One of the penalties for sex crimes in Texas includes being entered into the sex offender registry. The registry is a database of personal information about every person who has been classified as a sex offender. In most cases, this information is permanently stored in the registry. The registry is searchable by anyone who wishes to view its contents.
Of course, being entered into the sex offender registry can have serious consequences for the people who are listed in its database. They may be unable to obtain certain jobs and the may be the subject of public disgrace.
How The Registry Works
When someone is convicted of a sex crime, the consequences may include mandatory inclusion in the sex offender database. Some of the crimes for which sex offender registration may be required include:
- Sexual Assault
- Kidnapping of a Person Under 17 Years of Age
- Sexual Abuse of a Child
A convicted person’s information is entered into the database for the purposes of monitoring that individual. This monitoring is intended to prevent that person from entering into situations where they may commit another offense.
Registration Process and Offender Monitoring
After a person is convicted of a sexually-based offense, they may have to serve a sentence in jail or prison. Upon their release, they will typically be expected to report to a monitoring authority. In many cases, the monitoring authority is the local police department.
In Texas, anyone convicted of a sexual offense must report to the local police station within seven days of being released from incarceration. They must report and deliver:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residence
Anyone in this situation who works at or attends a college or university must report this information to campus security at their school. They must also report all changes of address to the local police within seven days.
Anyone registered as a sex offender who visits another area three or more times in one month or visits for more than 48 hours must report to the local police in that area.
Additionally, registered offenders must report to their local police office once every 30 days, 90 days or once per year. The reporting frequency is typically based on the nature of the offense. Offenders must also obtain a yearly renewable Texas driver’s license or ID within 30 days of their release. They must renew this license for the remainder of their period of registration.
Length of Registration
The length of time for which the registration period is valid can vary based on the nature of the offense. For some offenses, the defendant will be required to register for the next 10 years following their discharge from incarceration. Some of these offenses include:
- Indecent Exposure
- Compelling Prostitution
- Online Solicitation of a Minor
However, some convictions may result in mandatory lifetime registration. In fact, the crimes listed above may also lead to lifetime registration if they are repeat offenses or if they are committed along with another sexually-based offense.
Failure to comply with the registration requirements could result in parole violation. If this happens, an arrest warrant can be issued, parole could be revoked and a jail or prison sentence could be immediately reinstated.
Texas issues tough punishments for crimes of a sexual nature. For this reason, it’s important to hire a good lawyer as soon as accusations are made or charges are filed. An attorney may be able to use evidence to show the defendant’s innocence or point out flaws in the prosecution’s case.
For example, an attorney could argue that the defendant is not guilty of sexual assault by introducing evidence showing that the defendant was not at the scene of the crime when the alleged victim claimed to have been assaulted. Witness statements, receipts and camera footage may back up this strategy.
If the alleged victim is a child, the defense attorney may argue that children can be encouraged by adults to make false accusations. This may be especially important if defendant’s ex-spouse was seeking revenge or trying to obtain sole custody.
Facing sex crime charges in Texas alone can be a tough road. Hiring a good attorney is the first step towards creating a strong legal defense. Contact the The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp today. We will fight to protect your rights and preserve your future. Call 713-868-6100 or email for a free, confidential consultation.