Finding a lawyer to help you with a sex offender registry case can be extremely stressful. You are probably wondering who you can trust and who has your best interest in mind. Will your lawyer fight as hard as they can for you?
If you are facing charges for failing to register as a sex offender, Edgett Law Firm will help you fight back. Our Plano failure to register as a sex offender lawyer has dedicated his career to standing up for the rights of the accused.
When you choose Edgett Law Firm, you can rest assured that your defense is in good hands. Get in touch with us in Plano, TX, so we can get started defending you.
How Can Edgett Law Firm Help With Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Charges in Plano, Texas?
Charges for failing to register as a sex offender can be overwhelming. Police and prosecutors will treat you harshly, even if you made a simple mistake. Edgett Law Firm knows how serious this case is for your future. Our Plano criminal defense lawyer can push back against the state and protect your rights.
Our founding attorney Scott E. Edgett has dedicated his career to defending the accused in Plano, Texas. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his stellar representation of clients, including the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award.
When your hire our team to represent you, we will implement our in-depth defense strategy, which includes critical things such as:
- Asserting your rights to silence and an attorney
- Analyzing your criminal record and registration requirements
- Filing motions in court
- Assessing Pre-Release Notification requirements
- Negotiating with the Prosecutor for reduction or dismissal of charges
- Taking your case to trial if necessary
Sex crimes cases require unique aggression by defense counsel. Prosecutors and juries may stigmatize defendants and fail to remember that you have the presumption of innocence. This means that you are innocent until proven guilty.
We firmly believe in this principle, and we will give everything we have to fight for your future. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Plano criminal defense attorney.
Who Needs to Register as a Sex Offender in Plano?
Texas Penal Code Article 62.001(5) defines what constitutes a “reportable offense” for the sex offender registry system. There is a wide range of reportable offenses. Even if you were convicted of a sex crime in a different state or country, you will be required to register as an “Extrajurisdictional Registrant.”
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code Article 62.053, the Department of Criminal Justice is required to inform a convicted sex offender of their duty to register prior to release, and obtain a signature verifying they were informed of their duties to register. This includes advising you of your duty to register or verify registration within 7 days of release with local law enforcement.
As part of the pre-release notification process, law enforcement will complete a registration form containing detailed information about you. You will also be assigned a “risk level” under Penal Code Article 62.007 ranging from 1 to 3. Level one is a low risk to the community, level two is a moderate risk, and level three presents a high risk of continued criminal sexual conduct.
This risk level represents ongoing danger to the public and is publicly available. The level impacts the conditions placed on the registrant and notification requirements for neighbors that the Department of Public Safety must follow.
Some of the reportable offenses include convictions for:
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault of a Child
- Prostiution and Solicitation
- Soliciting a Minor
- Indecent Exposure
- Human trafficking / Kidnapping
- Conviction of a similar offense in any other jurisdiction
These are not the only reportable offenses for the sex offender registry in Plano, Texas. The complexity of registration requirements leaves many well-meaning people in violation of the law. It is easy to end up failing to register completely by accident!
Unfortunately, Plano prosecutors may not be very understanding. This is why it is crucial you fight back from day one.
What Penalties Am I Facing for Failing to Register?
The penalties for failing to register as a sex offender vary depending on the nature of the underlying conviction. Texas Statutes Article 62.102 and 62.101 provide the punishments for failing to register. In all cases, failing to register as a sex offender is a felony, the most serious type of crime.
The penalties are as follows:
- State Jail Felony for violating a ten-year duty to register requirement
- Third Degree Felony for violating a lifetime registration with annual reporting requirements
- Second Degree Felony for violating a lifetime registration with 90 day recurring reporting requirements
The level of a felony can be impacted by the number of prior convictions for similar crimes on your criminal record. The maximum and minimum penalties for the above felony classifications are:
- State Jail Felony: 180 days jail minimum to a maximum of 2 years
- Third Degree Felony: Imprisonment for two years minimum and 10 years maximum
- Second Degree Felony: Imprisonment for minimum of two years and maximum 20 years
As you can see, the State of Texas takes failing to register as a sex offender every bit as seriously as the underlying sex crime. The penalties for a conviction are severe. Just when you think your life is getting back on track, the system tries to drag you back in.
We understand how crazy this situation is and want to use our experience and passion to fight for your constitutional rights.
What Conditions are Imposed on Registered Sex Offenders in Plano?
The sex offender registry in Texas imposes strict conditions on the registrant. Failing to comply with any condition can lead to additional felony charges. The sex offender registry is publicly available on the Texas Department of Public Safety website, something that can hurt your job prospects and cause embarrassment.
While there are many requirements for registered sex offenders, a few of them include:
- Checking in with local law enforcement for “information verification” every 30-90 days or annually.
- Restrictions on jobs the registrant may perform
- Reporting changes of address 7 days before moving
- Reporting job and education changes within 7 days
- Registering in any place where the registrant spends 48 consecutive hours 3 + times a month
- Complying with local city ordinances regarding where you may live
- Complying with all conditions of probation, parole, and community supervision, including “child safety zones,” internet use, and sex offender treatment.
If you have any questions about complying with the conditions of the sex offender registry, be sure to work closely with a criminal defense attorney. Failing to fully comply can lead to a revocation of probation or parole and new felony charges.
What Defenses are Available to Failure to Register Allegations?
Failure to register as a sex offender is a strict liability offense. This means that the State is not required to prove intent as an element of the crime. Rather, they just have to prove that you failed to register within the required amount of time.
Strict liability offenses are particularly challenging to defend because intent is often a point of contention at trial. Failing to register cases require resourceful and experienced attorneys to build a strong defense.
Some defenses in a failure to register case may include:
- The State did not properly notify you of your duty to register
- You made a good faith attempt to register
- Collateral attacks on the underlying conviction
- The underlying conviction is not subject to registration
- Negotiating for dismissal or reduction in charges
- The State cannot meet its burden of proof at trial
Every case is different, so the only way to build a defense is to work closely with a Plano Sex Crime Lawyer at Edgett Law Firm. Certain defenses not on the list may be available to help you!
Contact Edgett Law Firm Today for Help
Our Plano failure to register as a sex offender lawyer is standing by to help you. Your freedom and future are far too important to risk going it alone. Law enforcement may try to convince you that they are on your side to get a confession.
Don’t let anyone take advantage of you. Contact Edgett Law Firm right away so we can get started fighting for you.