STEP ONE: Submit an application to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment – In order to start the first step, click on this link and print the form.(Initial Eligibility Checklist rev 6-14). The form has several pages. The first page is a questionnaire. Complete the questionnaire. The rest of the pages provide instructions on other things you must collect and send to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. You have to follow these instructions. You will notice that you have to obtain your Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) and FBI criminal histories. You can contact TDPS for your state criminal history. The quickest way to obtain your FBI criminal history is to use a “FBI Channeler.” Just Google the term “FBI Channeler” and you will find some options. You will also need to send in information about your offense, like a probable cause affidavit. Once you have gathered all the required information, mail your application along with the Application Fee to Council on Sex Offender Treatment. It might take a few weeks but the Council on Sex Offender Treatment will respond by sending you a letter telling you whether or not you can deregister. DO NOT MAIL YOUR APPLICATION TO DEREGISTERTEXAS.
STEP TWO: Deregistration Evaluation – If the Council on Sex Offender Treatment approves you to deregister, the next step is to contact a deregistration specialist and schedule a deregistration evaluation. There are two ways you can do this. First, you can call the Council on Sex Offender Treatment (512-834-4530). Ask for a list of deregistration specialists. There are only 22 approved deregistration specialists in the State of Texas. Second you can contact Dr. Ferrara (see Contact page on this website). Keep in mind that Dr. Ferrara has trained all the deregistration evaluation specialist in the State of Texas, so you might want to consider being evaluated by him.
If you have been through sex offender treatment, then you have a pretty good idea about the nature of the deregistration evaluation. Most of the time, a deregistration evaluation takes three to four hours. About half of the time is spent doing paperwork and the other half of the time is spent in an interview.
Deregistration is designed for people who have been convicted of a sex offense. This includes deferred adjudication. You do not have to be innocent of your sex crime in order to deregister. When you are participating in the deregistration evaluation, it is best to admit to your sex offense. If you deny, minimize, or blame, it could hurt your chances of deregistering.
Once the evaluation is completed, the evaluation specialist sends the assessment report to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. The report is reviewed by Council on Sex Offender Treatment and then they send the report to you, or your attorney.
STEP THREE: Petition the Court – If the deregistration evaluation specialist found that you meet the criteria to deregister, you and your attorney (if you have one) must petition the court to deregister. You have to go back to the court in which you were sentenced and you must petition the court to be released from the registry. If the court approves you to deregister, you send the court order that the judge signed to DPS and they will take you off the registry.
Use of an Attorney – You do not have to use an attorney to deregister. You can go through all of the steps of the deregistration without using an attorney…but it might be a good idea to consider using an attorney. An attorney can help you with each step of the deregistration process. With STEP ONE, an attorney could help you determine if you are eligible to deregister. An attorney could even help you fill-out the forms. With STEP TWO, an attorney could help you find a deregistration evaluation specialist. With STEP THREE, there are many courts and district attorney offices in Texas that know very little about deregistration. If you hire an attorney, the attorney can smooth the way before you have a hearing on your petition to deregister. This will improve your chances of successfully deregistering.
WARNING! There are companies sending letters to individuals on the registry. These companies offer to help you through the deregistration process. Some companies are legitimate and helpful. Others are not helpful because they tell you there is only one deregistration specialist you should go to. Or, they tell you that you must submit to a polygraph exam.
You have a choice about deregistration specialists. There are 22 deregistration specialists in Texas. Do not get fooled into thinking you only have one choice.
Perhaps more important, you do not have to have to submit to a polygraph exam as part of the deregistration process.
Be very careful. It can be difficult to distinguish a legitimate company from one that might cost you a lot of extra and unnecessary time and money.