Your Guide to the Texas Sex Offender Registry

At Wilder Law Firm, we feel it is important to provide valuable insights and resources to individuals facing legal challenges in Texas. In this guide, we’ll delve into one of the most complex and often misunderstood aspects of criminal law  the Texas Sex Offender Registry. Your Guide to the Texas Sex Offender Registry

As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we understand the importance of understanding the intricacies of the Texas Sex Offender Registry and the significant impact it can have on individuals’ lives. Whether you’re facing allegations, concerned about registration requirements, or seeking information for a loved one, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need to navigate the Texas Sex Offender Registry with confidence.

What is the Texas Sex Offender Registry?

The Texas Sex Offender Registry, established under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, is a database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). It contains information about individuals who have been convicted of certain sex offenses in the state of Texas. As of 2023, there were over 100,000 people on the registry. The registry serves as a tool for law enforcement agencies, community notification, and public safety purposes.


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I hired the Wilder Law Firm to help with my Family Violence Citations due to it’s remarkable reviews, experience in the field and high approval rating! The firm successfully resolved my cases and got both of them dismissed. This has not only given me a greater relief, but I’m happy and excited that I have no record to worry about. Thank you everyone at the Wilder Law Firm for the support and patience with me. I’m very excited."

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My advice– call Wilder Law Firm– they will help you! I had two cases in two different courts and they were able to get both dismissed! Facing these two charges put me in a really hard time for a few months but with the Wilder Law Firm’s help, I was able to put all this past me and move on with a clean record. This was a hard life lesson but I am thankful for the results."

- Rudy Castanon

Requirements for Registration

Individuals convicted of certain sex offenses in Texas — detailed later in this blog — are required by law to register as sex offenders. Individuals who have been convicted of certain out-of-state offenses or federal offenses may also be required to register as sex offenders in Texas if they establish residency in the state.

Registration Process

Upon being convicted of certain offenses, individuals are often mandated to register as sex offenders. This registration must typically occur within seven days following their release from incarceration, their placement on probation, or their arrival in Texas. During the registration process, they must provide comprehensive personal information to the local law enforcement agency. This information includes their full name, date of birth, social security number, physical characteristics, the specific offense for which they were convicted, their current living address along with any secondary locations they frequently visit, details about their employment or educational institution, descriptions of any vehicles they own or regularly use, and their online identities, encompassing emails and social media handles. Furthermore, they are required to submit photographs and fingerprints to be included in the registry.

Following the initial registration, these individuals must adhere to ongoing requirements as part of their status on the Texas Sex Offender Registry. This includes periodic verification of their registration details, typically on an annual basis or every 90 days, depending on the assessed risk level. They are also obliged to promptly report any changes in their residential address, employment status, school enrollment, or vehicle ownership within a predetermined timeframe. In certain instances, there is also a mandate to notify local law enforcement agencies and potentially the surrounding community about the presence of a registered sex offender in the area.

The implications of being listed on the Texas Sex Offender Registry are profound and extensive. Individuals on the registry may face specific residency restrictions, which often prevent them from living in close proximity to schools, parks, or daycare centers. These restrictions can significantly impact their ability to find suitable housing. Additionally, the stigma of being on the registry can pose considerable challenges in securing employment or educational opportunities. The public stigma attached to registered sex offenders can lead to discrimination, social isolation, and a persistent negative reputation in the community.

Moreover, individuals on the registry are often subject to enhanced supervision by law enforcement agencies. This heightened scrutiny can include unannounced home visits and continuous monitoring to ensure compliance with the registry’s requirements. Given the significant legal and social ramifications of being on the Texas Sex Offender Registry, individuals facing these circumstances are strongly advised to seek legal guidance to navigate the complexities and challenges associated with their status.


Criminal Defense Attorney

Douglas Wilder 


Criminal Defense Attorney

Douglas Wilder 

Attorney Douglas Wilder has always stayed on the cutting edge of training and attending seminars to ensure he has the most knowledge he can to represent his clients. This has led him to be recognized as one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in Dallas by D magazine, and also recognized as a Super Lawyer for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, & 2023.  .

Attorney Douglas Wilder has always stayed on the cutting edge of training and attending seminars to ensure he has the most knowledge he can to represent his clients. This has led him to be recognized as one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in Dallas by D magazine, and also recognized as a Super Lawyer for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, & 2023.  .


Criminal Defense Attorney Douglas Wilder 

Attorney Douglas Wilder has always stayed on the cutting edge of training and attending seminars to ensure he has the most knowledge he can to represent his clients. This has led him to be recognized as one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in Dallas by D magazine, and also recognized as a Super Lawyer for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, & 2023.  .

What are the Levels of Sex Offender Registration in Texas?

In Texas, the classification system for sex offenders in the Sex Offender Registry is meticulously structured to evaluate the level of threat they pose to society, delineated into several distinct categories based on the severity of risk.

At the foundational level, we have Level 1, which is designated for those deemed to pose a low risk of reoffending. This category generally encompasses individuals who have been convicted of less severe sexual offenses or who exhibit mitigating factors that suggest a lower likelihood of repeating such behavior. The intent behind this classification is to identify those who, under legal scrutiny, are considered less likely to commit further offenses.

Moving up the scale, Level 2 is assigned to individuals judged to pose a moderate risk. This group typically includes offenders who have committed more serious sexual offenses and exhibit characteristics or historical patterns that suggest a heightened risk compared to Level 1 offenders. The designation reflects a nuanced assessment of their potential to reoffend, taking into account the nature of their past crimes and other relevant risk factors.

The most severe tier within this framework is Level 3, which targets those identified as high-risk offenders. These individuals are often characterized by a history of violent or predatory sexual offenses, representing a significant threat to public safety. The classification is reserved for those with a track record of severe offenses or who have aggravating factors that markedly increase their risk of reoffending.

Beyond these conventional levels, Texas employs a unique and stringent category known as Civil Commitment. This level is applicable to sex offenders who have completed their sentence yet are still deemed to pose a grave risk to public safety. Governed by the legal provisions under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the civil commitment process is designed for individuals who, due to their behavioral patterns and psychological assessments, are considered highly likely to engage in sexually violent behavior again.

The criteria for Civil Commitment are rigorous and multi-faceted, encompassing the diagnosis of a mental abnormality like a personality disorder or paraphilia, which significantly predisposes the individual to commit sexually predatory acts. Additionally, there must be substantial evidence indicating a strong likelihood of the individual reoffending, coupled with a clear and present danger to the safety of the community.

Individuals classified under the Civil Commitment level are subjected to intense supervision and undergo extensive treatment protocols managed by the Texas Civil Commitment Office. This level of oversight is the most restrictive and is implemented in rare cases, reflecting the state’s commitment to preventing further harm to the community by closely monitoring and treating those deemed to be the highest risk offenders.

What are the Possible Penalties of Not Complying with Registry Rules?

Failing to comply with the Texas Sex Offender Registry rules can profoundly impact an individual’s life, bringing about severe legal repercussions along with other significant challenges. Non-compliance is considered a criminal act and can result in stringent penalties, including substantial fines and lengthy imprisonment. The extent of these penalties varies based on the violation’s nature and severity, the individual’s criminal history, and the presence of any aggravating factors.

One of the gravest offenses is the failure to register as mandated, which can lead to criminal prosecution, resulting in long-term incarceration and hefty fines. Registered sex offenders in Texas are obliged to periodically verify their registration details with the police, either annually or quarterly. Neglecting to do this or failing to provide accurate updates can lead to charges of non-compliance, which carry their own set of legal consequences.

Additionally, individuals on the registry must promptly notify law enforcement of any changes in their living situation, employment, educational status, or vehicle ownership. Ignoring these requirements can lead to increased legal troubles and stricter law enforcement oversight. This could manifest as more frequent unannounced visits from authorities and a more stringent application of registration rules.

Beyond the direct legal implications, failing to comply with registry requirements can lead to various secondary consequences. These include the potential loss of housing or job opportunities, as individuals may face restrictions on where they can live or work, especially in proximity to schools, parks, or other designated areas. The stigma associated with being a registered sex offender can also strain personal relationships and social interactions.

For non-citizen registrants, non-compliance can have immigration repercussions, possibly affecting their legal status and residency in the United States. The registration requirement extends to a range of criminal convictions, including sexual assault, indecency with a child, possession or distribution of child pornography, and certain acts of kidnapping or burglary with a sexual component. Additionally, military personnel convicted of equivalent offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are also subject to these registration requirements. Therefore, adherence to the Texas Sex Offender Registry rules is crucial to avoid these far-reaching and potentially life-altering consequences.



Result: Not Guilty

Assault Family Violence

Result: No Charges Filed

Title IX Accusation

Result: Case Dismissed

Solicitation of a Minor for Sex

Result: Probation

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

Result: Not Guilty

Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon

Result: Deferred Probation

What is Deregistration?

Deregistration is a complex legal process that requires careful navigation of statutory requirements and adherence to specific procedures. Below is a step-by-step guide to help individuals understand how to deregister from the Texas Sex Offender Registry and regain control of their lives.

Initial Eligibility Determination

The initial phase of the deregistration procedure involves assessing whether you qualify based on specific eligibility standards. In accordance with Texas legislation, individuals aiming for deregistration should have one identifiable adjudication or conviction necessitating registration as a sex offender under Texas CCP Chapter 62, with a registration period surpassing the federal law’s minimum requirement. Moreover, the offense in question must be listed among all eligible offenses designated by the CSOT on the DPS website.

DES Evaluation and Risk Assessment

Once your offense qualifies based on the initial eligibility criteria, the subsequent step entails undergoing a DES evaluation and risk assessment. This assessment must adhere to the designated DES evaluation standards and might necessitate covering evaluation expenses. Its purpose is to evaluate your risk level and ascertain your qualification for deregistration.

Motion for Early Termination & Court Hearing

Following the DES evaluation, you’ll need to submit a Motion for Early Termination to the court. This motion should include a certified copy of the DES evaluation report and a written explanation of your offense eligibility. Once filed, you’ll be required to arrange a court hearing where you’ll present your case to the judge in order to obtain an Order Granting Early Termination.

CSOT Application for Deregistration Evaluation

To kickstart the deregistration process, you’ll need to gather all the required documents to request a deregistration evaluation. This entails securing permission from the CSOT to undergo evaluation by a designated Deregistration Evaluation Specialist (DES). The application process involves submitting background checks, court orders, paying filing fees, and providing any additional documents pertinent to the offense.

Initial Eligibility Check & Deregistration Evaluation

After submitting your application, the CSOT will carefully examine your documents to assess your eligibility for deregistration. If your application is approved, you’ll be granted permission to undergo evaluation by a DES. Following the evaluation, the results will be forwarded to the CSOT for further review.

Filing the Motion for Early Termination in Court

Upon receiving approval from the CSOT to file the motion for early termination, you’ll need to draft the motion and order, notify the state, and arrange a court hearing. At the hearing, you’ll present the findings of the DES evaluation and offer arguments to substantiate your eligibility for deregistration.

Protecting Your Rights, Fighting for Your Future

Navigating the complexities of the Texas Sex Offender Registry can be made easier by enlisting the aid knowledgeable legal professionals. At Wilder Law Firm, we have extensive experience advocating for individuals facing registration. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with issues related to the Texas Sex Offender Registry, don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation. We’ll assess your case, explore all available options, and provide strategic guidance to help you achieve your goals. 

Your future is too important to leave to chance — we’re here to fight for you every step of the way.