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Sex Offender Registration: What Can and Can’t I Do

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Being convicted of a crime that is sex-related can cause an automatic, mandatory registration into the sex offender database. In most cases, the automatic registration is valid for 10 years or for life. Being entered into the national sex offender database comes with a long list of restrictions and prohibitions that must be followed in order to stay out of jail.

Facts About Sex Offender Registration

A person can be ordered to register as a sex offender for almost any sexually-based offense. This can include crimes like sexual assault, indecency with a child, possession of child pornography or indecent exposure. Although cases can vary, most courts will impose mandatory sex offender registration for at least 10 years.

Registered sex offenders are required to regularly report to their supervision officers. They must inform their officers of any plans to move, get a new job or go to school. They must provide and update their physical information such as their height, weight and eye color. Any infraction of these rules can result in a revocation of their probation or parole status.

Are you facing a sex crime charge in Texas? Attorney Brett Podolsky can help »

What Sex Offenders Can Do

Despite all of these restrictions, registered sex offenders are allowed to experience some freedoms. This is opposed to how their existence would be if they were still incarcerated. The difference can be very significant. For example, sex offenders allowed to:

  • Work a steady job
  • Attend training or licensing programs
  • Pursue higher education
  • Maintain relationships with friends and family

Although sex offenders may find themselves judged or ostracized by the community, they are allowed to see therapists and doctors for help. They are allowed to work on making the most of their freedom as opposed to lingering in a jail cell.

What Sex Offenders Can’t Do

The list of prohibited activities for registered sex offenders is very long and comprehensive. Sex offender registration means that a person has been deemed to be a potential danger to others. Some of the things that a registered sex offender isn’t allowed to do include:

  • Live, work or commute in or near child safety zones
  • Change address or employment without notifying supervision officer
  • Possess pornography or certain sexual materials
  • Communicate with minors under age 17
  • Communicate with former victims

Sex offenders are subject to all the usual restrictions of a conditional release or probation. This means that they can’t drink alcohol or use drugs, they can’t leave the county without notice and they must report any significant changes to their supervision officer.

Registered sex offenders must also maintain a standard of living that is considered acceptable by the court. This means steady employment, a suitable living arrangement and enrollment in therapy or 12-step programs.

Avoid Sex Offender Convictions

The life of a sex offender is a tough one. Convictions both limit freedoms and destroy reputations. If you decide to hire a sex offender attorney, you may be able to avoid charges. Allow Brett A. Podolsky to help by calling 713.227.0087.

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