How to Get Removed from the Texas Sex Offender Registry
According to the Marshall Project, about 800,000 Americans are required to register as a sex offender. While society tends to think of people on the sex offender registry as serial predators or violent criminals, the reality is that about half are on the registry for offenses many people wouldn’t even consider crimes.
In some cases, a young person is required to register as a sex offender because they had sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend who was technically underage at the time. In one example cited by the Marshall Project, a young man who was a junior in college met a girl at a club that only admitted people who could prove they were 18 and over.
Later, the young man was contacted by the police, who informed him the girl was actually 15 and had used a fake ID to gain entry to the club. The man explained he hadn’t known her true age at the time and would have never had sex with her if he had been aware she was underage. The police arrested him and charged him with statutory rape. He was convicted and required to register as a sex offender. Unable to finish college or get a job, he eventually became homeless.
This example illustrates just how devastating sex offender registration can be for an individual. If you’ve been required to register as a sex offender in Texas, you may be wondering if you’re eligible to come off the registry and how you go about making it happen.
Removing Yourself from the Texas Sex Offender Registry
Getting yourself removed from the Texas sex offender registry is a multi-step process. While you aren’t required to have a lawyer, few people are familiar enough with all the steps and the applicable law to make sure they go through the process as required.
If you’re serious about reclaiming your reputation and getting your name removed from the sex offender registry, it’s in your best interests to work with an experienced Texas sex crimes defense lawyer.
Are You Eligible to Be Removed from the Texas Sex Offender Registry?
First, you should determine if you’re eligible to have your name removed from the Texas sex offender registry. In some cases, the requirement to register as a sex offender is a temporary requirement with a definite end date.
You can start the deregistration process by submitting an application for deregistration to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. The application requires you to provide information about the nature of your conviction as well as any adjudication that occurred in your case. You should be prepared to provide documentation to support the information you provide in your application.
Once the Council on Sex Offender Treatment reviews your application, it will notify you if you satisfy the requirements for removing your name from the sex offender registry.
Upon receiving approval to remove yourself from the sex offender registry, you must schedule a time to meet with a professional who can conduct an evaluation regarding deregistration from the sex offender registry.
The evaluation contains a written section as well as an oral section. The time needed for the evaluation can vary, but you can expect it to take around three to four hours. Once you have finished the evaluation, it gets forwarded to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment and incorporated into your application for removal from the registry.
Filing a Petition with the Court
Once you have filed your application for removal and you’ve undergone an evaluation by an appropriate professional, you’re ready to ask the court to allow your removal from the sex offender registry.
To do this, you or your lawyer must file a petition with the court. This petition must be filed in the same court that handed down your sentence. Assuming the judge agrees that you’re eligible for removal from the registry, the judge will issue a court order allowing your removal from the sex offender registry.
Submit the Court Order to the Department of Public Safety
When you have your court order in hand, your final step is to send it to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The department is the entity that actually removes your name from the sex offender registry, so this is an important step in the process.
Contact a Texas Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer About Your Case
In some cases, people may not be aware that they’re eligible to have their name removed from the Texas sex offender registry. If you have completed your sentence and complied with all the requirements set forth by the court, you have the right to reclaim your reputation says Dallas Criminal defense lawyer Clint Broden.
Having your name removed from the sex offender registry can help you put the past behind you for good. Contact a Texas sex crimes defense lawyer to learn more about your options.