This is the next post in a series of articles discussing sex offender deregistration in Laredo, Texas. My previous article provided an overview of topics to be discussed throughout this series. There is no question that terminating one’s obligations to register as a sex offender is extremely beneficial. In this post, I will review some of the various benefits of deregistration. Navigating the deregistration process and reaching a successful outcome can be a difficult task. A criminal defense attorney with experience in deregistration proceedings can help explain the process, determine whether you are eligible, and represent your interests each step of the way. If you need assistance with a deregistration matter, contact my office to speak with an attorney.
In light of the underlying objective to protect the public from danger, sex offender registration databases are publicly available. Should a neighbor or acquaintance discover that a person is a sex offender, then that individual is often ostracized and harassed. In many cases, registrants are pressured to move or are further exposed in their communities. In addition to the personal stigma, those identified as sex offenders may be unable to obtain employment, housing, own or use firearms, and more. Furthermore, registration obligations include sometimes onerous requirements that the person notify the state each time they change residences and provide current contact information during the registration period. Depending upon the offense, these requirements can last for years or for the rest of the individual’s life. Failure to comply can result in additional serious criminal charges.
Individuals who are eligible under Texas’ deregistration program should strongly consider terminating their status as a registered sex offender. First, a person’s ability to change residences without notifying the authorities is restored after deregistering. Second, the individual may benefit from increased employment opportunities and the renewed availability of credit. The public stigma, harassment, and invasion of privacy by neighbors and others may also come to an end. Additionally, the long-term obligations associated with registering with the state will be eliminated. Not only will this restore one’s sense of privacy and remove other impositions, such as ongoing therapy requirements, but will also remove the lingering risks of non-compliance. It is important to understand that deregistration will not remove a criminal offense from one’s criminal record or seal the information from being discoverable on criminal background checks. It will, however, help reduce the risk of being publicly exposed and allow the affected individual to begin to move on with their life.
If you have questions about whether you are eligible for deregistration or the benefits of removing yourself from the state’s mandated registry, contact my office today to speak with an Laredo lawyer. In addition to Laredo, I also serve clients in other areas of south Texas.