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Where Can Sex Offenders Legally Live?
February 19, 2014
In an effort to enhance public safety, increased restrictions are being placed on sex offenders. If you are labeled as a sex offender, one of the restrictions you might face is where you will live. Texas is one of the growing number of states that prohibit sex offenders from taking up residence in so-called “safe zones” which are places where children normally frequent.
According to the Texas Penal Code the current law requires that you live at least 1,000 feet away from places where children frequently gather in public. A few of these locations include:
Day care centers
Not only can you not live within these “safe zones”, but you could be prohibited from moving within them while performing everyday activities. In addition, state law does not prohibit municipalities from extending the boundaries of safe zones, with some of them doubling the size to as much as 2,000 feet. As a result, you could find yourself facing additional restrictions if you happen to move from one Texas County to another.
Some cities have even gone to the effort of drawing up “safe zone” maps that detail exactly where sex offenders may not live. Those who own property within these boundaries can also face sanctions if they knowingly rent to someone who is required to register as a sex offender.
End of Restriction for Sex Abuser
The amount of time that you, as a sex offender, will be subject to the residency restrictions will depend on the length of time you are required to report. Some offenses require registration for a period of ten years, while others mandate registration for life. If you fall into the lifetime registration category, the restrictions on where you will live will affect you indefinitely.
Penalties for Child Abuser Residency
There can be serious consequences if you are found in violation of a residency restriction. You could face significant jail time or fines if you are found residing in or visiting safe zones. The matter cannot be resolved by simply refusing to undergo registration, as you could also face sanctions for doing so. Although obeying this law can be burdensome, trying to circumvent it in any way will usually result in things being even more difficult for you if you are caught.
All sex offenders are subject to these requirements, regardless of whether or not the act in question involves a child. When you consider that a good number of sex offenses do not include children, it raises a question as to whether or not these residency restrictions are a violation of individual rights. Until new legislation is passed, everyone who has been labeled a sex offender must continue to abide by the current laws.
Sex Offender Defense Attorney
Being labeled a sex offender is both embarrassing and has many legal implications. It’s better to fight the system and clear your name then to surrender and be labeled a sex offender. Get a hold of an experienced sex offender lawyer by calling Brett A. Podolsky today at 713.227.0087.