The State of Texas stipulates that once convicted of almost any sex crime, you will be required to register with the authorities and to update the information you provide on that registration. The registration requirement lasts 10 years for many sex offenses, but continues for life for the more serious and violent offenses.
Updating of the registration information is required either every 90 days or every year. Registration is a burden because of the public nature of the registration information, and because of the time and effort required to ensure you are complying with the mandated sentence.
Some offenders deliberately violate the registration requirements to conceal information from the state, such as where they live and whether and where they are working. Others simply make mistakes in the information provided, or forget to update the information in a timely manner. Any violation of the registration requirements is generally known as a failure to register.
Given the strong state and public interest in tracking sex offenders, Article 62.102 of the Texas code of criminal procedure makes failure to comply with any registration requirements a felony. That means that you can be convicted of a felony for any of the following:
A court’s registration order requires immediate registration, as does the offender’s release from incarceration for the sex offense. Offenders who are given probation at the time they become obligated to register are given 72 hours to complete the registration.
The penalty for failure to register depends on the duration of your registration requirement and how frequently you are required to re-register. Both of those factors reflect the seriousness of the crime that gave rise to the original sex offense. For offenders required to register for 10 years, the penalty is up to 2 years in jail, with the possibility of a fine up to $10,000.
If you are required to register for life, the penalty varies by how frequently you are required to re-register:
The felony grade, and severity of sentence, can be upped one degree under some circumstances.
If you are being accused of failure to register, waste no time in getting experienced legal help. Your freedom depends on it. Just because the state has accused you of a failure doesn’t mean you actually failed. Was the failure just an innocent mistake? Was it actually an error on the part of the state in handling the registration information? Did you even know that you were required to register? These cases are often far more technical than they first appear.
These and many other questions can mean the difference between life as a free person and life sitting in a prison cell. Get the help you need—call the Houston sex crimes defense attorney Mary E. Conn. She is a top-rated sex crimes attorney who brings 30 years of successful criminal defense experience in Texas to the case. Contact Mary E. Conn Law today for your free consultation.