changes must be reported by you in person. When you move to a different county, you must notify the move to the sheriff’s office in your previous county and the office in the new county.

You can be charged with failing to register as a sex offender if you miss any of these deadlines or fail to register.

What Are the Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender?

A conviction for failing to register as a sex offender is a Class 4 felony per ARS 13-3824. The penalties you might face will depend on how you violated the registration requirements.

If you fail to complete the annual driver’s license requirement, you will be charged with a Class 6 felony carrying up to one year in jail or probation with no jail for a misdemeanor sex crime or a prison sentence from 4 months to 2 years.

A second conviction can result in prison from 9 months to 2.75 years. A third conviction can result in 2.25 years to 5.75 years.

All other types of violations of the sex offender registry requirements are Class 4 felonies carrying severe penalties.

Defenses to Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

If you are charged with failing to register as a sex offender, few defenses are available. However, your attorney will carefully review what happened to identify any defenses that might be raised.

Two defenses that might be available include the following:

  • You were traveling between two counties and did not stay in either county for 10 or more days.
  • The sheriff’s office made clerical errors, and you did comply with your requirements.

Registered sex offenders often work temporary jobs that require them to travel between states or counties. If you have this type of job or only have a temporary place to stay, you could be charged if you fail to register every time you move.

However, you can defend against this type of charge if you have traveled between counties without staying in either one for 10 or more days. For example, your attorney might be able to ask your employer for documentation to show that you were in the county for nine or fewer days.

If you are out of compliance with your registration requirements, your attorney might help you to properly register and then negotiate with the prosecutor to try to convince them to drop your charges. They might also try to find documentation showing where you were at different times to show that you did not violate the deadlines for reporting your moves or for work in another county.

If a clerk at the sheriff’s department made a clerical error, your lawyer would request records to show that you were compliant and that the clerk simply made an error in their documentation. For example, your attorney might ask for security video, sign-in sheets, and other evidence that could be used to show that you met your reporting requirements.

If you made incriminating statements during a custodial interrogation without being read the Miranda warnings, your lawyer might file a motion asking the court to suppress your statements and any evidence the police subsequently gathered as a result of what you said. Your statements might also be suppressed if the police continued to question you after you asked for a lawyer to represent you.

Any statements or evidence that are found to be inadmissible by a judge at a motion hearing cannot be used by the prosecutor against you to prove your guilt. If some of the evidence is suppressed, you could receive a more favorable plea offer or a dismissal of your charges.

Get Help from your Defense Attorney at Gurion Legal

If you are required to register as a sex offender but are out of compliance or have been charged with failure to register as a sex offender, it is essential for you to get legal help as soon as possible. It is sometimes possible for a lawyer to help you to avoid charges by assisting you with properly registering and talking to the prosecutor.

Your lawyer might also be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to secure a reduced charge or sentence if you have already been charged. If you attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor on your own or represent yourself in court, you are likely to be convicted of the offense as you have been charged.

An experienced sex crimes attorney at Gurion Legal can analyze what has happened in your case and talk to you about the best possible strategies when you are out of compliance or are facing charges of failing to register. Contact our office today for a confidential consultation.

What People Say

Client Testimonials


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September 23, 2019

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Omer is an excellent lawyer. He is known in the legal community as a skilled and prepared attorney. He is a fierce advocate for his clients.

Samantha Knobbe

Criminal Defense Attorney

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