When Do Criminal Charges Require Registration As A Sex Offender In Texas?
Mandatory sex offender registration is a scare but often misunderstood prospect for criminal defendants in Texas. The Texas Sex Offender Registry information on those convicted or charged with certain sex offenses, or crimes involving children. The sex offender registry – in Texas and all states – exists to inform and protect the public against people that have a sex crime on their record and could potentially reoffend.
While the Sex Offender Registration Program under Chapter 62 of the Texas Penal Code serves an important social and safety function, it can pose an immense burden to defendants charged with these crimes. Having one’s name on the sex offender registry limits where a person can work, live, travel, and even walk. Most sex offenders must report at least once a year, and provide updates any time they change addresses or jobs. Further, any violation of the program’s terms can lead to new legal issues and even felony charges.
Offenses that Require Registration as a Sex Offender in Texas
Timeframes for registration as a sex offender in Texas can vary depending on the nature of the offense. Some crimes – where there was no sexual contact – only require registration for 10 years, while more serious crimes require lifetime registration. Crucially, registration as a sex offender begins after a person has served their sentence (probation, incarceration, parole, etc.), meaning that the clock does not start ticking until later than a person may think.
Some of the crimes requiring 10-year registration include:
- Indecency with a child
- Unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping of a minor
- Soliciting a minor online
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit a sex offense
- Multiple indecent exposure offenses
A person may be required to register for life for any of the following offenses:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sex trafficking
- Possession, production, or distribution of child pornography
- Aggravated kidnapping (with intent to commit a sex crime)
- Burglary (with intent to commit a sex crime)
- Continuous child sexual abuse
When to Call a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney in a Sex Offense Case
The Texas Sex Offender Registry makes convictions for sex crimes far different than convictions for the crimes. In addition to incarceration, parole, and/or probation, a person must face the consequences of being on a sex offender registry for 10 years to life.
This can impact a person’s life in many ways, some of which you’d rather not face. To avoid or minimize these potential consequences, you must present a strong and vigorous defense when charged with any type of sex offense in Texas. At Keith B. French Law, our Pearland criminal lawyers understand that you are entitled to tell your side of the story, and have your own legal rights to assert in a criminal case. Even in cases where there may have been some level of responsibility, a reduction in charges or plea to an alternative charge can help a person avoid the long-term damage of being registered as a sex offender.