What Are Sex Offenders Not Allowed to Do in Texas?

Convicted sex offenders often find themselves not allowed to work in certain professions and are blocked from getting professional licenses. This includes jobs at schools, day care centers, medical facilities and law firms.

They are also required to register and report any changes in their home address. This can make it difficult to travel, live in certain neighborhoods and other places.

1. You’re not allowed to travel

Many people are surprised to learn that a person doesn’t have to be convicted of a specific sex offense to have to register as a sex offender. Even a conviction for indecent exposure or public lewdness could require sex offender registration. When a person is a registered sex offender, their movements are restricted and supervised, even when they’re not on probation or parole.

For example, if someone is on parole or probation they will often have child safety zones that prevent them from going within a certain distance of schools, parks, and places where children gather. They may also be prevented from working in certain occupations, such as childcare, spas and salons, and jobs that put them in positions of power over others.

These restrictions can be difficult to meet, and if the offender violates their supervision terms they will likely face felony charges that could lead to prison time. Prosecutors take failure to comply with sex offender laws very seriously, so it’s important that people do what they can to keep their names off the registry as long as possible.

Other limitations include Internet restrictions. People who are on parole or probation will often have limited or no Internet access, especially if they used the Internet in their crime or if a victim of their crime was a minor. They may also have to wear a GPS tracking device on their body or be monitored by security guards.

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2. You’re not allowed to work

Depending on the crime, a person who is convicted of a sex offense in Texas may be prohibited from working with children or even engaging in sexual activity online. They could also be prohibited from certain public places, and if they violate any of these rules or other terms of their supervision, then they can face significant penalties, including having their parole or probation revoked and being sent back to jail.

A registered sex offender in Texas will need to notify law enforcement if they move municipalities, and they’re required to update their information every 90 days while under supervision. It’s a felony to fail to comply with these requirements, and if someone who’s on the list fails to do so twice they’ll be arrested and put back in prison for two to 20 years.

The state’s child safety zone laws prohibit people who are registered sex offenders from living within a specific distance of places that children frequent, such as schools, parks, day care centers, youth centers, or public swimming pools. The exact distance depends on the offender’s risk assessment, and some of the highest-risk criminals can even be barred from using the internet at all.

Fortunately, a person on the sex offender registry can still vote once they’ve completed all of their incarceration and probation, but it can be difficult to find work with some professional license associations refusing to hire applicants who have been convicted of sex crimes. Contact a Galveston County sex offender defense attorney today to learn more about how being on the list can affect your life.

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3. You’re not allowed to live

Most states require sex offenders to register and obey specific terms and conditions based on their crime. Depending on the severity of their conviction and any restrictions ordered by the judge in their case, sex offenders may face travel, residency and community event restrictions.

These laws have been enacted to protect the public, particularly children, from offenders that commit heinous crimes. Those who have registered may be prevented from traveling or living within a certain distance of facilities and areas that regularly gather children, including schools, parks, playgrounds, day care centers, youth centers and public pools. In some instances, these laws can be so restrictive that it’s nearly impossible for offenders to find housing in their area that meets all the requirements.

Often, sex offenders are also forbidden from working in certain professions or industries, including school and daycare center teachers, medical professionals, sports leagues and law firms. Many places that serve the general public, such as restaurants and retail stores, will be reluctant to hire a person with a sex offense on their record, too.

Additionally, many convicted sex offenders will be prevented from owning firearms, even after their probation or parole ends. Depending on the type of sex crime, this restriction can last for 10 years or life. These restrictions can have a profoundly negative impact on the offenders’ lives, making it difficult to maintain a normal lifestyle.

4. You’re not allowed to go online

A lot of people don’t realize that having sex offender status has serious consequences in Texas and beyond. Those who are convicted of certain sex crimes, or have an open warrant for their arrest, must register as a sex offender and face many restrictions including travel, housing and work limitations. Additionally, sex offenders are not allowed to live or even be in the same area as children. Whether or not this makes sense is irrelevant because prosecutors take failure to comply with child safety laws extremely seriously.

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Detective Erbaugh, who manages the local sex offender registry in Tyler, explains that registered sex offenders are not allowed to reside within a mile radius of places such as schools, day care facilities, parks or playgrounds. This is based on the offender’s risk level and is determined by their parole board. If a sex offender moves to another county or city, they must notify both counties and provide all public information about them. This includes a picture, full name, gender, date of birth, address, phone number, supervisory agency, shoe size and victim sex and age.

There are many more restrictions sex offenders must deal with, including but not limited to: Internet, employment and voting restrictions. A person who fails to comply with sex offender rules could end up getting their probation revoked or could even be sent back to prison. This is why it’s important for anyone who has been convicted of a child pornography offense to hire an experienced sex offender attorney immediately.

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