When we think of sex offenders, we normally bring to mind a rapist or a sexually abusive criminal. Major cases featured on the news always show violent and ruthless men who will coerce women into having intercourse with them. Normally victims of these offenses are battered, bruised, and scarred from the experience. While situations like this certainly do occur, some people that are registered as sex offenders never abused anyone. There are many minor crimes that result in sex offender registration. For example, if you partake in streaking, then you can be registered. Streaking is running in a public location fully nude. While some high school and college students may think it is fun to dare their friends to partake in an activity like this, if they police are contacting the participants will need to go to court. You can also be registered as a sex offender for urinating in public.
In Texas, both of these actions are considered indecent exposure. In their state code, a person who exposes himself or herself with the intent to arouse sexual desire in another can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. The action must be reckless and uncaring of others who are present and would be offended or alarmed. This would also include acts like flashing another person. If the act occurs in a public location such as a park or a shopping center and other pedestrians, particularly children, are offended, then the criminal can be given a $2,000 and be sent to jail for up to 180 days. In addition that person can be registered as a sex offender, an action which will damage their ability to get a job in the future.
Also, actions that are considered public lewdness can result in sex offender registration. If a person knowingly engages in sexual activity with another, sexual gratification with his or herself, or has a private, sexual encounter with someone else in a public place where others are alarmed or offended, then they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. Along with this the person can be given a $4,000 fine and one year in jail. Also, obscenity can cause a person to become registered as a sex offender. If a person promotes obscene material or an obscene device or participates in an obscene performance, then he can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Selling “harmful material” of a sexual nature to a child that has no redeeming value is considered a Class A misdemeanor. In some extreme cases, this act can result in a third-degree felony, which involved no less than 2 years in prison. The only defense for this crime is if the materials sold are educational or scientific in nature or the sale to a minor was completed with a parent or guardian present. When materials are considered obscene, criminal defense attorneys can argue that they have literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. If they don’t, then they will be considered obscene for lack of a better explanation. This means that the distributor will be a sex offender.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime like one of these, and the courts want to put you in the state sex offender registration, you will want to combat those charges. If you are proved guilty of your crime, you could end up with a year in jail and fail to ever get a good job or have a good reputation, all because your name is listed on a registry. With new smartphone apps that show where sex offenders live, your crime will be public and your friends and family may be embarrassed. It will probably be difficult for you to sustain a relationship, and people may assume that you did something vulgar when in reality your crime was harmless and maybe even unintentional.