The Sex Offender Registry Is a Mandatory Requirement for a Sex Crime Conviction in Texas
Interviewer: How often does registration a requirement of probation or some kind of plea bargain?
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Convictions for Sex Crimes Did Not Require Sex Offender Registration
Attorney Churak: It’s mandatory in Texas. There is no way to get out of registration. It is mandatory. In fact, I have had cases where people who had pled 30 years ago when there were no registration requirements were forced to register even though there was no requirement that they register.
Currently, the Sex Offender Registry Can Be Retroactively Applied to Convictions That Are Decades Old
The plea bargain they accepted did not mandate registering. They were still forced to register after they modified the law because they retroactively applied it.
Interviewer: How often does that happen when there’s a retroactive law?
Attorney Churak: I have seen it happen two times. These were plea bargains done in the 80s and 70s that didn’t require registration and where minimum deals basically was offered just to get rid of the case because they had a weak case. The sentence was minimum probation, no registration and occurred 15 years ago. The next you know, the police are knocking on his door telling him they’re going to arrest him for failure to register as a sex offender and he’s saying, “What?”
It is a real problem right now. It’s one of these things that it protects society and I think society needs to know where these predators are but I think it’s also gotten to the point where it’s just ridiculous.
Sex Offender Registry Status Can Prevent People from Finding or Maintaining Employment and Visiting Their Children at School Functions
Interviewer: How have you seen this impact people when they have to register?
Attorney Churak: They can’t get a job. They have trouble finding places to live. They have family issues because they can’t attend any functions with their children. They can’t go to school on the school grounds. They can’t go to boy scouts or girl scouts or any of those places. Some of them are prohibited from going to church.
Registered Sex Offenders Must Obtain Approval to Live with Their Own Children and Are Prohibited from Being in Locations Where Children Congregate
Usually what happens is if you get out on probation, you have to get approval to actually even be in the house with your own children and usually, to be around other children, you actually have to have a chaperon with you at all times.
You’re prohibited from going to any places where children may be, such as movie theaters or places like that during your probationary period. Sex offender probation is designed to fail. It is designed to fail. Then if you get to prison and come out on parole, they put the same restrictions on you.
Texas Strictly Limits Where Sex Offenders Can Live
Even after you get off of paper, either parole or probation, that some communities actually have statutes that say you cannot reside within 1000 feet of a school or park or any place where children congregate. That limits your ability to even live in places. Many of these people are living in a trailer in the country.
There are many other states that are like this. I don’t know how all of them are but Texas is pretty strong when it comes to sex crimes.
Protecting Your Child from a Crippling Conviction: Because of the Statutes Concerning 14-Year-Old Children, Parent Should Be Apprised of the State Laws Concerning Indecent Contact
Because of Texas’ stance on sex crimes, I think that parents need to be appraised of the issue that if the child is under the age of 14, there are major issues with any kind of relationships between boys and girls or girls and girls. The authorities will find indecency with a child by contact just by doing a little investigation. Even though it’s consensual, it doesn’t mean it can come back to haunt you at a later age.