Sex Offender Registration in Texas
Dallas Defense Lawyer
The state of Texas has instituted the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. This program is meant to provide information related to the procedure used for sex offenders to register as well as serving as a means through which the public can be notified of sex offenders in their area.
What Does Texas Registration Look Like?
Generally, the law requires both adult and juvenile sex offenders to register with the local law enforcement of the city they reside in, or if the sex offender does not live within a city, with the local law enforcement authority of the county. Typical information required of the sex offender at this time is the sex offender’s name, address, color photograph, and the offense of which the sex offender was convicted.
Once registered with the appropriate law enforcement unit, sex offenders must report to the unit periodically to keep their registration information up to date. If a sex offender fails to comply with this requirement, he may face felony prosecution.
Public Notification of Sex Offender Registry in Texas
The second element of the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program is public notification. The practice of public notification is accomplished in a variety of ways.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) works to maintain a statewide sex offender registration database. This database includes all information that has been provided to local law enforcement personnel by the sex offenders who are required to register. This information is legally required by state law to be made available for the public.
- Every local law enforcement authority in the state maintains a separate sex offender registry that includes information on all sex offenders registered with that particular authority. Most of this information is also required to be made available for the public. This may be done through local websites or regular periodicals.
- When a high risk sex offender or a civilly committed sexually violent predator moves into a community, the TXDPS will alert the community through mail. Each residence and business will receive a postcard containing information about the offender.
Exemptions for Some Texas Sex Offenders
In limited circumstances, a sex offender may be exempted from being required to register. Generally, any juvenile sex offender may request exemption through either a court order that would exempt the juvenile from registration or a court order classifying registration information as nonpublic.
If the offender is not a juvenile, an exemption is quite rare. Here, an adult sex offender may request exemption by a court if:
- The offenses resulted in a conviction or deferred adjudication community supervision for indecency with a child or sexual assault;
- The victim was at least 15 years old and the offender was no more than four years older than the victim at the time of the offense; and
- The offense involved consensual conduct.
Penalties for Not Complying with Texas Sex Offender Registry Laws
The state of Texas has listed several charges that a sex offender may face if he fails to comply with the laws. Generally, a person has violated the law when he is required to register, but fails to to do so.
Charges associated with this law depend on the individuals required time frame of which he is required to register with law enforcement. However, the charge will range from a State Jail felony to a Second Degree felony. Also, if the person has previously been convicted of an offense or attempting an offense related to this section, the charge for the offense will be increased to the next highest degree of felony.
Should You Call an Attorney?
Contact an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Our seasoned attorneys will help to answer your questions and provide you with the proper defense.
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