This is the next post in a series of articles discussing sex offender deregistration in Austin, Texas. My previous article provided an overview of topics to be discussed throughout this series. The deregistration process can be beneficial to those who are eligible. Navigating the process can become complicated. For these reasons, it is important to retain knowledgeable criminal defense counsel to assist you through the process. In this post, I will review the benefits of deregistration. If you need assistance with a deregistration matter, contact my office to speak with an attorney.
Texas, like other states and the federal government, maintains a registry of those convicted of certain sex-related crimes. The purpose of this list is to protect the public from offenders who are deemed to pose a high risk of committing other sexual offenses. Because this information is publicly available, it can create ongoing problems for those required to register. Very often, registered individuals can have difficulty finding and keeping employment. Neighbors use the information to shun and shame registered individuals and pressure them into moving. In some situations, a person can be precluded from renting an apartment or home. These practical impacts are in addition to the personal stigma associated with registration. Registration requirements can last for a lifetime depending upon the offense. Failure to comply, even if inadvertent, can result in additional serious criminal charges. For many, the consequences can seem harsh and unjustified.
For those eligible to seek deregistration, doing so can bring relief from the unwanted negative attention. Opportunities to obtain housing, stop harassment by neighbors, and find a job may significantly improve once one is removed from the state registry. Furthermore, freedom from the potentially life-long conditions of registration will go a long way to restoring privacy for both the offender and their family. For instance, many offenders are required to report each time they change their address and may be subject to ongoing mandatory counseling. These conditions can be invasive and may prevent someone who has completed their criminal sentence from putting the event behind them. It is important to note that deregistration will not erase one’s criminal record or seal the information from being discoverable on criminal background checks. That said, removing the requirements of registering in the future can help eligible individuals begin to move on with their lives.
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 Austin criminal defense attorney. My office also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.