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Sex Offender Registration Rules in Texas

Houston Attorney for Sex Offender Registration Violations

People who have been convicted of offenses that are typically considered sex crimes will often be forced to register as sex offenders in Texas. While the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program is designed for the benefit of the public, the system itself is not without its flaws.

The primary problem is that during the periods that they are required to register, all sex offenders are essentially viewed the same—even though the nature of their crimes can be remarkably different. This means that a person could be denied employment or face residence restrictions simply for being guilty of having consensual sex as a teenager with another teenager.

Houston Attorney for Sex Offender Registration Violations

Are you currently facing charges for a sex crime that you fear will force you to later register as a sex offender in Texas? It is in your best interest to seek the legal services of Horak Law.

As a criminal defense attorney in Harris County, TX, Matt Horak helps clients all over the greater Houston area who are charged with sexually motivated crimes. His primary concern is helping them avoid any requirement to register as a sex offender in the first place.

For individuals that are designated as sex offenders, Matt Horak helps them stay in compliance and avoid any allegation of a violation of the sex offender registration requirements in Houston and the surrounding communities like Galveston, Richmond-Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands, Pearland, League City, Conroe, Missouri City, Pasadena, and Sugar Land. Call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to receive a complete review of your case during a completely free initial consultation.


Harris County Rules About Sex Offender Registration Overview


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People Required to Register as a Sex Offenders in Texas

The terms of the Sex Offender Registration Program are found in Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Subchapter B of this chapter is dedicated to registration and verification.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 62.051 states that any person who has a reportable conviction or adjudication or is required to register as a condition of parole, release to mandatory supervision, or community supervision must register or verify registration with the local law enforcement authority in any municipality where he or she resides or intends to reside for more than seven days.

This registration needs to be completed by the seventh day after the person's arrival in the municipality or county, or the first date the local law enforcement authority of the municipality or county by policy allows the person to register or verify his or her registration.

For the purposes of this program, a reportable conviction or adjudication is defined as a conviction or adjudication—including an adjudication of delinquent conduct or a deferred adjudication—that, regardless of the pendency of an appeal, is a conviction or an adjudication for or based on any of the following:

  • Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children;
  • Indecency with a child;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Aggravated sexual assault;
  • Prohibited sexual conduct;
  • Compelling prostitution;
  • Sexual performance by a child;
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography;
  • Aggravated kidnapping, if the offender committed the offense or engaged in the conduct with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;
  • First-degree burglary in which the offender committed or engaged in the conduct with intent to commit continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, or aggravated kidnapping;
  • Unlawful restraint of a victim younger than 17 years of age;
  • Kidnapping of a victim younger than 17 years of age;
  • Aggravated kidnapping of a victim younger than 17 years of age;
  • Second indecent exposure violation (unless it results in a deferred adjudication);
  • Online solicitation of a minor; or
  • Trafficking of persons.

Additionally, an offender can also be required to register if he or she has a reportable conviction or adjudication relating to an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit an offense or engage in conduct listed above. The requirement also exists if the person violated the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for or based on the violation of an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed above (unless that violation resulted in a deferred adjudication).


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Sex Offender Registration Requirements in Harris County

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) provides the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and every local law enforcement authority, authority for campus security, county jail, and court with forms for registering offenders who are required to register.

These forms for registering offenders in Texas require the following information from the offender:

  • The offender’s full name, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color, hair color, social security number, driver's license number, and shoe size;
  • The address at which the offender resides intends to reside, or a detailed description of each geographical location at which the offender resides or intends to reside if he or she does not reside or intend to reside at a physical address;
  • Each alias used by the offender and any home, work, or cellular telephone number;
  • A recent color photograph or, if possible, an electronic digital image of the offender and a complete set of his or her fingerprints;
  • The type of offense the offender was convicted of, the age of the victim, the date of conviction, and the punishment received;
  • An indication as to whether the offender is discharged, paroled, or released on juvenile probation, community supervision, or mandatory supervision;
  • An indication of each license held or sought by the offender;
  • An indication as to whether the offender is or will be employed, carrying on a vocation, or a student at a particular public or private institution of higher education in this state or another state, and the name and address of that institution;
  • The identification of any online identifier established or used by the offender; and
  • Any other information required by DPS.

Every person released from a penal institution or placed on community supervision or juvenile probation who is required to register as a sex offender registration is also assigned a Risk Level as determined by the sex offender screening tool used by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Youth Commission, or a court.

Texas law has three different risk levels including:

  • Level One (Low) — Offender poses a low danger to the community and will not likely engage in criminal sexual conduct;
  • Level Two (Moderate) — Offender poses a moderate danger to the community and might continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct; and
  • Level Three (High) — Offender poses a serious danger to the community and will continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct.

The most serious offenders are designated as civilly committed sexually violent predator. DPS notifies communities by mailing a postcard containing information about high-risk sex offender or a civilly committed sexually violent predator to every residence and business in the community.

Civilly committed offenders need to verify their registration information once every 30 days, while offenders convicted two or more times for a sexually violent offense, who have received an order of deferred adjudication two or more times, or been convicted and received an order of deferred adjudication must verify their registration information every 90 days. All other offenders verify their registration information once a year, and failure to register as a sex offender is a felony offense.


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Texas Sex Offender Deregistration

People who are required to register as a sex offender have to satisfy a significant number of requirements while enduring multiple forms of discrimination for this criminal designation. Depending on the underlying crime, a person could be required to register for 10 years or he or she could have to register for his or her entire life.

Certain offenders, however, may be eligible to deregister under the Early Termination of Certain Persons' Obligation to Register found in Subchapter I to Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. This process is only available to a limited amount of people and can be exceptionally complicated.

In order to deregister, an offender needs to be deemed eligible by DPS and submit an application to the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment. The offender will also need to be evaluated by a licensed sex offender deregistration specialist before petitioning the court in which his or her underlying case was prosecuted for permission to terminate his or her duty to register as a sex offender.

While being removed from the registry and having the requirement to register is certainly a relief, it is important to fully understand what registration does not accomplish as well. Successful deregistration does not mean:

  • The deregistration can be used to appeal or expunge a sex offense;
  • The offender does not have to reveal his or her sex crime conviction to a potential employer;
  • The offender is removed from nonpublic law enforcement registries;
  • The offender no longer has to complete his or her probation, parole, or other term of supervision;
  • The offender will be eligible for jobs with children;
  • The offender’s DNA is removed from the law enforcement registry; and
  • The sex offense is removed from the offender’s criminal record.

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Harris County Sex Offender Resources

Once Fallen Sex Offender Resource, Research and Advocacy — This reference and resource website provides information for people convicted of registrable sex offenses. You can learn more about travel issues, compliance checks, and ways to find housing. There are also fact guides relating to civil commitment, false allegations, and internet laws.

New Name Ministries — This Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization seeks to provide community safe residential reentry for convicted sex offenders. New Name offers residential reentry facilities established for helping former sex offenders reentering society from prison that includes assistance in job placement, life skills, mentoring, finance classes, accountability and building healthy relationships.


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Horak Law - A Sex Offender Registration Lawyer in Houston

If you were arrested for an alleged sex crime that has you concerned about being ordered to register as a sex offender or you are seeking legal assistance for sex offender deregistration, Matt Horak is a criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX who will fight to protect your rights. He is a former prosecutor with more than a dozen years of experience handling cases involving sexual offenses from both sides of the aisle.

Horak Law, serves numerous areas in and around Houston, including communities in Fort Bend County, Harris County, Liberty County, Waller County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County. As an attorney for people required to register as a sex offender in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, Matt Horak can provide a thorough evaluation of your case when you contact our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to set up a free, confidential 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