Sex Offender Registration Under Texas Law (Part 2 of 2)
What are the Registration Requirements for Sex Offenders?
Chapter 62 of the Texas CCP sets out the many requirements for maintaining registered sex offender status. Among other requirements, a sex offender must abide by certain information reporting requirements, notify law enforcement of any changes in address and online identifying information, and provide a DNA sample. A registered sex offender has legal limitations on certain types of employment, and cannot operate a bus, offer taxicab or limousine transportation service, provide any type of service in the residence of another person unless the provision of service will be supervised, or operate any amusement ride. Workers and students in educational institutions are subject to special registration requirements pursuant to CCP Article 62.153. Juvenile offenders may be exempt from sex offender registration requirements under certain circumstances. A juvenile may be exempted if, after motion and a hearing before the court, the court finds that (1) that the protection of the public would not be increased by registration of the respondent under this chapter; or (2) that any potential increase in protection of the public resulting from registration of the respondent is clearly outweighed by the anticipated substantial harm to the respondent and the respondent’s family that would result from registration under this chapter.
What Happens If a Sex Offender Fails to Comply With Registration Requirements?
A registered sex offender who fails to abide by registration requirements faces the possibility of felony criminal charges. Under Article 62.102 of the Texas CCP, a person commits an offense if the person is required to register as a sex offender and fails to comply with any requirement. Failing to comply with registration requirements is a state jail felony (punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility and a fine of up to $10,000) if the registrant has a ten-year registration requirement and a third degree felony (punishable by two to ten years in the Texas Department of Corrections a fine of up to $10,000) if the registrant has a lifetime registration requirement. There is also a second degree felony punishment available for certain registrants who are required to verify registration every 90 days.