In Texas, the requirement to register as a sex offender depends on the crime; it may be as short as a few years, or as long as a lifetime. Re-registration to keep the authorities up to date on your location and activities, and can be required annually or, for more serious offenders, every 90 days. You have to provide your name and address, and your registration as a sex offender is publicly available.
Registration can limit and complicate many aspects of your life, including travel. If you are on the registry and spend enough time in a different city, you will have to register there as well. If you remain on the registry, there’s always the chance that you will fail to comply with all the requirements and find yourself facing prosecution for a felony for failure to register as ordered.
Earlier deregistration is possible under two different mechanisms provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure in Texas:
Article 62.301 offers young offenders who have committed only one relatively minor offense the opportunity to petition the court for an order that exempts them from the registration requirements. The petition can be filed any time after the sentencing.
Exemption from the registration requirement is not automatic under Article 62.301. The court holds a hearing and grants the exemption only if it finds all of the following:
In making that decision, the court is allowed to consider any information and evidence that the court thinks will help it reach the right decision. This includes the testimony of the victim and their family, as well as the nature of the relationship between the offender and the victim. Once an order of exemption is granted, it stays in effect unless the court withdraws it upon being notified that the person has been the subject of another conviction.
Texas provides a mechanism for sex offenders other than young adults to end their registration obligation early. The procedure is lengthy and complex, reflecting the state’s concern for the safety of the public. A person trying to get an early termination of the registration requirements must:
At the hearing, the court has the discretion to grant or deny early termination and can consider any evidence relevant to public safety.
Both mechanisms for terminating registration requirements in Texas are technical, and it doesn’t take much for the early termination request to be denied. Your chances of success are increased considerably by enlisting the aid of a Houston sex crimes lawyer who understands the process. You can get the help you need by contacting the Houston, Texas, firm of Mary E. Conn Law.
Mary E. Conn is a top-rated sex crimes attorney with more than 30 years of experience successfully assisting the accused. Whether you are just thinking about seeking early termination or are neck deep in the process, she can help. Call Mary E. Conn today to learn how we can help. Your consultation is free.