Houston sex crime defense attorney Neal Davis walks you through the process
If you're convicted of a sex offense in Texas, you might have to register as a sex offender. The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry requires sex offenders to provide personal information to law enforcement.
Here's what you need to know about registering as a sex offender in Texas:
Qualifying Sex Offenses
The first thing you need to know about registering as a sex offender is whether you have to register. Texas law 62.001 has a list of qualifying offenses. A qualifying offense is called a reportable adjudication or conviction.
Qualifying offenses include most types of sex crimes including indecency with a child by contact, indecency with a child by exposure, sexual assault, child pornography and kidnapping with the intent to commit a sexual offense.
In addition to qualifying convictions from Texas, if you're convicted of a similar law in another state or a military law, you must also register as a sex offender in Texas.
How To Register as a Sex Offender in Texas
To register, you go to the law enforcement department in your city. If you don't live in a city, you go to the county's law enforcement agency. In most cases, you will have to provide them with some of the following information:
- Eye color
- Hair color
- Social Security number
- Driver's license number
- A description of what your residence looks like
- Shoe size
- Home number
- Work number
- Cell phone number
- Status of whether you're on probation or parole
- Business or professional licenses that you have or that you've applied for
- Employment status
- Education status
- Vehicle information
- Names or IDs that you use online
In addition, every time you move, have a job change or change your demographic information, you must update your registration. If you move, you must notify law enforcement at your current address seven days before your move. Then, you have up to seven days after the move to register at your new address. You'll need to provide proof of your new address.
If you move outside Texas, you must still report to your current location within seven days before you move. You have up to 10 days after your arrival to report in your new location. In addition to moving, you must report any changes in your online identification names, changes in your employment, health or education status within seven days of the change.
In addition to reporting at your primary location, if you're present in a secondary location for more than 48 consecutive hours more than three times a month, you must report in that location as well.
Even if your information doesn't change, you may be required to make periodic updates. How often you have to give a status update depends on the circumstances of your offense and your criminal history. Offenders deemed the most dangerous have to register every 30 days. Offenders with two or more sexually violent offenses must register every 90 days. Everyone else registers once per year if their information doesn't change.
For How Long Do I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may have to register for 10 years or up to life. It depends on the offense.
If you register for 10 years, the 10-year period starts when you complete probation or parole.
Registered Sex Offender Limitations
In Texas, there are no statewide laws that prohibit registered sex offenders from going places that children frequent. However, your probation and parole may limit you from going certain places like schools or playgrounds.
Also, if you enter a school, you must immediately tell school officials about your status as a sex offender. In addition, local laws may create restrictions.
What To Do When Facing Sex Offender Registration
Being forced to register as a sex offender in Texas can have numerous negative consequences on housing, employment and your freedom.
No matter what you're charged with, you have the right to a fair and aggressive criminal defense. If you're facing a sex offense, Houston criminal defense attorney Neal Davis can help you understand the charges you're facing and explore options for you best defense.
A sex offense is a serious matter. Let Neal help you aggressively pursue your defenses and work to reach the best possible outcome in your case.