By: Mark Diaz
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How Being On Sexual Offender Registry In Texas Can Impact Your Life
Like many crimes, being convicted of a sex crime can get you jail time, fines, probation, and more, including being identified as a sexual offender. However, after a convicted sex offender gets out of prison, you will need to register with the local sex offender registry. Being on a sex offender registry has devastating consequences for your life. Therefore, it is best to avoid being convicted of such a severe charge if at all possible.
Below are some ways being on the sex offender registry in Texas can affect your life. You also will learn about other critical aspects of the Texas sex offender registry and sex crimes. In addition, if you have been charged with a sex crime, you must talk to a Galveston County sex crime defense lawyer today.
Texas Sex Offender Registration Program
The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program requires convicted sex offenders to register with the law enforcement agency in the community in which they reside. When you register with this database, there are three risk levels:
- Low risk offenders who pose a low risk of committing another crime
- Moderate risk offenders that pose a moderate risk of committing another crime
- High risk offenders that pose a serious risk of committing another crime
The database has the following information about the offender:
- Physical description
- Date of birth
- Contact address
- Level of risk
- Conviction details
However, the registry may not include your Social Security number, driver’s license information, phone number, or the address of your employer. This provides you with at least some level of privacy.
Consequences Of Being On The Sexual Offender Registry
It does not matter why you were convicted of a sex offense. Once you have been convicted, you are named a sex offender. You must register and stay registered until a court states you can be removed. However, some sex offenders must be registered on the list for life.
Some of the severe consequences of being a registered sex offender are:
Sexual Offender Registration Requirements
The original sex offender registry was created for use by federal law enforcement. Today, every state has a sex offender database to track registered offenders. So, whenever you want to move to another state, you must register in the database. Also, you are subject of the new state’s laws for registered offenders.
Restrictions On Residency
Most states prevent you from living within a specified distance of places children gather, including parks, schools, playgrounds, and daycare centers. So, it can be challenging to obtain housing that fulfills these requirements.
Restrictions On Where You Work
Texas limits where you can work if you are a registered sex offender. For example, you may not work in schools, spas and salons, clothing stores, and occupations where you are in a position of power.
Losing Child Custody
No matter your sex crime conviction, your ex-partner can use your registration to prevent custody of your children. The argument is you are a danger to the child.
Reductions In Privacy
The registry is designed to track where you are and what you are doing. So, it is difficult to have complete privacy ever again. For either 10 years or life, you will have to tell law enforcement where you live and much more about your life that you normally wouldn’t have to.
Intolerance And Prejudice
When you are a registered sex offender, your friends, family, and neighbors may not want to have anything to do with you. Also, a 2005 study revealed that 20% of surveyed sex offenders had property damage because people retaliated against them. Some registered sex offenders have been assaulted, as well. In a few cases, murders have even been committed.
Texas Sex Crime Definitions
There is no one definition of a sex crime in this state. In fact, sex offenses have unique definitions based on what type of sex offense it is classified as. See below for some of the sexual offenses and the respective definitions for Texas.
- Indecent exposure: Occurs when you expose your anus or part of the genitals with the intent to gratify the sexual desires of any person, and you are reckless about whether another person present will be alarmed or offended by the act.
- Public lewdness: This is when people have sex in a public location. Or, if you are not in public, you are reckless about whether anyone else is present and would be alarmed or offended.
- Online solicitation of a minor: This crime happens when someone using electronic media solicits a minor (younger than 17 years of age). Even if the meeting did not occur, you could still be convicted of this offense.
- Indecency with a child involves engaging in sexual contact with a child or causing the child to engage in sexual contact.
- Sexual assault of a child: This crime involves sexual penetration of a child.
- Sexual assault of an adult. This crime happens if you engage in sexual contact with an adult against their will.
Types Of Texas Sex Offender Registration
Your sex offender registration can be for 10 years or life. If there was no sexual contact, you might have a 10-year requirement. However, where contact occurs involving a child, lifetime registration is almost always required.
If your sex offender registration requirement is ‘only’ 10 years, you may think you got off easy. However, this means 10 years after you complete your sentence. For example, if you get deferred adjudication for 10 years, you register as a sex offender as a deferment condition for the initial 10 years. When those 10 years are over, you still need to register for an additional 10 years.
What Is The Necessary Verification For A Texas Registered Sex Offender?
Within seven days of arriving in the city or county in which you plan to reside, you must report to local law enforcement that you are there. When you do this initial reporting, a registration form will be handed to you to fill out. Within that form, you’ll be required to provide some detailed information about yourself including but not limited to, your name, your date of birth, your sex, race, a recent photograph will be taken, details of your offense, employment, aliases (if any), eye and hair color, height and weight, social media accounts, etc. Within a week of filling out this form, you will; have to return to the local law enforcement you initially reported to and prove your identity and your residence status. You’ll also be required to signed the verification form, likely.
How Often Do You Need To Register
Most registered sex offenders only need to register annually, or once a year. However, some offenders are required to report every 90 days and this will be assessed based on your risk level and number of previous convictions you have.
What Are The Requirements If You Take A Trip?
If you spend more than 48 consecutive hours on at least 3 occasions during any month somewhere, then the law requires you report yourself to that location’s local law enforcement, in addition to where you reside typically.
How Does The Registry Affect Your Texas Driver’s License?
Registering as a sex offender means you must renew your license annually until your duty to register has expired.
Can Your Name Ever Be Removed?
Deregistration from the sex offender registry is unlikely, but it is possible in Texas. You have to fall under a certain set of specifically laid out scenarios we will walk you through here. Articles 62.401 through 62.408 to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure govern deregistration from the sex offender registry. First, a person may only be eligible for deregistration if they only have one reportable conviction or adjudication. Second, deregistration is only possible if their minimum registration length exceeds the minimum registration period under the federal law.
Talk To A Galveston County Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Now
If you are charged or have been convicted of a sex crime in Texas, your life will be turned upside down. Once you get out of prison, you must register as a sex offender. Wherever you go, people will be able to find out about your past. Getting a job, going to school, and finding a place to live can become a nightmare. Fortunately, a Galveston County sex crime defense lawyer may be able to help.
Mark Diaz & Associates proudly serve Galveston, Tiki Island, Jamaica Beach, League City, Texas City, Algoa, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, La Marque, Bayou Vista, Bacliff, Kemah, Clear Lake Shores, Bolivar Peninsula, Dickinson, and San Leon. Contact one of our Galveston County sex crime defense lawyers now at (409) 515-6170.