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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: Michael Ray Mann was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. He was 18 at the time of the offense, and its was a sexually violent offense. Under Texas Code of Criminal Practice Art. 62.02(a), he is required to register as a sexual offender until his death. Mann raises an ineffective assistance of counsel claim on appeal. He argues that his attorney should have sought an exemption for him from the statutorily mandated requirement that he register as a sexual offender. HOLDING: Affirmed. The court acknowledges that under Art. 62.105, a person under the age of 19 can petition for an exemption at any time after his sentencing or after he is placed on deferred adjudication community supervision. It is in the trial court’s discretion to grant this order. Though Mann argues that he is entitled to an attorney during this process, the court rules instead that a defendant does not have a constitutional right to counsel after sentencing to request an exemption from the sex-offender registration requirement. “Therefore, a defendant cannot assert a claim that his or her counsel was ineffective for failing to request such an exemption.” The court finds this to be an issue of first impression in Texas, though the court points out that case law establishes that the right to counsel does not extend to discretionary appeals or to writs of habeas corpus. Here, because the sex-offender registration requirement is non-punitive, it follows that the right to request an exemption from the sex-offender registration requirement post-sentencing is not a critical stage of the proceeding necessitating the presence of counsel. OPINION: Yates, J.; Yates, Anderson and Hudson, JJ.

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