Failure to Register as a Sex Offender under Texas Law

If you have been charged with failure to register as a Sex Offender under Texas Law then contact Matt Horak, an experienced criminal defense attorney with offices in Houston for Harris County, and The Woodlands for Montgomery County, TX. In many ways, the requirements are so burdensome that any mistake can lead to a prosecution even when the mistake was inadvertent.

Whether you are charged with a state jail felony, a three degree felony or a second degree felony for failure to register, contact Matt Horak to discuss how the violation occurred and possible defenses to those serious charges.

Sex Offender Registration - Different Levels of Offenses

Under Texas law, how often a person is required to register, and for how long, is important because it determines the level of offense committed if the person does not comply with the registration requirements. The punishments for the various types of crimes related to failure to register include the following;

  • state jail felony if the person has a ten year reporting requirement. Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.102(b)(1) (Vernon 2006);
  • third degree felony if the person has a lifetime annual reporting requirement; or
  • second degree felony if the person has a lifetime reporting requirement and must report every ninety days. Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. arts. 62.102(b)(2), (3).

The different levels each represent a different criminal charge. In fact, the additonal facts supporting the higher charges area considered elements of the offense, as opposed to sentencing enhancements.

Reportable Convictions for Sex Offenses Under Texas Law

Under Texas law, individuals with a “reportable conviction” for certain crimes of a sexual nature must register with the local law enforcement authority in any municipality where the person resides or intends to reside for more than seven days. Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.051(a)

The list of reportable convictions include a list of several offenses including but not limited to the following:

  • offenses of indecency with a child,
  • sexual assault,
  • aggravated sexual assault, and
  • prohibited sexual conduct.

Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.001(5) (Vernon Supp.2010). The sex offender registration statute also classifies as a reportable conviction violations of the laws of another state, the federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice if the elements of those offenses “are substantially similar to the elements of the reportable convictions.” Id. art. 62.001(5)(H).

How Long Does Sex Offender Registration Requirement Last?

Unless a court grants an early termination of the reporting requirement, the default reporting period is for ten years from the date the person is released from a penal institution. See Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.101(c) (Vernon 2006).

For those convicted of more serious offenses, including those defined as sexually violent offenses, the reporting requirement is for the lifetime of the offender. Id. art. 62.101(a).

Reporting Requirements for Sexually Violent Offense

Texas law defines the term “sexually violent offense” by statute. See Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.001(6). Sexually violent offenses include the following:

  • continuous sexual abuse of young child or children,
  • indecency with a child,
  • sexual assault,
  • aggravated sexual assault, and
  • other serious offenses when committed by a person older than seventeen years of age.

Also included in the definition are offenses under the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that contain elements that are substantially similar to the elements of the listed Texas offenses.

Impact of Prior Convictions

Additionally, the frequency of required registration depends on the number of prior convictions. A person who has been convicted two or more times of a sexually violent offense must register every ninety days. See Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.058(a) (Vernon 2006). Every other person required to register must do so annually. Id.

Finding a Houston Attorney for Any Failure to Register Charge

If you have been charged with failure to register as a Sex Offender under Texas Law then contact Matt Horak, an experienced criminal defense attorney with offices in The Woodlands for Montgomery County and Houston for Harris County, TX. Attorney Matt Horak represents men and women charged with second or third degree felony charges for failure to register as a sexual offender, as well as state jail felony charges.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
Principal Office
Harris County Texas
Matt Horak, Attorney at Law, PLLC
4119 Montrose Blvd. Suite 200
Houston, TX 77006
Secondary Office
Montgomery County Texas
Matt Horak, Attorney at Law, PLLC 1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(office visits by appointment only)
Matt Horak Attorney At Law, PLLC - Houston Criminal Defense
Local: 713-225-8000
Fax: 713-521-1845

This website is sponsored by Matt Horak. Principal office located at 4119 Montrose Blvd. Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006. Information provided on this website is for general purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice for any situation. Legal advice can only be given after an official attorney-client relationship has been formally agreed upon with the defense lawyer.

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