How does the national sex offender registry work?

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a sex crime in Texas, you will want to learn about some of the potential penalties associated with a conviction for these types of offenses. One of the penalties may be the requirement to register as a sex offender depending on the offense.

One thing people should be aware of is that there is a national sex offender public website. This is a function of the U.S. Department of Justice. This website and its associated mobile app provides a variety of information about registered sex offenders but there is no national program for collecting consistent data nor is there national responsibility for doing so. Instead, all information available via the NSOPW is fed to it via the individual states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories or Indian tribes.

The fact that each jurisdiction feeds information to the national database is why the details given about each person may differ. Some states, for example, may collect and report full address information while others may not. Some states may remove a record once a person dies or moves to another state but some states keep the information alive regardless of these changes. If convicted of an offense in Texas, learning the about the state sex offender program may inform a person about what can show up in a national search.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Texas a background on the national sex offender registry and how it obtains and reports information on people required to register as sex offenders.