When a person in Texas is convicted of certain sex offenses, they may also then be required to register as a sex offender within the state. This requirement is designed to protect the public from the "dangers" posed by sex offenders to the community in which they live. As part of this, there are significant requirements imposed on the offender to report, and these requirements can be very long-lasting. Failure to abide by all of the rules can be a new criminal violation and could result in more time in prison.
You deserve the best representation possible to avoid problems relating to your sex offender status. The Law Office of E. Jason Leach is dedicated to defending the rights of the accused. If you need a strong criminal defense in the Odessa, Texas area, the Law Office of E. Jason Leach is ready to help.
Odessa, Texas Solicitation Lawyer
E. Jason Leach focuses exclusively on criminal defense law and has been doing so for over a decade. Since 2005, he has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of those accused of crimes. He is a Texas board-certified expert in criminal defense and believes that all clients are entitled to the most vigorous defense possible.
People accused of a crime have constitutional rights that deserve to be protected. A criminal conviction can place an incredibly heavy burden on your life, but you do not have to simply accept the charges against you. You can fight back and work to avoid the difficulties of a criminal conviction. With the right help at your side, you can move forward confident that your rights are protected.
Sex Offender Registration
Registration is required when a person is convicted of certain sex offenses in the state of Texas. If one of the crimes listed is the crime you were convicted of, you will be obligated to register as a sex offender and comply with the requirements of your registration. There are over 20 types of criminal offenses that can require sex offender registration.
- continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children
- indecency with a child
- sexual assault
- aggravated sexual assault
- prohibited sexual conduct
- aggravated promotion of prostitution
- compelling prostitution
- sexual performance by a child
- possession or promotion of child porn
- aggravated kidnapping with into to abuse the victim sexually
- burglary if committed with intent to sexually abuse victim
- unlawful restraint or kidnapping with intent to sexually abuse victim
- indecent exposure (second violation)
- online solicitation of a minor
- trafficking of persons
- continuous trafficking of persons
- any "sexually violent offense"
As laws change, this list can change. If you were convicted of a crime that you think may subject you to registration requirements, check with your attorney as soon as possible to make sure you are complying with Texas law.
Length of Registration
The amount of time a person will have to register as a sex offender varies depending on the severity of the crime. More serious sex crimes require lifetime registration as a sex offender. Less serious crimes may require a registration period of 10 years or more.
The specific time for which you are required to register should be told to you during sentencing, but if you are unclear, it is crucial that you contact an experienced attorney to figure this out. Violation of your registration requirements, even when accidental, can lead to a whole host of new trouble for you.
A person who is required to register as a sex offender is subject to very onerous requirements that must be strictly adhered to or they risk committing a new criminal offense. These requirements include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Access to Internet: Sex offenders who committed an internet-based crime may be banned from creating social media profiles and other internet restrictions.
- Residency Restrictions: Many sex offenders have limited housing options. They may need to reside a certain distance away from schools, daycares, parks, and playgrounds.
- Community Event Restrictions: Often, sex offenders will be prohibited from participating in certain community events because of their status.
- Ownership of Firearms: Texas law requires anyone convicted of a felony lose their Second Amendment right to own and bear arms. This prohibition ends five years after completing the full sentence for a felony conviction.
- Travel Restrictions: Registered sex offenders may have to remain in a specific location or obtain special permission to travel outside of their home state.
- Employment Restrictions: Nearly all sex offenders will face some employment restrictions that prohibit them from certain jobs. Some professional licensing boards will not grant licenses to convicted sex offenders.
- Contact with Children: A sex offender who committed crimes against children could be required to find housing that does not contain children, even their own.
- Voting Restrictions: A convicted sex offender who committed a felony sex offense may lose their voting rights until the completion of their probation or registry requirement.
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Penalties in Texas
A failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements is a crime in and of itself. Depending on the underlying felony, i.e., the felony you were charged with that caused your registration, the penalty can vary depending on that underlying felony. The punishment for failure to comply can result in a state jail felony, second-degree felony, or a third-degree felony.
A failure to comply can result from any failure to follow the rules of your sex offender registration, including, but not limited to:
- failure to register a new address
- failure to update personal information
- internet access violations
- child proximity violations
- travel restriction violations
- violations related to proximity to a school or other protected areas
Multiple offenses of failure to comply will make the offense even more severe, including up to a first-degree felony, which can carry from 5 to 99 years in prison.
Consult an Experienced Odessa Sex Offender Registration Lawyer
If you or someone you care about is required to register as a sex offender in Odessa, TX or the surrounding areas, you need a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to fight for your constitutional rights.
You have the right to fight back against charges of failure to comply. The Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC is ready to help you defend your case. To set up a free consultation, contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach today at (432) 552-7000.