While the Texas Sex Offender Registry was created to inform and protect the public at large, registering can negatively impact nearly every aspect of an offender’s life.
To ensure some semblance of normalcy and quality of life after conviction, sex offenders must understand exactly how registration works and how long they are required to stay on the Texas Sex Offender Registry.
Today, we’ve categorized a number of crimes based on registration period – forever, for 10 years, and none. If you have been convicted of a sex crime but don’t see it here, an experienced Texas sex crimes attorney can review your case and provide the guidance you need.
CONVICTIONS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION FOR LIFE IN TEXAS
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. When child sexual abuse occurs two or more times within a 30-day period or more, on one or more children, the situation is considered continuous, and is grounds for life registration.
Indecency with a Child by Contact. If you have been convicted of indecency with a child by contact (different from indecency with a child by exposure, listed below), you will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Unlawful Imprisonment. When unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping charges are stacked with any other sex crime under Texas law, if convicted, the offender will have to register permanently as well.
Child Pornography. The production, possession, or distribution of child pornography are all subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender in Texas.
Aggravated Kidnapping & Burglary. If kidnapping or burglary where a specific intent to commit a sex crime against the victim is proven, an offender must register for the rest of their life.
Sexual Assault & Aggravated Sexual Assault. Convictions of rape or other prohibited sexual activities, or sexual assault charges that are aggravated qualify for permanent Texas sex offender registration
Human Trafficking & Prostitution. When the purpose of human trafficking is sexual exploitation or a person compels someone else into prostitution, the human trafficker or prostitution “pimp” must register for life.
TEXAS SEX CRIMES WITH 10-YEAR REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Indecency with a Child by Exposure. If you were convicted of indecency with a child by exposure, you will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Unlawful Imprisonment. When unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping charges do not involve any other sex crime, but the victim was under 17 years of age, under Texas law the offender will have to register for a decade.
Soliciting a Minor Online. When you’ve been convicted of digitally reaching out to a minor for sexual purposes, you are also deemed predatorial and will remain registered for 10 years.
Attempt & Conspiracy to Commit a Sex Crime. If you did not actually commit a sex crime, but were convicted on charges of attempting or conspiring to do so, you will also be listed with the Texas Sex Offender Registry for 10 years.
Prostitution. Although societal focus is shifting to view convicted prostitutes as victims, not criminals, the law remains. Right now, prostitution carries a 10-year registration period as a sex offender.
Indecent Exposure. You may get out of registration on the first conviction (see below), but any priors and subsequent conviction on indecent exposure charges will land you on the Texas Sex Offender Registry for a decade.
TEXAS DOES NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
If a sex crime is charged as a misdemeanor offense, you may not have to register. Usually these lower-level crimes result in a probation sentence instead of jail time.
First-offense indecent exposure, acts of lewdness, and certain scenarios of statutory rape typically fall under this umbrella. However, prosecutors may request registration even when not required by law.
Additionally, failure to register or update your registry in a timely manor is a felony offense, and could result in jail time, and an increased registration period.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU, and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor, building cases designed to put people behind bars. Now, he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.