The sex offender registry can feel like a ball and chain. There are many reasons someone might end up on this list. Even public urination or sending nude pictures of yourself can result in the stress and pain of the dreaded registry.
The sex offender registry presents a lot of challenges. Anyone can find out where you live with a quick Google search. Employers may discriminate against you. Worst of all, law enforcement must notify your neighbors, usually through the mail, whenever you move to a new place.
Thankfully, there is hope. You can get off the sex offender registry in Texas.
Before you can apply for deregistration, you must meet the basic criteria. First, you can only have one sex offense conviction. This proves to the authorities that it truly was a mistake or a misunderstanding, and you show no risk of repeat behavior.
Second, you must complete the 18-month long Sex Offender Treatment Program. The program is conducted in a community environment and focuses on reducing repeat offenses and encouraging socialization. If the state determines someone is at high risk of repeat offense, they can extend the program by nine months for a total of two and a half years in rehab.
When treatment is complete, you can request a formal evaluation with a registered specialist. The specialist will conduct a lengthy oral and written test to determine whether you’re at risk of repeat offenses.
If you pass the examination, you can formally petition the court for deregistration. The judge will review your progress and determine your future. If they grant you a deregistration order, you can send a copy to the Department of Public Safety. With a court order in hand, the DPS should approve your request within a few weeks.
Once deregistered, you have all your freedoms restored. You don’t need to report your residence, you don’t need to inform employers of your status, and you don’t need to avoid churches or schools. While you can’t change the past, your future is bright as ever.
Why Hire an Attorney?
While you can carry out all these steps on your own, a criminal defense attorney can be an enormous help. They will handle the stresses and paperwork for you. They will speak to the judge on your behalf. They can even coach you through the evaluation process, so you avoid potentially misleading questions.
If you were accused or convicted of a sex crime, you probably have a lot of questions. If you’d like to speak with an experienced Bryan, TX criminal defense attorney from Shane Phelps Law., please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (979) 773-7028.