Must Sex Offenders in Texas Always Be Registered?

Being charged with a sex crime is a very serious matter. It can have a negative impact on everything from where you live, to where you work, and even your ability to find employment. That’s why it’s important to know: If you’re charged as a sex offender, will you always be considered a sex offender?

This question depends on the exact crime with which you have been charged. While some crimes demand sex offender status for life, meaning you will be registered as a sex offender until the day you die, others do not have as long of a duration.

Duration of Sex Offender Registration

For some crimes you may only have to register as a sex offender for ten years, while in other situations you may be able to avoid registration all together due to “individual risk assessment.” Individual risk assessment consists of a process in which the state court looks at your criminal record in order to decide if you are likely to remain a danger to the public and repeat the offense.

According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, individual risk assessment has the potential to terminate your status earlier than scheduled. This can occur after an individual files a motion with a trial court to conduct an individual risk assessment, which is then granted.

Texas Sex Offender Registration

The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program requires sex offenders to register their name, address, photo, and the nature of their offense with local law enforcement. Once registered, this information is made available to the public at large. Those who do not follow these requirements are subject to a warrant for their arrest. They may also receive additional charges.

For an adult sex offender (age 17 and up) registration as a sex offender will last ten years for the below offenses so long as they comply. However, this time period does not begin until after they have finished their parole, community supervision, state supervision, or jail sentence. Sex crimes requiring 10-year registration include:

  • Indecent Exposure, Second Offense
  • Online Solicitation of a Minor
  • Prostitution of Persons Under the Age of 18

Aggravated Convictions Lead to Lifelong Registration

Those who commit a sex crime involving a child, violence or both must be registered as a sex offender for life. This includes charges such as:

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Child Pornography
  • Compelling Prostitution by a Minor
  • Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
  • Human Trafficking
  • Indecency with a Child by Exposure
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Performance by a Child

An exception often exists for juvenile sex offenders, those under the age of 17. Juvenile offenders are often permitted to register as a sex offender for 10 years after the disposition of their case or after completing the terms of their disposition, whichever occurs later. However, if the crime is one that would warrant life registration for an adult, they may also be required to do the same.

Ceja Law Firm PLLC Can Help

The best way to avoid having to register as a sex offender is to avoid being found guilty of a sex crime in the first place. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Texas sex crime defense attorney. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the serious nature of such a charge and strive to have your sex crime reduced or even dropped. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!