If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Texas, there’s a chance that you were required to register with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) as a sex offender. Being on this registry can be exceedingly onerous and severely impact your life. (How long will I be on the sex offender registry?) It can affect your ability to obtain a job, rent an apartment, participate in certain community events, and more. Further, it can leave you vulnerable to public harassment and worse. You were convicted of a crime and served your time, but being on the registry can feel like permanent punishment. Registration, however, is not always permanent. If you meet the required legal criteria, you may be able to deregister.
Deregistering in Four Steps
There are four important steps involved in deregistering from the sex offender list, which are detailed below:
- Step One – Check Your eligibility by submitting an application to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. The application includes questions related to your conviction (or adjudication) and your participation in a Sex Offender Treatment Program along with specific supporting documentation. The Council will review your application and determine your eligibility. To qualify for deregistration in Texas, you will need to have been convicted of no more than one crime requiring registration as a sex offender and must have completed a treatment program.
- Step Two – Schedule and attend an in-person evaluation. Once the Council approves your application, you will need to schedule your in-person evaluation with a Texas deregistration specialist. The evaluation is comprised of written and oral components that generally require about three or four hours – total – to complete. Once completed, your evaluation will be sent to the Council for review.
- Step Three – If the Council finds that you meet the criteria to deregister, you (and your criminal defense attorney) will petition the same court that originally sentenced you to remove your name from the sex offender registry. If the judge approves your request, you will be granted a signed court order indicating as much.
- Step Four – Finally, you will submit a copy of your court order to the DPS, and it should remove your name from the list within a reasonable time frame.
While you are not required to work with an attorney for deregistration, the stakes are far too high to leave to chance. Deregistration is a highly specific procedure, but an experienced Killeen criminal defense attorney will help ensure that you bypass major obstacles and that your request receives the serious consideration it deserves.
If You Hope to Deregister from the Sex Offender List, an Experienced Killeen Defense Attorney Can Help
Being on the sex offender registry can feel like the punishment after the punishment and can reverberate in your life in extremely negative ways. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an experienced criminal defense attorney with the skill and knowledge to help you on your journey toward deregistration. Our dedicated legal team is here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us or call us at (254) 220-4225 for more information today.