Complying with Texas Sex Offender Registration Requirements

.If you live in Texas and have been convicted of a sex crime such as possession or distribution of child pornography, you will most likely have to register as a sex offender with the state’s database. Often, registration is a requirement for parole or release from prison, and the length of registration can vary from a short period to life.

Neglecting to comply with your registration requirements can have long-term and serious consequences, so it’s a good idea to consult an attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your best interests.

Public Information Available through the Texas Sex Offender Registry

The Texas Sex Offender Registry, which began in 1991, is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS). The Registry includes information about convicted individuals whose offenses date back as early as 1970.

If you are required to register as a sex offender, you will be assigned a risk level upon release from jail or when you are placed on community supervision. The risk level indicates TXDPS’ interpretation of your threat to the community and is visible to the public. The three risk levels are:

    1. Low danger; unlikely to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
    2. Moderate danger; may engage in criminal sexual conduct.
    3. High danger; will engage in criminal sexual conduct.

 

While some of your personal information in the Registry is available to the public, much of it is not. A full list of publicly available information is below. Although the burden is typically on the public to search for sex offenders in their area, sometimes TXDPS directly notifies residents and school administrators of nearby high-threat sex offenders.

How to Comply with Texas Sex Offender Registry Requirements

When you register, you’ll need to provide the following specific information (asterisked items are visible to the public)

    • Full name*
    • Aliases
    • Address*
    • Telephone
      number
    • Fingerprints
    • Date of birth*
    • Sex*
    • Race*
    • Ethnicity*
    • Height
      and weight*
    • Hair and eye color*
    • Shoe size and width*
    • Social
      security number
    • Driver’s license number
    • Type of
      offense*
    • Age and sex of the victim*
    • Date of conviction*
    • Punishment
      or sentence received*
    • Current status (discharged, paroled, etc.)*
    • Business
      or other licenses held
    • Employment status

 

In addition to the asterisked items, the following information will be available to the public:

    • Risk level
    • Projected ending registration date
    • Verification requirement (how often you are required to update your information)
    • Registration and verification history
    • Photographs

 

Failure to provide this information in the mandatory timeframe is a felony, so it’s wise to consult your attorney to make sure you understand all of the requirements.

Additional Requirements

Be mindful that registration alone does not fulfill requirements for convicted sex offenders in Texas. You will also be forbidden from entering designated child safety zones, such as schools, playgrounds and day cares.

After your initial registration, you’ll need to periodically update your information. The frequency of updates generally depend on the severity of your conviction and can range from one a year to every thirty days. If you move or if you travel frequently, you must provide your new address and travel plans to law enforcement within seven days.

Juvenile Registrants on the Texas Sex Offender Registry

Unlike adults, juvenile offenders cannot have a lifelong registration. They must register for whichever is longer: ten years or until the term of their disposition is completed.

Juveniles also have a greater chance of early exemption from the registry. While it is not impossible for adults to receive an exemption, it is typically awarded to younger offenders. Anyone on the registry, however, may apply for sex offender deregistration–a long process that is best completed with the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

With more than 27 years of experience, Houston criminal defense attorney George Murphy will be honored to represent you through the often-complex process of maintaining compliance with the Texas Sex Offender Registry.

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