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Texas State Laws On Sexual Offenders

1505 words - 6 pages

Sandra PerezCJ 3318 Sex CrimesDr. Lori Brusman LovinsSeptember 29, 2014Texas State Laws on Sex OffendersIn order to be registered as a sex offender, one needs to have been convicted of a crime that involves a sexual act defined by the state or federal law, which requires that they be put on the sex offender list after release or parole (Agan 210). In the State of Texas, the law requires that the adult or juvenile who has committed a crime register with the law enforcement agency in the city they live in, should they not live in a governed entity, they should register with whatever law enforcement authority is in place. The registration involves the provision of information that is inclusive, albeit not limited to the sexual offenders' name, address, color photograph, the nature of the offence and any other relevant data. In addition, they need to regularly to visit the registering authority to update the information on matters such as address change. Should one fail to register as a sex offender, they are liable for felony prosecution that could result in being taken back to prison or having their parole revoked.The public can access these records through a variety of ways availed by the State of Texas, including a statewide database that maintains updated information on all registered sex offenders accessible to anyone freely at any time. The general public can access the information herein through the website https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/soSearch/default.cfm . In addition, native law administration agencies in Texas are by law mandated to have a sex offender registry with information on all the registered sex offenders in the area. Based on the nature of the crime, the laws in Texas allow authorities to publish some of the sex offender registration information on local newspapers (Schiavone and Elizabeth 681). Finally, should an individual be categorized as a high-risk sexual offender move into an area, the authorities would be expected to notify the community by mailing everyone a postcard with the description of the individual and nature of the crime.In 2011, the national Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) was passed and states were required to expand their categories of sex offenders who are to include juveniles and adult offenders that committed certain crimes before the laws was passed (United States Congress). This law sets the minimum requirement that characterizes the offences and the way offenders should be classified and determines how long they should remain registered. States that refused to meet the requirements for the SORNA act would lose 10% of their Byne Law enforcement assist grants. Texas, however did not find the 10% cut to be enough incentive to accept the SORNA laws, in fact the legislators in the state claimed they were not rejecting the laws based on financial rather than safety needs. According to them, their current laws are by far more effective than the federal imposition given that they...

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