Megan’s Law in Texas: Sex Offender Laws and Registration Requirements
Sex crimes have been increasing in Texas over the last several years. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, over 19,000 separate incidents of sexual assault were reported in 2010, and over 80 percent of these assaults were against someone the offender knew, such as family or friends.
Those convicted of a sex crime face strict penalties, many of which will remain for the rest of their lives. These penalties might include jail time, fines, probation, community service, as well as having to register as a sex offender – a stigma to avoid if at all possible.
Sex Offender Registration
There are many different sex crimes in Texas. They include, among others:
- Sexual assault
- Rape (including statutory)
- Sex crimes on the internet
- Possession of child pornography
- Child molestation
- Solicitation or prostitution
Each one of these crimes, if convicted, brings with it severe consequences for the offender. As a result, it is important that anyone charged with a sex crime treat their case very seriously and ensure his or her rights are protected throughout the criminal process. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in the requirement to register as a convicted sex offender on the state’s registry system.
According to Megan’s Law, both adult and juvenile convicted sex offenders must provide the state with detailed personal information that will be made public and searchable by the rest of Texas. Some of this information includes:
- Full name and all aliases
- Birth date
- Sex, race, height, weight and hair and eye color
- Social security number
- Driver’s license number
- Home address (and all other property owned by the registrant)
- Make, model and year of vehicle(s)
Most offenses require a registrant to remain in the registry for life, with at least an annual verification of a person’s information.
However, those charged with sex crimes have a right to experienced legal representation qualified to handle the delicate nature of sexual assault litigation. Speak with a qualified attorney today to learn more about your rights and legal options.