In fact, the public can know many details beyond a name and address.
Sex offender registration is all about alerting the public to a convicted sex offender’s presence and status in a community. The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry was set up in 1991 to establish the procedures as part of Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
A convicted sex offender’s information is made available to the public via the Texas Public Sex Offender Website, which is managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. That website is the designated repository for sex offender registration information for the state of Texas.
If you must register as a sex offender in Texas, all of the information required of you could be accessed by anyone by using this website.
The process starts with the sex offender registering with their local law enforcement agency. In Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County, that would be a police department. But in small municipalities with no local police available, it could be a sheriff’s office, a constable’s office or other law enforcement agencies.
Sex Offender Registration: What Information is Public?
As for what the public can know about a sex offender, this freely available information can vary by jurisdiction but typically includes the following:
- Name and aliases
- Current address
- Physical description (height, weight, etc.)
- Date of birth
Sex Offender Registration: What Information is Required to Register?
As for what information is required upon registration, this too can vary by state but commonly includes the offender’s:
- Full name
- Aliases or nicknames (including online identifiers)
- Birth date
- Eye color
- Hair color
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Shoe size
- Address where they live or intend to live
- Home, work and cell phone number
- Job status
Most sex offenders must also provide a recent color photo as well as information about the type of offense for which the person was convicted. The age of the victim, the date of the conviction and the punishment received may also be requested.
Other information that may be requested include any indication of whether the person is discharged, paroled or released on juvenile probation, community supervision or mandatory supervision; any indication of licenses held or sought by the offender; if the offender is a student, indication of the public or private institution of education where he or she is enrolled.
As you can see, a substantial amount of information is required of a person who must register as a sex offender. Also, any changes in the information provided must be promptly reported to update their registration.
For instance, if the offender moves elsewhere, then the registration process must be updated in that community. Also required is an indication if the offender spends time consistently in another area, even without moving there.
Keep in mind that failure to comply with Texas sex offender registration rules is a serious offense with severe punishments.
Your awareness of how much the public can know about sex offenders in Texas can guide you in planning your defense of a sex crime. Let an experienced sex crime defense attorney with our law firm help. Contact us today for a case review.