Federal court and law booksThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing sex offender deregistration in Austin, Texas. My previous article discussed the potential benefits of removing oneself from the state’s mandated sex offender registry. For those who are eligible, deregistration can provide relief from ridicule and restore one’s right to privacy. In this article, I will discuss the eligibility requirements to deregister in Texas. Understanding whether you qualify can be complicated. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the requirements and assist you throughout the process. If you are considering deregistration, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Not everyone will be eligible to seek deregistration. Only those convicted of a single, non-aggravated offense may seek deregistration. This means that a person with multiple convictions or one conviction for a violent sexually-related offense will be ineligible. Furthermore, the conviction must have occurred in Texas. Out-of-state or federal crimes will not qualify for Texas’ deregistration process. For instance, if a Texas resident was previously convicted of a sex charge in Ohio, the individual would not be able to avail themself of the Texas deregistration process. If these requirements are met, one must next determine whether the applicable Texas registration period is longer than what is required for the same offense under federal law. For example, if a person is required to register for their lifetime under Texas law, but federal law only requires a ten-year registration for the same crime, this satisfies the second eligibility rule. One who meets the eligibility elements outlined above may seek to deregister.

Understanding whether one is able to seek deregistration can be confusing. If you are considering deregistering as a sex offender, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney early in the process. Your attorney will review your criminal history and help identify the underlying offense giving rise to the registration requirements. They will evaluate the type of offense and any related convictions to determine whether deregistration is an option. 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. Eligible individuals must successfully complete the application and undergo an assessment by a licensed specialist before your attorney can submit a Motion for Deregistration on your behalf. It is important to understand that not everyone will successfully deregister. Even if a person meets the eligibility requirements outlined above, the judge retains full discretion to grant or deny a deregistration request. Your attorney can help you prepare in advance for the assessment and effectively present your case to the judge.

If you are attempting to terminate the need to register as a sex offender, then contact my office today to speak with an attorney. In addition to Austin, I also serve 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.