Do I Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Texas Forever?
In the event of being convicted of a sex crime in Texas, not only will you serve time in prison and pay fines and restitution, but you must also register as a sex offender. The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program was established to provide the public and police with information on each registered offender’s whereabouts and restrict where offenders may live, work, or even visit.
One of the most common questions asked by those facing sex crime charges is, “Does a conviction mean I have to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life?”
The answer: it depends on the specific crime.
According to Texas law, lifetime registration as a sex offender is necessary if you are convicted of the following types of sex crimes:
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
- Child sex abuse
- Indecent contact with a child
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Sexual performance by a child
- Compelling prostitution of a minor child
- Aggravated kidnapping with an intent to sexually abuse or assault the victim
- Burglary with an intent to commit sexual abuse or assault
- Human trafficking
- Prohibited sexual conduct
If you are not convicted of any of the sex crimes mentioned above, the sex offender registration period will only last for 10 years.
Fortunately, there are remedies available—such as an “individual risk assessment” through a motion for early termination— for those who are required to register for 10 years and for a lifetime. An individual risk assessment means the state will assess your criminal record and decide whether or not you are likely to commit the crime again or otherwise be a public danger. Once a motion for early termination is granted, the person’s legal obligation to register as a sex offender will come to an end.
However, the best way to avoid registering as a sex offender is to avoid being convicted of a sex crime initially. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., our Plano criminal defense lawyer has obtained more than 200 acquittals and understands what it takes to get the best results possible.
For more information about Texas sex offender registration laws, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.