Austin Texas Sex Offender Registration, Travis County Attorney Andy Nolen

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Author: Attorney Andy Nolen

The actual stigma of the sex criminal offense is something which can adhere to someone for a long time, if not a lifetime. If convicted, many various punishments might result. In addition to possible lengthy prison time, offenders may also be required to show they have been rehabilitated.  Furthermore, depending on the offense and the age of the perpetrator at the time of the offense, the offender may have to register as a sex offender for a number of years or even for their lifetime.  Once someone is on the registry life, it is very difficult to get removed.

To maintain the sex offender registry and to monitor sex offenders costs states a lot of money.  Like many states, Texas is struggling with finding ways to cover the costs of treating and monitoring sex offenders.

The Jacob Wetterling Act was passed by Congress in 1994.  The Act established guidelines for states to use in drafting their own sex offender registration laws.  The federal law was designed to target those who were likely to reoffend and states based their guidelines on that.  The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWCPSA) was passed by Congress in 2006, and it strengthened most of the requirements which states had already enacted.  Congress intended the law to create a uniform program of nationwide sex offender registration.

States are required by AWCPSA to create a three-tiered program of classifying sex offenders. Those offenders convicted of serious crimes and are deemed likely to reoffend are placed in tier three. Those offenders convicted of less serious crimes are placed in tiers one and two.

Lifetime registration will be required of those convicted of tier three offenses.  A period of 25 years will be required for tier two offenders and 15 years for tier one offenders.

Presently Texas law requires the state to follow current federal law, specifically the actual criteria required by AWCPSA. The state is now debating whether to follow AWCPSA or to draft its own criteria with regard to forcing sex offenders to register or be taken off of the list of offenders.  Only three states are in full compliance, as the law is very controversial.  The states that do not enact the tougher requirements have been threatened by Congress to have their grant funding reduced.

According to the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, it would cost Texas nearly $39 million to fully comply with the AWCPSA and to monitor all of the sex offenders who would be forced to register under the Act’s criteria..  If the grant money is withheld, Texas would lose only $1.5 million–a huge difference.

The new registration requirement for juvenile offender is very concerning to state officials.  Currently, the decision as to whether or not a juvenile has to register lies within the discretion of the judge.  Under AWCPSA, there is no such discretion and the juvenile would be required to register if he committed one of the specified crimes.  The judge would have no authority to prevent it, and the repercussions for the child could be severe.  It may also prevent the juvenile from attending college or finding employment.

TRAVIS County  Criminal Defense Attorneys  Andy Nolen and Associates have over 20years collective experience representing persons accused of committing criminal violations of State and Federal law. Andy Nolen has had many hundreds of criminal cases dismissed.  Having your case dismissed is always the primary objective.

AUSTIN, Texas Criminal Attorney Andy Nolen treats every person they represent as if they were a friend and neighbor.   When you call, likely Andy Nolen will answer your call himself.  You will be dealing with Attorneys, not secretaries, assistants, or answering machines.

If we can be of any assistance, or you just want to talk about your situation, please call  Travis  County Criminal Defense Attorney Andy Nolen at 713-697-4373.

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