Offenders convicted of certain sex crimes must comply with the Texas sex offender registration requirements. This means they may be forced to register as a sex offender where they live or travel. Failure to comply is a crime itself. Any convicted sex offender must take these requirements seriously or face serious legal consequences.
Recently, a sex offender in Conroe, Texas was sentenced to 99 years in prison for his failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. He was unlawfully present at a Catholic School when students and teachers were in session. After asking parents of students for money to buy food, he refused to leave. When police were called, he used a sex offender registration card to identify himself. They had no choice but to arrest him.
Here’s what you need to know about the sex offender registry in Texas. We’ll go through the possible consequences of failing to comply with the requirements placed on those convicted of sex crimes.
What Is Sex Offender Registration in Texas?
Under Texas law, people convicted of certain sex crimes must register on a publicly searchable list. Some crimes may only require a person to register for a few years, while others require registration for an entire lifetime.
The sex offender registry in Texas is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety. They strive to keep the public informed of registered sex offenders in their area. It is meant as a tool to keep the public safe.
The registry divides offenders into three separate risk levels. They are:
These sex offenders are not likely to commit additional sex crimes.
These offenders may commit sex crimes in the future.
These offenders pose a serious threat. They are expected to continue to commit sex crimes
The registry, as mentioned, is public. It contains the offender’s risk level as well as a physical description, their date of birth, any known aliases, their location, the conviction that led to their required registration, and a photo. It does not include any other personal information such as their social security number or phone number.
What Rules Must TX Offenders Abide By?
These terms and conditions are meant to discourage repeat offenses and preserve the safety of the public:
- Restrictions on travel
- Restriction on where they can live, such as not near a park or school
- Restrictions on attendance of community events
- Restrictions on employment
- Restrictions on internet access if they’ve been convicted of digital crimes, i.e. child pornography
- Restrictions on contact with minors if their crime involved a minor
- Restrictions on voting if convicted of a felony
- Loss of the ability to own firearms
Failure to Comply
When an offender fails to comply with the rules or restrictions required by the sex offender registration, it can result in revocation of probation, fines, or even additional prison time.
If they have failed to comply before, consequences escalate. Failure to comply in multiple offenses is a felony in the first degree in Texas. That makes it punishable by as many as 99 years in prison and for fines up to $10,000.