What is sex offender registration?
If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Fort Worth or anywhere in Texas, for that matter, you will likely have to register as a sex offender for a period of time – possibly even for the rest of your life. Your information will be put into a public database that basically allows law enforcement and the general public to keep tabs on you. You will also be required to abide by a long list of requirements that will restrict where you may live, work or visit. Failure to comply with the requirements could lead to a new felony charge called “failure to register as a sex offender.”
In this article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about sex offender registration. But first, watch this informative video by Benson Varghese, a Board Certified Criminal Defense attorney with vast experience handling sex cases.
What are some restrictions for registered sex offenders?
Sex offender registration in Fort Worth can result in numerous restrictions. It’s likely you will be prohibited from:
- Working around children under 17 years of age
- Offering a service in a home without supervision
- Going where children gather, such as schools, playgrounds, video arcades, and public pools
- Owning firearms
- Using the internet or maintaining a social media account
- Residing on campus if attending college
Do I have to register as a sex offender if I received deferred adjudication?
Since deferred adjudication means guilt is not imposed, and you were not convicted and sent to jail, you may believe you do not have to register as a sex offender. But you probably do. Deferred adjudication is usually reserved for first-time offenders and is a form of community supervision ordered by a judge. If you follow the judge’s orders, your case eventually will be dismissed, and you will not have a conviction on your record. However, if you accepted deferred adjudication for a registerable sex offense, you will still have to register as a sex offender with law enforcement. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 62 defines what offenses are registrable, how sex offender registration works, and how to register as a sex offender in Fort Worth. Texas laws are complicated and precise, so it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorneys to help you with the process if you have questions.
How long will I have to register as a sex offender in Fort Worth?
Depending on the underlying crime, you may be registered as a sex offender in Fort Worth for several years, or even permanently. For instance, someone may be required on the register for ten years for indecent exposure or online solicitation of a minor. However, you may have to register for life if the case involved sexual contact.
What are the different risk levels for sex offenders?
The judicial system assesses an offender’s chances of reoffending, and people who are assigned higher risk levels must report more often to law enforcement to track their progress. The levels are:
- Low-risk level 1 are unlikely to reoffend
- Medium-risk level 2 are moderate danger to others and may engage in criminal sexual conduct in the future
- High-risk level 3 offenders will most likely reoffend
- Civil commitment is imposed on offenders who are considered sexually violent predators who must undergo psychological treatment
How do you register as a sex offender in Fort Worth?
Within a week after arriving in the city or county where you intend to live, you must report to local law enforcement. You will be required to give detailed information about yourself, including your name, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye and hair color, aliases, job information, social media, and email accounts, among a host of other information. You will also have to provide a color photograph of yourself.
A week later, you must report back to law enforcement to verify the information and prove residency and identity. Failure to return could result in a failure to register as a sex offender charge. This felony could result in prison time. This article lists 19 things you should know about sex offender registration in Texas.
Discuss Sex Offender Registration in Fort Worth with an Attorney
Registration as a sex offender in Fort Worth is tough and can have serious implications on your personal and professional life. One misstep and you could be facing a serious felony charge. If you have been accused of failing to register or violating a condition, it’s important to contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Your freedom is in jeopardy.