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Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in D.C.

Elements of the Offense

A person living in D.C. who has been convicted of a “registration offense” must register as a sex offender with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) for the District of Columbia.   Specifically, the sex offender must:  (1) provide address and contact information, (2) cooperate with photographing and fingerprinting, (3) report any changes in registration information, including place of residence, (4) periodically verify address and registration information, (5) report moving out of D.C., (6) acknowledge receipt of information on a sex offender’s responsibilities under this statute, and (7) meet with CSOSA officials as necessary.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4014.

A registration offense is defined as any criminal offense under Chapter 30 of the D.C. Crimes Code, including sexual abuse of a child, minor, secondary education student, ward, patient, client or prisoner. It also includes forcible rape, carnal knowledge or statutory rape.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4001(8).  Certain offenses, including first or second degree sexual abuse, forcible rape, and first degree child sexual abuse, require lifetime registration.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4001(6).  Otherwise, the offender is required to maintain registration for 10 years after being placed on probation, parole or supervised release.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4002.


A first-time conviction under this statute is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000. The penalty for a subsequent conviction is 5 years in jail and a $12,500 fine.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-4015.