This is the next post in a series of articles discussing sex offender deregistration in Laredo, Texas. My previous article discussed the various benefits of terminating one’s obligation to register as a sex offender in the state’s mandated system. Eligible individuals should strongly consider the deregistration process to avail themselves of such benefits, including the restoration of privacy rights, freedom to relocate without unwanted attention, and more. In this article, I will discuss the eligibility requirements to deregister in Texas, which can be difficult to understand. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your history and help assist you throughout the process. If you are considering deregistration, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
It is important to understand that not everyone will be eligible to seek deregistration. The ability to terminate the registration obligations early is reserved for individuals who were convicted of a single, non-aggravated underlying offense. This means that violent offenders or those convicted of more than one sex-related offense will be ineligible. In addition, only those convicted within the state for a Texas crime qualify for Texas’ deregistration process. For instance, if a Texas resident was previously convicted of a sex charge in Illinois or a federal crime, the individual would not be eligible. After meeting these initial thresholds, individuals must determine whether the applicable Texas registration period exceeds the federal registration requirement for the same offense. For example, if a person is required to register for twenty years under Texas law, but federal law only requires a ten-year registration for the same crime, this satisfies the second prong of the eligibility test. A person who meets these requirements may request the ability to deregister as a sex offender.
If you are considering deregistering as a sex offender, it is essential to consult with a criminal defense attorney early in the process to ensure that you are eligible to proceed. Your lawyer will begin the engagement by reviewing your criminal history. By doing so, they will quickly identify the underlying offense for which you were convicted. The lawyer can also help you understand the complex state and federal sentencing rules to identify if your Texas sentence is longer than a federal registration period for the equivalent crime. If so, counsel will help you navigate the deregistration process. Determining eligibility is only the first step in a multiple-step process. Individuals must complete a written application and undergo a psychological assessment prior to submitting a Motion for Deregistration with the Court. Not all applicants will be permitted to deregister. Texas Judges who preside over such requests are given complete discretion in making their final decision. An experienced attorney can help you prepare in advance for the assessment and effectively present your case to the Judge.
If you would like more information about the deregistration process, my office is ready to assist you. Contact us today to speak with a Laredo lawyer. My office also serves clients in other areas of south Texas.