This is the next post in a series of articles discussing sex offender deregistration in Austin, Texas. My previous article discussed who may be eligible to terminate their obligation to register as a sex offender in the state. Determining whether a person can deregister can be a complicated analysis. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand if you qualify. Once eligibility is determined, those seeking to deregister should be aware that the process for doing so may require significant time and effort. In this article, I will discuss the deregistration process and explain what one may expect throughout. If you are considering deregistering, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
As I have previously discussed, there are many benefits of deregistering oneself as a sex offender. Before beginning the process, however, eligible residents should be aware that there are multiple steps to achieving this end. First, an individual must apply for deregistration through the Council of Sex Offender Treatment. This agency is responsible for setting the guidelines for deregistration. Applicants are required to submit a variety of information with their application, including current background check results, state and federal criminal history reports, and court documentation related to the underlying offense. Individuals may also supply information about their successful completion of probation or parole sentences or sex offender treatment programs. The Council will review the application material, verify eligibility, and notify the applicant if they are approved to proceed to the next step in the deregistration process. If so, the individual must undergo an assessment by a licensed Deregistration Specialist. The assessor will interview the individual, review their case history, and conduct a mental health evaluation. Their goal is to ascertain if the offender poses a risk of committing another sexual-related or other criminal offense in the future. Afterward, the assessor’s report will be submitted to the Council.
Following the assessment, the offender will file a Motion for Deregistration with the trial court that issued the sentence for the underlying offense. The judge will review the specialist’s evaluation as part of its analysis. The defendant’s motion should include all other relevant information, such as the completion of educational programs, lack of other criminal charges, or community service activities. It is important to understand that the judge retains full discretion to grant or deny a deregistration request. It is, therefore, imperative that the Motion for Deregistration contains as much supporting information as possible. For example, if an offender has participated in multiple treatment programs and become a counselor for other offenders following his sentence, this information may impact a judge’s decision. Evidence indicating that the defendant has changed their life and poses little risk to the community in the future may make the difference between success or failure. An experienced attorney can help you gather and present this information to the judge on your behalf.
If you are required to register as a sex offender in Texas and are considering the deregistration process, contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. 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.