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Back to the Basics – Sex Offender Registration Requirements in Texas

August 31, 2016 By Jeff King

Recently, the Texas Department of Public Safety raised the reward for information about one of Texas’s Most Wanted Sex Offenders to $8,000 provided the tip that leads to the arrest comes during the month of August. Each month, the state of Texas features one offender from the state’s Most Wanted Program in the hopes that an increased award and focus will lead to the capture of the offender. This particular individual is wanted for probation violation and failure to meet Texas’s registration requirements for sex offenders. Many individuals in Texas who are convicted of a sex crime are also required to register as a sex offender with the state’s database. Failure to entirely satisfy registration requirements can result in substantial consequences. As a result for sexual offenders, it is important to understand registration requirements.

When Individuals Must Register As A Sexual Offender

Individuals must register as sexual offenders upon release from prison or entrance into a probation program with the local law enforcement of the area in which the individual lives. Additionally, sexual offenders who move to Texas and sexual offenders who move away from Texas must register as sexual offenders.

Risk Levels

Individuals who are required to register as sexual offenders are assigned a risk level, which is designed to demonstrate the individual’s threat to the community. There are three risk levels with which sexual offenders may be classified, which include the following:

  • Low Danger. As the lowest danger group, individuals in this group are viewed as unlikely to commit criminal sexual conduct.
  • Moderate Danger. Individuals in this group are considered to potentially engage in criminal sexual misconduct.
  • High Danger. These individuals are deemed likely to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

 

Registration Requirements

Individuals who are required to register as sexual offenders must provide the following information:

  • Licenses. An individual must provide information about existing business, occupational, or professional licenses when registering as a sex offender.
  • Livelihood. An individual registering as a sexual offender must provide information about the individual’s intended profession or whether the individual plans on attending an educational institute.
  • Offense Details. Individuals must provide information about the offense with which the person was charged including the age of the victim and the resulting punishment.
  • Online Identification. When registering as a sexual offender, an individual must disclose any online information used by that person.
  • Personal Profile. Individuals must provide certain personal details including name, height, weight, sex, race, eye color, hair color, Social Security number, driver’s license number if applicable, shoe size and address information.
  • Photos and Fingerprints. In registering as a sexual offender, individuals must provide a recent color photograph and copies of the individual’s fingerprints.

 

Additional Requirements For Sex Offenders

There are additional requirements for sex offenders in the state of Texas. In addition to completing all registration requirements, individuals must also avoid entering designated child safety zones including daycares, playgrounds, and schools. Individuals must also make sure to periodically update registration information to reflect any changes.

Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

Not to fall back on a typical lawyerly response but…it depends. A person who has a reportable conviction shall register, not later than the seventh day after the person’s arrival in the municipality or county or the first date the local law enforcement authority of the municipality or county by policy allows the person to register or verify registration, as applicable. Whether you have a “reportable conviction” is a very important question for your attorney. If you don’t have anyone to ask, get one ASAP.

How to Deregister as a Sex Offender

Articles 62.401 through 62.408 to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure govern deregistration from the sex offender registry. A person may only be eligible for deregistration if they only have one reportable conviction or adjudication and if their minimum registration length exceeds the minimum registration period under the federal law.
If you have been charged with an offense that might result in sex offender registration or if you have been registering for years and believe you qualify for deregistration, call Jeff King, Dallas sex crimes attorney, at (469) 399-7001.

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