Like other states, Texas maintains a sex offender registry where the information of those who have been convicted of certain sex crimes is stored. The purpose of the sex offender registry is to protect the general public from sex offenders who may be likely to engage in criminal activities of a sexual nature even after their release from incarceration.
Because one must register as a sex offender after completing their jail or prison sentence, the effects of a sex crime conviction can persist for years or even for the rest of someone’s life.
Most Sex Offenders Must Register for Life
Texas takes sex crimes very seriously, and those convicted of most sex crimes may be looking at a lifetime requirement to register as sex offenders after they are released from prison.
The following offenses require lifetime sex offender registration in Texas:
- Indecency with a child
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual performance by a child
- Aggravated kidnapping if the intent was to commit a sex crime
- Burglary if the intent was to commit a sex crime
- Human/child sex trafficking
- Compelling child prostitution
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Possession or promotion of obscene material of children younger than 18
Some Sex Offenders Must Register for 10 Years
Not all sex crimes entail a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. Other offenses that require one to register as a sex offender maintain this requirement for 10 years.
The following are some of those offenses:
- Indecent exposure involving a child (first offense; lifetime for a second offense)
- Unlawful restraint or kidnapping of a child under the age of 17 (first offense; lifetime for a second offense)
- A second offense of indecent exposure involving an adult
- Soliciting a minor online
- Certain instances of statutory rape
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit a sex crime
What Does It Mean to Register as a Sex Offender?
If someone is required to register as a sex offender in Texas, information about them and their whereabouts is maintained in an online database that is searchable by the public.
Anyone can access the following from the sex offender registry:
- Offender’s name, including aliases
- Offender’s current or known addresses
- Details about the offender’s conviction
- Color photographs of the offender
Convicted sex offenders must provide local law enforcement with a week’s notice if they intend to visit somewhere for more than a week. If a sex offender wishes to move, they must re-register within a week of completing their move, especially if they are moving from one county to another. Some lifetime sex offenders must update and verify their information every 90 days.
Failing to register as a sex offender is a felony punishable by anywhere between 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison.
Are You Facing the Sex Offender Registry?
If you are accused of a sex crime, chances are you may be required to register as a sex offender if convicted of the alleged violation. You can decrease the odds of conviction by getting help from a competent lawyer like ours at The Alband Law Firm.