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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Exclamation Coleman Cases for "sex offenders" not convicted

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    I was just informed that the Coleman cases have set a precident that releases parolees who have not been convicted of sexual crimes and who had inconclusive lie detector tests to be exempt from sex abuse classes. My husband was accused, but not convicted and agreed to a plea bargan. The plea was for 7 years of probation, what was supposed to be a 3 month sex offender class that has now lasted 3 years and will not end until probation is over, and deffered adjudication. His lie detector test prior to the plea was "inconclusive". Could these cases also apply to probation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    No, the two things have nothing to do with one another. The Coleman case dealt with the Texas parole board imposing sex offender conditions on parolees even though they were not convicted (or necessarily even charged) with a sex offense. The ruling in Coleman was that this cannot be done without allowing the parolee due process of law. The case did not go into alot of specifics so it doesn't even prohibit the parole board from still doing it, they just are going to have to meet some form of formality and provide the parolee a sufficient process to ensure that his/her rights are protected. Parole is distinctly different from probation, as your husband's situation entails, because initial probation terms are agreed to as part of the plea bargain process, and subsequently ordered terms are imposed later only upon a showing of good cause. In any and all cases, however, there is absolutely a process allowing due process of law.

    Your husband was obviously charged with a "sex offense" (ex: an offense that requires sex offender registration if "convicted.") He either plead to deferred adjudication on that same or similar offense, or he plead to a non-sex offense but agreed to sex offender conditions and therapy as a condition of his probation. If he plead to the original offense you and he need to understand that he is in fact convicted of a "sex offense" for purposes of sex offender laws. He is not a convicted felon but the sex offender registration statute considers deferred probation to also be a "registerable conviction."

    Whatever the terms of his required sex offender therapy, they are terms that he agreed to as part of the plea bargain. I have never heard of someone having a condition that they do "three months of sex offender therapy." It is certainly possible to negotiate such a term but the Code and the standard term is that the probationer "successfully complete" some form of sex offender therapy. Sex offender therapy is always performance and risk based meaning that there is no specified duration. You either satisfy your therapist that you are no longer a risk and no longer benefit from the sessions or you continue the therapy until the probation expires. Anyway, just check your husband's probation judgment to see exactly what he agreed to. If it says he must successfully complete the program, well he stays on it until his therapist says he's done.

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