Criminal allegations are always overwhelming, especially if they’re a sexual offense. Sex crime accusations carry heavy penalties and a negative social stigma. Many offenders find themselves battling not only the courts, but the judgement of their friends and family.
The legal consequences are particularly harsh for sex crimes. If you’re convicted, you may be required to spend thousands of dollars on fines and spend time behind bars. In addition, the court may order you to register as a sex offender. This label could follow you around for years or even the rest of your life.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a sexual offense, it’s imperative you gain trusted legal representation.
Attorney for Sexual Offenses in Harris County, Texas
A sexual offense conviction could limit your professional and personal goals. Many employers are not keen to hire people with a record involving a sexual offense. If you’re registered as a sex offender, it could be harder for you to assimilate into your community.
We defend all types of sex crimes including:
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Educator and Student Relationships
- Human Trafficking
- Child Pornography
Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents people accused of sex crimes throughout the Harris County area including Houston, Pasadena, Tomball and West University Place.
Overview of Sex Offenses in Texas
- Sexual Assault Charges
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Texas Public Nudity Crimes
- Child Sex Offenses
- Additional Resources
Sexual Assault Charges in Texas
One of the most common sex offenses is sexual assault. Texas Penal Code § 22.011 states you can be charged with sexual assault if you penetrate or cause to penetrate the mouth, sexual organs or anus of another person without consent.
Consent is one of the main issues in a sexual assault case. The legal age of consent in Texas is 17 years old, so any person younger than that is incapable of giving consent. Texas law states the victim cannot give consent in certain scenarios, including:
- The victim was drugged by a chemical or controlled substance;
- The victim was forced to participate through physical force or violence;
- There was no physical force, but the victim was compelled to participate by threat of physical force;
- The victim never gave consent and you were aware sexual assault was taking place; or
- The victim was unable to consent because they were unconscious or physically incapable of resisting.
Sexual assault is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison. If you were prohibited from marrying the victim, then your punishment will be a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony has a maximum prison sentence of 99 years or life in prison.
Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas
A sexual assault can be reclassified as an aggravated sexual assault if certain factors were present in the crime. According to Texas Penal Code § 22.02, you’re guilty of aggravated sexual assault if:
- You cause serious bodily injury or attempt to kill the victim;
- Caused the victim to fear serious bodily injury, kidnapping or for their life;
- Threaten the victim with imminent serious bodily injury, kidnapping or death;
- Used a deadly weapon during the sexual assault;
- Drug the victim with roofies, rohypnol, ketamine, the Date Rape drug, or gamma hydroxybutyrate (GBHB);
- The victim is14 years old or younger; or
- The victim is disabled or elderly
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 99 years.
Texas Public Nudity Crimes
It’s unlawful in Texas to be publicly nude or perform sexual acts in public. The majority of the time a public nudity offense is a simple harmless prank. However, Texas law isn’t kind to those with public nudity convictions. You could face serious fines and potential jail time.
Exposing genitals in public either recklessly or to arouse someone is referred to as indecent exposure. An indecent exposure conviction is a class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
You could be charged with public lewdness for doing any of the following in public:
- Participating in sexual intercourse;
- Engaging in deviate sexual intercourse
- Performing an act of sexual conduct; or
- Doing a sexual act with an animal
Public lewdness is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Sexual Abuse of a Child in Texas
Sex crimes involving children have severe life-changing consequences. The majority of child sex offenses are at the felony-level, meaning you could go to prison. Not only this, but many sex crimes involving children require you to register as a sex offender.
Exposing your genitals, exposing a child’s genitals or engaging in sexual contact with a child Is called indecency with a child under Texas law. Indecent with a child is a third-degree felony that could result in up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you engaged in sexual contact with the child, then your crime is a first-degree felony with a maximum of life in prison.
Possessing or transmitting child pornography is also a serious offense in Texas. A conviction may result in a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Your offense can be elevated if you promoted any child pornography. If you promoted child pornography, then your crime will be reclassified as a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony has a legal punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Sex Crime Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Penal Code to learn more about their sexual offenses. Access the statutes to see other related sexual offenses, their punishments, enhancements and possible admissible defenses in court.
Texas Sex Offender Program – Visit the official website of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Texas. Access the site to learn more about Texas’s sex offender registration program, what the program entails, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Lawyer for Sex Crimes in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with a sexual offense, it’s crucial you seek legal counsel. A sex crime could lead to serious consequences including prison or jail time. Don’t wait another moment and contact an criminal defense attorney from Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
You can contact us for a free consultation at (713) 224-5529 Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. defends people throughout the greater Houston metroplex area including Bellaire, Tomball, Pasadena and West University Place.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.