Other than murder, sex crimes are some of the most serious and harshly punished offenses in Texas. The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program is a public notification database that is designed to put the community on notice of sex offenders in the area. If convicted of a registerable offense, the individual must provide local law enforcement a picture, physical description, date of birth, physical address, risk level, and details regarding the conviction that required registration. That information is then made public and can be accessed through the Texas Department of Public Safety registration database. The registrant is also required to update the registry of any changes to their personal information. Failure to update registration information could result in the registrant facing felony prosecution.
Depending on the offense the accused was convicted, he or she could be required to register as a sex offender for life or for 10 years following their release from a penal institution, discharge of community supervision (a.k.a. probation) or parole. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a “reportable conviction” is any final conviction, including a prison sentence, a suspended prison sentence (i.e., community supervision), or deferred adjudication supervision (a.k.a., deferred adjudication probation).
The offenses that require registration are listed below:
• Sexually violent offense
• Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or disabled individual, Tex. Penal Code 21.02
• Sexual assault, Tex. Penal Code 22.011
• Aggravated sexual assault, Tex. Penal Code 22.021
• Sexual performance by a child, Tex. Penal Code 43.25
• Burglary with the intent to commit a felony sexual offense while inside, Tex. Penal Code 30.02
• Indecency with a child, Tex. Penal Code 21.11(a)(2), if the person received another conviction or adjudication that requires registration
• An offense under the laws or another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice if the offense’s elements are substantially similar to any of the above listed felonies, Tex. Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.001(6)(E)
• Obscenity if material depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made, Tex. Penal Code 43.23(h)
• Trafficking of persons, Tex. Penal Code art. 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8)
• Incest- Prohibited sexual conduct, under Tex. Penal Code art. 25.02
• Compelling prostitution of a child younger than 18 years old, Tex. Penal Code art. 43.05(a)(2)
• Possession or promotion of child pornography, Tex. Penal Code 43.26
• Continuous trafficking of persons, Tex. Penal Code 20A.03, if based partly or wholly on conduct that constitutes an offense under Trafficking of Persons, Tex. Penal Code 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8)
• Unlawful restraint, Kidnapping, or Aggravated Kidnapping, if there is an affirmative finding that the victim is under the age of 17 years old and if the person received another conviction or adjudication that requires registration, Tex. Penal Code 20.02, 20.03, 20.04, Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 42.015
10 Year Registration:
• Second violation of Indecent Exposure, but not if the second violation results in a deferred adjudication, Tex. Penal Code 21.08
• Bestiality, Tex. Penal Code 21.09
• Online solicitation of a minor, Tex. Penal Code 33.021
• Solicitation of prostitution, if punished as a second-degree felony, Tex. Penal Code 43.021
• Aggravated promotion of prostitution, Tex. Penal Code 43.04
• An attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a sex crime, Tex. Penal Code Chapter 15 (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (K), or (L)
In addition to registering as a sex offender and having private information disclosed to the public, a registrant is also prohibited from attaining certain employment and location of residence. The registrant is prohibited from working as a bus operator, taxicab or limousine driver, operate an amusement ride, or providing any type of service in the residence of another person unless that service is supervised. The registrant is also prohibited from residing on the campus of a public or private institution of higher education unless the registrant receives a numeric risk level of One and the institution approves the person’s residence on the institution’s campus. Lastly, dependent on the nature of the offense the registrant was convicted of, if the victim was under 17 years old, the parole panel may establish a child safety zone. The child safety zone strictly prohibits the registrant from going in, on, or within a distance specified by the parole panel of a premise where children commonly gather, such as: day-care facilities, schools, playgrounds, public swimming pool, and even video arcade facilities.
If the registrant were to travel or spend an extended amount of time outside their registered county of residence, he or she must report to the local law enforcement of the municipality where the person is a visitor. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, if a registrant spends more than 48 consecutive hours on at least three occasions during a single month, he or she must report their presence.
Contact an Expert in Criminal Law
If you or someone you love has been arrested or are under investigation for a sexual offense, you need to do everything possible to avoid imprisonment and sex offender registration. Scheiner Law Group, P.C., is an excellent choice to defend you. Our goal is a dismissal or acquittal, whenever possible. Call us during normal business hours at (713) 783-8998. After hours and on weekends, text (713) 581-4540.
The information contained in this blog is current as of September 1, 2021, and through the end of the 2021 Regular and Called Sessions of the 87th Legislature.