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If you were convicted and labeled as a sex offender in Texas, you will be required to keep your registration current within your home jurisdiction. Your registration is part of a larger searchable database used by the police and your community to monitor the behavior of sex offenders in their neighborhood. Your offenses will be listed alongside your status.

Any life changes you experience must be registered immediately. If you got a new job, moved, married or had your name legally changed, went to back to school, or recently graduated, you have three days to appear in person at your jurisdiction to notify them of all changes. The above list is by no means exhaustive. Keeping a tally of what is required as a sex offender can be challenging.

Charges will be filed against you if you fail to maintain your sex offender registration. Contact Houston lawyer Samuel M. Gardner for help.

The Registration Process

When you appear in your jurisdiction to register, your photograph will be taken and your current information will be used to update the registry of your county, town, or city. There are two different categories of sex offender based on the severity of sexual offense committed:

  • 10 year – You must register once a year for 10 years. Failure to register on time or in the event of a life change is charged as a state jail felony.
  • Lifetime – Jurisdiction registration is required four times a year for life. Failure to register is charged as a second-degree felony.

In the event that sex offenders do not meet their registration requirements, they are subject to felony prosecution. Leniency may be imparted in the event of a misunderstanding, although some judges are known for prosecuting mistakes.

Defenses for Failure to Register

There are a variety of possible defenses at your disposal. Double charging, or incorrect jury charges, is when a jury will charge the same defendant twice for failure to register if they have two or more prior sex offender charges.

If the officer assigned to meet with you to register doesn’t show for registration and you miss the registration window, this can be defended in court. A lack of intent to move residencies is a viable defense if the court requires the defendant to move but circumstances disallow immediate action. There are many other possible defenses for failure to register. If you missed the registration period, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Call (713) 448-0303 to contact Houston sex offender registration attorney Samuel M. Gardner.


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  • “Mr. Gardner took the time to go over the police report with me and show me why the evidence should be thrown out.”

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