If you’re a registered sex offender in Texas, you’ll have a lot of restrictions placed on your freedom. Whether or not you can use social media depends on the details of your case. If you were using social media, for example, in the commission of your crime, you usually can’t use the same accounts again. You may be banned, as well, from using the Internet.
Moreover, your parole or probation officer may implement additional restrictions, which include the sign-up and use of social media accounts. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for courts to ban registered offenders from using social media, especially if they’re charged with a serious sex offense.
Registered sex offenders are restricted on where they can live, where they can go, and what jobs they can hold. So, there are severe repercussions for people who are convicted of these types of crimes. Anyone facing charges needs help from an Austin sex crimes defense attorney.
Whether or not you can use social media depends on your sex offender level and the exact nature of your offense. Below are the levels of sex offenses in Texas.
Level 1 – Offenders under this classification pose a low risk and are not likely to engage in criminal sexual conduct. For instance, engaging in prostitution with consenting adults or getting charged for indecent exposure (including public urination) might fall under this category.
Level 2 – Offenders under this category pose a moderate threat and may have committed a more serious offense, such as aggravated sexual assault or a sex act that involved a minor. They usually have served a year in jail.
Texas Penal Code 22.021 states that aggravated sexual assault happens when a sexual assault occurs and includes any of the following aggravating circumstances:
Level 3 – These sex offenders are considered to pose a serious risk and are expected to engage in criminal activity in the future. Offenders may have participated in human trafficking, engaged in sex with a child under the age of 12, or kidnapped the victim.
Civil Commitment – Offenders under this listing are considered sexually violent and must undergo sex offender treatment while being civilly committed. Per Health and Safety Code 841.081, a sexually violent predator is committed for treatment until their behavior has changed to the extent that they’re not considered sexually violent.
However, it’s important to remember that as a registered sex offender, you may still be able to use social media and post online. Again, your lawyer will need to review your case and the factors surrounding it to see if you’ll be banned or restricted from using the Internet. If you’re considered a sexual predator online, the court may permanently ban any use of social media accounts.
Also, you may have to remove, disable, or block the use of a social networking platform as a condition of probation. Because cases may vary greatly, the imposed restrictions are different for individual offenders. Again, factors are considered that relate to the nature of the crime and the court’s verdict. The best way to see where you stand is to work with an experienced sex offender attorney.
Sex offenses that require sex offender registration include:
Sex offender registration may be for 10 years or a lifetime. If there was no sexual contact, such as online solicitation of a minor, the registration normally covers ten years. More severe charges, such as continual sexual assault of a child, require lifetime registration.
Sex offenders who must register for ten years are required to register for the 10 years if they receive deferred adjudication and then must register another ten years after this period.
Deferred adjudication is a type of plea deal where the defendant agrees to plead “no contest” or “guilty” to criminal charges to avoid jail time. During the process, the judge suspends the conviction and places the defendant on probation. The case is usually dismissed if the defendant meets the terms of the probationary period.
If the defendant does not meet the probationary requirements, the court can adjudicate the defendant’s guilt, thereby sentencing them to jail or prison time. Even if the case is dismissed, the arrest record of the defendant may still appear in the public records or background checks. That’s why it’s important to obtain help from an experienced sex crime lawyer.
Do you need a sex crime attorney? In Texas, contact the Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, to schedule a consultation right away.