Houston Cell Phone Photos Lead to Arrest, $20,000 Bond

March 15th, 2012 by Tad Nelson in Criminal Defense

A 58-year-old man was caught taking pictures on his cell phone of a young girl at a local Wal-Mart by the girl’s mother. She alerted a store employee who then called 911. Once police arrived, they were able to identify the photographer as a convicted sex offender, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s office. He was arrested on charges of improper photography, likely a violation of the terms of his probation.

Sex crimes are not taken lightly in Texas. Once convicted of rape, sexual assault or other Texas sex crime, a mandatory sex offender registration will follow you forever. And something as simple as taking a picture may be enough to put you back in jail.

Requirements for Registered Sex Offenders

Upon conviction for a sex crime, a judge will determine your sentence. The period of time that you may spend incarcerated does not change the lifelong penalty of registering as a sex offender. Both the state of Texas and the federal government maintains a database of convicted sex offenders; you will likely have to register with both.

You will also be required to register with local law enforcement wherever you decide to live after completing your sentence or being released on probation. You will have to report your address, your employment, your criminal history and much more.

If you plan to travel to another community for an extended period of time, you may also have to register with that city, town or county’s law enforcement. The length of stay that requires registration can vary.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) has created a searchable website that provides the public with access to the sex offender registry. Any information that you are required to report as part of a sex offender registration, other than your Social Security number, may be open and available to the public.

The bottom line is that conviction for a sex crime that carries with it the punishment of registering as a sex offender is a lifelong penalty. Fighting the charges you face right away, with the assistance of a Houston sex crimes attorney, may be your best shot at keeping your name off the registry.

Source: MyFox Houston, “Sex Offender Arrested for Taking Pics of Women’s Daughter,” John Perera, March 13, 2012

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