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Texas Sexual Offense Punishments: What a Child Sex Crime Conviction Really Costs

Long-term consequences of a child sex offense charge in Texas

Child sex offense convictions are some of the most devastating criminal punishment in Texas. In addition to facing substantial prison time, sex offenders face some of the most severe penalties of all criminal offenders in America.

Continue reading to learn what a sex offense charge might cost you.

Residence Restrictions

One of the most well-known restrictions for child sex offenders is the rule regarding where you can live. Texas law § 508.187 prevents registered sex offenders from living near a child safety zone. These include schools, day care centers, youth centers and athletic facilities for children. Sex offenders also can't live within a certain distance of the minor victim in their case.

Activity Restrictions

There are also significant restrictions on what you can do and what activities you are allowed to engage in. For instance, most registered child sex offenders cannot join athletic, civic or cultural activities that involve minors. In most cases, they also cannot go anywhere near schools, playgrounds, public swimming pools or video arcades.

Limited employment and career options

With a sex offense conviction, your career options are immediately limited. Teaching certification applications are handled on a case by case basis, and it is difficult (sometimes impossible) for an applicant with a sex offense to get approved.

Even if you are approved, finding a school to hire you is a challenge to say the least. Having a child sex offense conviction on your record is similarly challenging if you wish to work at or own a daycare. Even medical professionals and attorneys must pass certain character requirements, and a sex offense conviction can stand in the way of getting any sort of state license.

child sex offense punishments

Sex offender registration

If found guilty and convicted of a sex offense, a defendant will have to join the Texas Sex Offender Registry. Texas law requires parole officers to make the convicted person register as part of their release from custody and re-register with local law enforcement each time they move. Registered sex offenders must also periodically verify that your address is still good.

DNA sample

Sex offenders must also provide a DNA sample to law enforcement. Law enforcement keeps this information in a database to check as they investigate crimes. Not only is this a significant deprivation of freedom, but it can also lead to false charges in the future.

Firearm restrictions

Texas law prohibits sex offenders from lawfully possessing a firearm for a period of time after their incarceration or probation. For both felony and class A misdemeanor offenses, a person with a conviction cannot lawfully possess a firearm for five years after they're released from jail or from probation or parole, whichever is later.

In the case of a felony conviction, even after the five-year period passes, the convicted person can only have the firearm at their residence.


If you are a sex offender and in the country illegally, you may face deportation. You can face severe penalties if you try to re-enter the country illegally.

Other conditions of release

Sex offenders can find themselves subject to a long list of additional conditions for supervised release. These conditions can include:

  • No internet. Offenders may not be allowed to use the internet after your conviction. They may also have restrictions that are specific to social media.

  • Mandatory treatment. Lawmakers and the courts often believe that sex offenders need treatment. For that reason, sex offenders may have significant counseling requirements as part of their release. They will likely have counseling specific to sex offenders, and may also have to go to counseling to address substance abuse or other concerns. The payment for these mandatory services will come out of the defendant’s pocket.

  • No contact orders. Offenders will probably be restricted from having contact with the victim until their supervision ends completely. This means avoiding any kind of communication with the victim. They will also likely have orders that prevent them from going to the victim’s home or work.

Defending against child sex offense charges

With the severity of penalties for a sex crime conviction in Texas, you owe it to yourself to do everything that you can to defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law if you stand accused. This is a serious matter. The consequences of a sex crime conviction are enough to change your life forever.

If you are facing a sex offense charge, contact Houston sex offense crime attorney Neal Davis and his skilled legal team for a free evaluation of your case.

TX Personal Injury Law

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He focused on listening and helping, not just explaining his fees
Client needed representation for a child sex abuse case that was complex and needed an attorney who understood the full extent of the law.

" Neal represented our son and the case against him was dismissed, while other attorneys we consulted primarily focused on explaining their fees and pushed us to settle. Neal took time to understand our needs and truly appreciate our values and to convey to the Court, the District Attorney and the Judge the true essence of the case details and the circumstances of how our son was himself victimized, versus treating us as another case. He saw the case through to the utmost extent of the law, so our son, who is an honor student, was completely exonerated, and he made sure that support and professional help were in place during the experience. He declined the court's offer of a 2-year probation and pushed harder with the D.A. even though we had already paid him his fees. Most attorneys would have simply walked away at that point; however, Neal wasn't satisfied with the results and had the case reset since he knew it was not a fair result for my son. In the end, the case was dismissed. "

Sex Crimes • Houston • Rating: 5.0/5
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Muy satisfechos con su trabajo
Dismissal of two online charges

" Estamos muy satisfechos con su representacion en el caso de nuestro sobrino. Siempre obtuvimos respuestas a todas nuestras preguntas, y acceso a ustedes sin ningun problema. El caso se resolvio satisfactoriamente y en una forma muy rapida. Gracias!"

Online Solicitation • Conroe • Rating: 5.0/5
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He doesn't give up, no matter what you're up against
Client's child sex abuse case was dismissed

" This man saved my life from false imprisonment. Neal's belief in 'liberty and justice for all' as laid out in the Constitution of the United States, and especially as that principle relates to constitutional rights regarding the receipt of a fair trial, coupled with his refusal to quit fighting, are attributes of a noble spirit and a man of high character. When I interviewed Neal to defend me against very serious false accusations and criminal charges that followed, his candor about what I was up against and his real interest in my general welfare made choosing him to defend me a 'no brainer.' Hiring Neal after hearing Dick DeGuerin say 'Neal is a real fighter' was the best decision I could have made and this was after interviewing a number of attorneys. He cares about people, truth, and justice; an attorney who will not give up; a man who will defend the rights of anyone accused of a crime with every fiber of his being to ensure fairness and the protection of our legal rights."

Sex Crimes • Houston • Rating: 5.0/5

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