Sex Offender Registration in Houston, TX
Penalties for Sex Crimes
Often a conviction, probation or deferred adjudication for a sex crime involves mandatory registration as a sex offender in Texas. Legally, this is not considered a penalty for the crime, but rather a function of the State’s ability to legislate for the safety of the community. However, the indiividual who is saddled with this requirement understands very clearly the punitive nature of registration. There are many internet sites and apps that target a sex offenders status and registered location. As a result, housing and employment are difficult, if not impossible, for those who register.
If you have been charged with a sex crime and are in danger of being labeled a sex offender, it is strongly recommended you contact a sex crime defense attorney right away. A competent attorney can provide you with legal defense that may result in you avoiding registration.
The Federal Government has also implemented sex offender registration laws and a registrant who travels from State to State will be required to register any any new State in which he decides to settle.
Some of the requirements and implications of registering as a sex offender in the state of Texas are as follows:
- Registration with law enforcement – A convicted sex offender is required to register with their local law enforcement. Such registration details the person’s criminal history, physical characteristics, criminal history, employment information, address, and other pertinent details. Individuals registered as sex offenders must inform law enforcement of any updates to their personal information.
- Public accessibility – The public can access the identity, criminal history, and sex offender classification of an individual who has had to register on both state and federal sex offender registry lists. In addition, law enforcement can release sex offender information to the public when perpetrators are released to the general populace.
- Duration – Depending on certain circumstances, such as the severity of the sex crime committed, a person may have to register as a sex offender for 10 years, or even a lifetime.
- Failure to register – A person who fails to register as a sex offender when required by law can face additional felony charges and associated penalties.
The Sex Offenses that Apply
With continuous changes in the Texas Penal Code through the years, sex offender registration is becoming more and more prevelant. In addition to registration for all sex crimes involving children, a person convicted or receiving probation or deferred adjudication is required to register in cases involving sexual assault, possession of child pornography, promotion of prostitution or even repeated indecent exposure misdemeanor offenses.
Duration of Registration
In the vast portion of cases, a person required to register must do so for life. In certain circumstances, the registration requirement can be limited to ten years. Registration can be shortened by a State District Judge if certain prerequisites are met. If you are facing the possibility of registration, or are attempting to relieve yourself of these requirements call us at Chernoff Law. We can help.