Under Texas state law, anyone who is convicted of a crime of a sexual nature is required to be added to the sex offender registry. Crimes that will land you on the sex offender list include:
- Indecency with a child
- Possession of child porn
- Sexual assault or rape
The type of crime you commit will determine the length of time you’ll have to remain on the sex offender registry. In 2013, Texas passed a law that would allow sex offenders to remove themselves or de-register from the offender list if they meet certain criteria.
- To qualify for deregistration, an offender must:
- Be a first-time offender of a non-aggravated offense
- Complete sex offender treatment successfully
- Show no signs of re-offending
Sex offenders who commit violent crimes typically do not quailfy for deregistration. Some crimes that are typically eligible for deregistration include:
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Indecent exposure
- Unlawful restraint
- Compelling prostitution
Once you’ve qualified to be removed from the sex offender list, you still face a battle to actually get off the list.
How to de-register as a sex offender
The first step is to submit an application to the Council of Sex Offender Treatment. This application is composed of a questionnaire and a list of documents that you must submit. Be prepared for it to take several weeks to hear back from the Council for permission to deregister.
Next, you’ll have to submit yourself to an evaluation by a sex offender de-registration specialist to evaluate your risk of committing another sex crime. Those who have been through sex offender treatment will be familiar with the evaluation process. Deregistration evaluations typically take 3 or 4 hours with the time being split between filling out paperwork and being interviewed.
Upon completion, your evaluation specialist will relay their assessment to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment where it will be reviewed. The results will then be sent to you or your attorney.
Finally, after completing all the other steps, you can petition the court to gain permission to get off the list. When you petition the court, you’ll need the assessment your evaluator completed in step 3. Additionally, you’ll be required to return to the court that sentenced you originally.
Remember, deregistration is for convicted sex offenders. You don’t have to be found innocent of a sex crime in order to qualify to be deregistered from the list. Your best course of action during your evaluation is to be honest and admit to your crime. Denying what you’ve done or placing blame elsewhere could hurt your chances of being deregistered.
Texas lawmakers purposefully made it a tedious process to de-register from the sex offender list. Your best course of action is to contact a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with sex crime defense. They will be able to help you through the process.