Juvenile Sex Offender Lawyers in Texas
Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Surrounding Areas
It is grueling enough for alleged offenders to endure the process of being prosecuted for sex crimes. However, these charges can haunt alleged juvenile offenders for years after their cases have been resolved.
Whether a minor who was under the age of 18 at the time of his or her offense pleads guilty to, is convicted of, or receives deferred adjudication in regards to a sex crime, that person could be forced to register as a sex offender for 10 years or possibly even longer. Sex offender registration may even be required in cases stemming from completely consensual sex between two adolescents, which is why it is critical for anybody facing any type of sex offense allegations to be sure he or she has qualified legal representation with an experienced team of juvenile sex offender lawyers.
How Our Lawyers Can Help You Fight Your Charges
Has your child been charged in Texas with any type of sex crime? Paul Stuckle has over 25 years of experience in the criminal justice system, and his time handling cases in various roles has helped him successfully defend countless clients against the potentially damaging consequences of a sex offense conviction. Contact us today to set up a free, confidential consultation that will let us review your case and see how we can help.
How Long Must a Juvenile Be Registered as a Sex Offender For?
Much like adult sex offenders, juvenile sex offenders in Texas are required to register until the 10th anniversary of the date on which the disposition of their case was made or the terms of the disposition were completed, whichever date is later. However, if a juvenile is tried as an adult and is convicted of a certain offense, he or she could be required to register for life.
The specific offenses which require lifetime sex offender registration include:
- One of the following sexually violent offenses committed by a person 17 years of age or older:
- Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children
- Indecency with a child by contact
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual performance by a child
- Aggravated kidnapping, if committed with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
- Burglary, if crime involved the intent to commit continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, or aggravated kidnapping committed with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
- An offense under the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice if the offense contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of one of the above Texas offenses.
- Trafficking of persons
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Compelling prostitution of a minor
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Indecency with a child by exposure, if before or after being convicted or adjudicated for this offense, the person receives or has received another reportable conviction or adjudication, other than an adjudication of delinquent conduct, for an offense or conduct that requires registration
- Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping in which the judgment in the case contains an affirmative finding that the victim or intended victim was younger than 17 years of age and, if before or after the person is convicted or adjudicated for one of these offenses, the person receives or has received another reportable conviction or adjudication, other than an adjudication of delinquent conduct, for an offense or conduct that requires registration
- Obscenity, if the punishment is increased due to the obscene material visually depicts a “child” engaging in sexually explicit activities
How Can Sex Offender Registration Affect the Life of a Juvenile?
Texas has some of the harshest requirements in the nation for juvenile sex offenders. It is important for alleged juvenile offenders to understand that there are several long-term ramifications to being required to register as a sex offender, including:
- Publicly Listed in Online Registries — Some states make juvenile sex offender lists accessible only by law enforcement or privileged officials, but these lists are available to the public at large in Texas. Thus, a registered juvenile sex offender has an inherent lack of privacy and carries an enormous social stigma.
- Difficulty Finding Employment — By being publicly listed, many people who were required to register as juvenile sex offenders can face extreme challenges in being hired by companies with policies that refuse to hire sex offenders.
- Difficulty Finding Housing — Many public and private landlords are reluctant to rent to individuals with criminal records, but they are especially wary of leasing to people who are publicly registered as juvenile sex offenders.
- Community Anger — Because the names and current addresses of sex offenders are publicly listed, it is not uncommon for certain members of the local community to learn of their residences and notify neighbors of the sex offender status. In some cases, this can also result in acts of violence against the juvenile sex offender.
- Psychological Problems — The combination of difficulties created by being required to register as a sex offender can not only cause unemployment or homelessness, but can ultimately lead to these people falling into deep despair and possibly attempting suicide.
Can Juveniles Avoid Having to Register as Sex Offenders?
It is possible for a juvenile sex offender to receive a court order that either exempts him or her from registration or classifies his or her registration information as nonpublic. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 62.352, a court can exempt a juvenile offender from registering as a sex offender if he or she shows that registration would not increase the protection of the public or the anticipated substantial harm to the juvenile or his or her family that would result from registration outweighs any potential increase in protection of the public resulting from registration.
After a hearing or under a plea agreement, a juvenile court can enter an order that either:
- Defers decision on requiring registration until the alleged juvenile offender has completed treatment for his or her sexual offense as a condition of probation or while committed to the Texas Youth Commission
- Requires the alleged juvenile offender to register as a sex offender but providing that the registration information is not public information and is restricted to use by law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, the Council on Sex Offender Treatment, and public or private institutions of higher education
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
If your child has been accused of any sort of sex offense in Texas, he or she is at risk of having to register as a sex offender. Paul Stuckle aggressively defends juvenile clients against these charges and actively works to get dismissals, acquittals, or not guilty verdicts. Schedule a free consultation today to review your case by calling (972) 423-4405 or contacting us online.