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Sex Offender Registry In Texas: Who Has To Register?

The sex offender registry program has been in effect in Texas since September 1, 1991. If you are sentenced to register as a sex offender, you must register for 10 years or life, depending on the crime you are accused of committing. In addition, as a registered sex offender, you must visit your primary registration authority to verify your registration information. Failure to register may result in criminal penalties and incarceration.

Many sex crime convictions require a lifetime registration, including:

  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Sexual activity involving a child
  • Aggravated kidnapping, if committed with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
  • Burglary, if the building burglarized is done so with the intent to commit indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, or aggravated kidnapping with sexual intent
  • Prohibited sexual conduct (incest)
  • Compelling prostitution of a minor
  • Possession or promotion of child pornography

A wide range of offenses, even including certain cases of sexting, can result in serious legal repercussions, including registry as a sex offender.

What is the penalty for failing to register as a sex offender?

If you fail to register, you could be sent back to prison for a very long time. In Texas, sex crime offenders who are required to register for 10 years and fail to do so face a state jail felony — the lowest level of felony in the Texas. Lifetime offenders who fail to register may be charged with a third-degree felony. If you have a lifetime reporting requirement and you are required to report every 90 days, you face second-degree felony charges if you fail to register. Individuals who are convicted of two or more sexually violent crimes must report to their primary registration authority every three months.

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