Sex Offender Deregistration Petitions

Sex offender registration is an enormously embarrassing requirement. While in some cases there is strong public policy justifying registration, in many cases the offender poses no risk to the community but is still scarred and publicly humiliated by being required to register. Fortunately, the Texas Legislature has recently recognized this fact and has provided an avenue for deregistration. The procedures are complex, time consuming and expensive, but if you qualify there may be relief available. Call us, 512-476-6201, or email us at to discuss your personal situation.

Who is eligible to deregister?

To be eligible to deregister, a person must have only one conviction for which registration is required The registration period under Texas law must be longer than the minimum period required under the federal Adam Walsh Act. Whether the registration period under Texas law is longer than the minimum period under the Adam Walsh Act can be a difficult determination to make. The federal act describes offenses by conduct rather than by reference to state statutes. DPS is required to publish a list of Texas offenses qualifying for deregistration. Sometimes a conviction for certain conduct under a Texas penal statute will qualify for deregistration while a conviction for different conduct under the same statute will not.

What are the steps to deregister?

  1. The person’s eligibility for deregistration should be determined. See above for information on who is eligible to deregister.
  2. Eligibility for deregistration must be formally determined by the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. An applicant must file with the Council on its official form an Initial Eligibility Checklist for Deregistration Evaluation. Accompanying the form must be court documents stating the offense of conviction or adjudication with Penal Code citation; Court documents indicating when he started probation/parole, and the length of the term. If the offense is Indecency with a child, an applicant must provide either an Offense Report and/or court documentation that evidences the age of the victim and the offender at the time of the offense, a copy of an updated criminal history background as recorded by DPS and the FBI, and a $50 fee.
  3. If the Council determines that a person is eligible for deregistration, the person is then authorized to undergo a risk assessment evaluation by a licensed evaluation specialist. The specialist will conduct an evaluation in accordance with the criteria established by the Council to assess the threat of whether the person will reoffend. The specialist will prepare a report of the results of the evaluation.
  4. After the risk assessment is completed, the person may petition the court where the conviction took place and request that the court terminate the duty to register. The judge has broad discretion in ruling on the petition. He may deny it without a hearing or he may conduct a hearing and then grant or deny the request. It is important that the petition be persuasive and that evidence be presented such that a compelling case be presented at the hearing.

Best Parole Attorney in Texas

My grandson at age 16 accepted a plea bargain of 25 years after an attorney took his money and ran. A good attorney should not have had any trouble convincing a jury that it was self defense and not murder. After serving 12-1/2 years, he had his first review for parole this year. He was represented by Gary Cohen (from Austin Tx) and was granted parole in September.

Mr. Cohen has done a superb job of representing him. He visited my grandson several times and was open and personable to myself and other family members. He had done an enormous amount of research into the case, and had a phenomenal presentation at the hearing with a parole board member. My daughter and I were allowed to speak at the hearing also and we saw that Mr. Cohen was professional, yet very down to earth. I am delighted to highly recommend Gary Cohen for anyone in a similar circumstance. His fee is pricy, but remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for”.


When I needed a parole lawyer, my attorney said to me: “Gary Cohen is the best in Texas”. And he was right. Gary Cohen was instrumental in obtaining parole for our beloved brother. He has a very sharp understanding of the complexities of the Texas parole system and was able to leverage his wealth of experience and professional connections to deliver a positive result for our brother. In addition, Gary was highly supportive, courteous and understanding to us as he led us through the complicated and lengthy parole process. We would not hesitate to recommend Gary. Thank you again Gary!

Jorge R

Gary Cohen impressed me as an attorney by being professional and just caring. I found out early by research & reviews that he was considered one of the best parole attorneys in Texas & he didn’t disappoint! From day 1, I knew I was in capable hands! The parole packet he & his team prepared was incredible, written by caring & empathetic people. The detail, the photos, the way is was written was superb! There is no guarantee of outcome, of course, but I can assure you he & his team will do everything in their power to represent you or your loved one at this crucial time. They are easy to talk to & easy to reach. In our case, my loved one received an FI-1, and we couldn’t be happier with Gary & staff!

David P.