One of the penalties of a sex offense conviction is having to your name to the list of sex offenders in the state. If you are a convicted sex offender and you move to a different municipality, you are required by law to register your change of address. You’re also required to periodically check in to verify that your address is still correct. In Texas, you must register within seven days of moving. To register with the state, you just have to contact the Department of Public Safety and provide them with your name, new address, and other personal identifying information. If you fail to register or miss a check-in, you’re facing additional criminal prosecution.
If you are convicted of some sex crimes, you may have to stay on the sex offender registry for the rest of your life. These crimes include:
- Human trafficking
- Possessing, distributing, or promoting child pornography
- Any type of violent sexual crime
- Kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping or unlawful restraint of a minor under the age of 17
- Making indecent contact with a minor if you already are a sex offender at the time of the crime
If you were convicted of a sex crime that is not listed above, you will not have to stay on the registry for the rest of your life, but you will still have to stay on the sex offender registry for 10 years.
Once you have submitted your information to the official registry, you are required to verify the information is accurate at various times. For example, if you only have one conviction for a sex-related crime on your record and it was non-violent, you will need to re-register annually within 30 days of your birthday. However, if you have been convicted of a violent sexual offense, or you have multiple convictions on your record, you will have to do so every 90 days.
As your sex crimes lawyer can inform you, you could be facing a state felony jail charge if you’re required to register for 10 years. If you’re required to check in annually yet fail to do so, you’re facing a third-degree felony charge. This charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Those who are required to check in every 90 days face a second-degree felony charge. This charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. If you have a history of missing these check in times, you could face additional repercussions.
However, sometimes failing to register as a sex offender is simply a mistake. You will need the help of a criminal defense attorney to fight against these charges and protect your rights. If you’ve been charged with failure to register as a sex offender in Texas, it is imperative to obtain the services of a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Residents of the Dallas and Plano areas can call the Law Offices Of Jeffrey C. Grass at (972) 954-4441.