I’ve been getting more calls on this lately. Texas allows certain sex offenders to deregister, which means what it sounds like. First, it’s important to understand that deregistration is not the same as an expunction.
Some people are confusing deregistration with an expunction. An expunction erases the history of the criminal case completely. If you are on the sex offender list you are not eligible for an expunction. If you want more information on expunctions in Texas go here.
So what does deregistration do?
It ends your duty to register. So you will no longer be required to register or appear on the public sex offender sites.
Who is eligible to deregister in Texas?
First, the case that caused you to register must be a Texas case. That is, if you are registered for an out of state conviction then this law can’t help you.
What cases are eligible for deregistration?
Sex offenders who have been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for the following offenses can apply for deregistration:
Compelling prostitution (victim under 17 years old)
Indecent exposure (two or more convictions)
Unlawful restraint (victim under 17 years old)
Indecency with a child by exposure
Possession or promotion of child pornography
Online solicitation of a minor
Sexual performance of a child
Indecency with a child (victim 13 to 17 years old)
- Any attempts, conspiracies, and solicitations of any of the above listed.
Second, you must have not committed more than a single offense. So if you have a two count indictment, or multiple cases you are not eligible. You must have been registered for a period of time longer than the federal law requires. That sounds confusing, but here is a chart that helps show you how long those periods are. Finally, you must have completed all sex offender treatment.
Third, you must have stayed out of trouble since you had to register. That means,
The sex offender must not being convicted of any offense for which imprisonment for more than 1 year may be imposed during the required registration period;
The sex offender must not have been convicted of any sex offense including misdemeanors during the required registration period;
The sex offender must have successfully completed sex offender treatment as defined in 22 Texas Administrative Code, Section 810.2(b)(29); and
- The sex offender must have successfully completed any periods of supervised release, probation, and parole. Any revocation disqualifies the offender.
I’m not sure if I’m eligible? What should I do?
Some people hire us to help them figure out if, or when they will be eligible. That’s fine. We can help you figure this out. But call us for a consult and we can walk you through it.
Assuming you are eligible here is the process.
You submit an application to the council on sex offender treatment to begin the process. Along with the form you have to submit documentation regarding your case including the Order of Conviction/Deferred Adjudication Order and if the reportable conviction or adjudication involved a minor, you have to provide a copy of one of documents which indicates the age of the victim at the time of the offense. Finally, a current criminal history background check is also required.