Deregistering as a Sex Offender
Working with Our Fort Worth Sex Crime Defense Attorney
As long as the offender is no longer considered to be a threat to society and they meet certain eligibility requirements for deregistration, there is no reason why they would need to remain on a "watch list" any longer—as the whole purpose of maintaining a statewide registry is to protect the public from potentially dangerous sex offenders.
In 2005, Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 867. This was designed to provide registered sex offenders with the chance to request an early termination of their sex offender registration requirements.
This would subsequently allow law enforcement authorities to focus their time and resources on offenders who actually pose a threat to the public safety. That being said, it is highly recommended that you involve a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney in the deregistration process, as this could be a pivotal moment in your life.
Who is eligible for deregistration in Texas?
If you have been convicted of a sexually motivated crime in the state of Texas, you may have been asked to register as a sex offender upon your release. Depending on the nature of the crime, the duration of your registration requirements may be anywhere from 10 years to life. If you are interested in seeking an early termination of these requirements, you must first determine whether or not you are eligible.
Per basic deregistration requirements, it must be true that:
- You have not been convicted of more than one sexual offense
- Offense requires a longer period of registration under state law than federal law
- You have successfully completed sex offender treatment
Sexual Offenses that Qualify Under TX Law
As mentioned earlier, one of the requirements of deregistration is that the offense requires a longer period of registration under state law than federal law. Since some sex crimes in Texas require minimum registration periods that exceed those mandated under federal law, House Bill 867 has made fair accommodations to even the playing field. For a comprehensive list of offenses that meet these requirements, click here.
Listed below are some of the most common:
- Trafficking of persons
- Continuous sexual abuse of children
- Indecency with a child by contact
- Sexual assault / aggravated sexual assault
- Possessing child pornography
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Aggravated kidnapping
The Sex Offender Deregistration Process
Once you have generally determined that you are, in fact, eligible for sex offender deregistration, you must submit a written request to the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment—along with required court documents, criminal background checks and documentation of sex offender treatment completion. The Council will then determine whether or not you legally qualify. If they sign off on your request, your case will subsequently be reviewed by a sex offender deregistration specialist.
Their job is to determine whether or not you pose a risk of re-offending. If your assessment goes smoothly, the next step would be to petition the court for an early termination of your sex offender registration requirements. This is by far the most difficult step, as each judge is allowed wide discretion in granting applications. That being said, it is important that you have an experienced attorney by your side.
Wondering if you are eligible for sex offender deregistration? Find out by scheduling a consultation with the Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer at my firm. We are available to take your call and assess your eligibility for a nominal fee.