Being charged with a sex crime in Texas can result in the offense being added to your criminal record and you will be required to register with the state as a sex offender. Most people think that registering as a sex offender in Texas is straightforward; but there is more to the process of registering than filling out a form and being added to a database. The law outlines the process in clear and specific terms; failure to follow those terms can result in further serious consequences.
WHAT IS A SEX OFFENSE?
A sex offense is a form of human sexual behavior that is harmful to at least one individual involved in certain sex acts. Such an offense is so destructive to society that it is regarded as a criminal act. Some sex crimes involve violence while others do not. There are several adult sex offenses that require the perpetrator to register as a sex offender in Texas. Some include sexual assault, sexual performance by a child, sexual assault of a child, indecency by contact or exposure, solicitation, child pornography, etc. (See Chapter 21 of the Texas State Penal Code for a more complete list.)
REGISTERING AS A SEX OFFENDER
The state of Texas very aggressively handles cases involving sex offenses. An individual accused of a sex offense in Texas typically will face some of the harshest legal penalties in the nation. Often, the punishments for sex offenses include multiple years in prison and sex offender registration.
The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program outlined in Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure is “a sex offender registration and public notification law designed to protect the public from sex offenders.” Registration requires the provision of information to local law enforcement including (but not limited to) the alleged offender’s name and address with a color photograph, and the specific offense. After someone is officially registered, he or she will be required to report to a law enforcement authority periodically, to keep the registration information updated. Not registering as a sex offender in Texas constitutes a separate felony crime; any sex offender who fails to comply with any registration requirement could be prosecuted.
FIGHTING SEX OFFENSE CHARGES
Being convicted of a sex offense in Texas can change the trajectory of your life significantly. The potential that you might end up facing prison time, paying hefty fines, and registering as a sex offender, as well as losing your employment and suffering a negative impact on your reputation, is a devastating possibility. Because of this, you should consider consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with experience handling sex offense cases. Your qualified attorney can help determine which laws may apply to your case so the charges against you might be decreased.
If you are looking for a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney in the Austin, Texas area, consider Erskine Law. Brian Erskine is a caring and competent criminal defense attorney and one of the top domestic violence litigators in Austin and the surrounding area. He successfully has defended criminal cases because he has a firm understanding of the law. Contact Law Maverick Brian Erskine today to discuss the details of your specific situation during a free consultation, so he can defend you and help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.