Taking Your Name Off the Sex Offender Registry in Texas

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Texas allows some sex offenders to deregister from the sex offender registry. This strategy allows the sex offender to remove his or her name from the sex offender registry to live a more private and positive life.

Texas Sex Offender Registry

Texas law requires individuals who are convicted of certain sex crimes to add their names to the state sex offender registry. The offender may be required to register as part of his or her sentence. The length of time that his or her name remains on the registry depends on the offense. It can be between ten years to life.

This registry is available to the public. Texas law does not impose restrictions regarding how the public plans to use the information. Teachers can use it to see if there are sex offenders around the school. Parents and neighbors can use it to check if there are sex offenders in the neighborhood. Employers can use it. Members of the public can use it for recreational purposes. Lawmakers consider sex offenders as a potential risk to the public and look at ways to protect them.

Pitfalls of Sex Offender Registration

Having to register as a sex offender has several drawbacks. Sex offenders may have more difficulty finding employment. They may be restricted from living in certain areas. Their rental applications may be denied. Neighbors may harass them.

Removal Procedures

Texas law provides a procedure for individuals to remove their name from the sex offender registry through a process called deregistration. Under this process, an offender can have his or her name removed when he or she meets certain criteria. While seeking to protect the public, lawmakers were also aware that a perpetual sentence by being required to maintain registration as a sex offender. They released that many sex offenders are required to complete years in sex offender counseling. These mental health professionals may determine that the sex offender is not a risk to the public. The deregistration process allows a defendant to escape the stigma of being listed as a sex offender while putting safeguards in place to protect the public.

Sex offenders can receive early termination of the requirement to register as a sex offender if they committed the underlying offense in Texas and file a motion requesting this relief in accordance with the relevant law. This option is possible if the sex offender receives the court order. This option is available if the defendant can provide evidence that he or she has only been convicted of one sex crime that required him or her to be registered as a sex offender, that he or she completed the Sex Offender Treatment Program, that he or she has received a confirmation from certain professionals that he or she does not pose a risk of reoffending.

Only certain types of sex crime convictions can result in deregistration. Violent crimes are not typically qualified for this relief.

However, crimes such as online solicitation of a minor, possession or promotion of child pornography, indecent exposure, unlawful restraint or compelling prostitution are typically eligible for deregistration. There may be exceptions depending on the age or aggravating circumstances involved in the crime.

Procedural Requirements

To receive deregistration, the defendant must receive approval from the Texas Council on Sex Offender registration. The application should include an assessment regarding the defendantís limited risk of reoffending from a qualified professional. Additionally, the application should include a current criminal history check that shows that the defendant has not re-offended as well as a court order that describes the original conviction. Additionally, the application should include information about the victimís age at the time of the offense and documents such as the indictment, offense report and probable cause affidavit. A motion must be presented to the judge after the Texas Council on Sex Offender registration. The judge on the case determines whether or not to grant the request for early termination for sex offender registration.


Texas sex offenders are not eligible for expungement. Being removed from the sex offender registry does not remove a personís criminal record. It only removes their name from the public registration. It does not seal the defendantís criminal records. It also does not remove any information that would prevent law enforcement from seeing the conviction.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you would like to find out about the deregistration process, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for assistance. He or she can explore possible options that may be available to you.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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