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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.

Houston Sex Offender Registration Lawyer

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. Call Horak Law locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 for a free, confidential consultation.


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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.


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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).


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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).


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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.


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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.


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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 Houston 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.

Call Horak Law locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to take advantage of a free consultation.


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Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
Free Consultation Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch within 24 hours!

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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014