Persons who are convicted of sexual assault will face much stiffer penalties than other sorts of crimes. Additionally, the negative stigma associated with being convicted of sexual assault can be very high and may result in a loss of personal and business relationships. Sex crime charges have the potential to change your life and could put a major strain on your reputation and future prospects.
All too often people find themselves charged with sex crimes based on false accusations from bitter, jealous, mistaken or manipulated accusers. Recent DNA technology has proven that innocent sex crime defendants across the country have been imprisoned for decades because of false testimony, mistaken identity and mismanaged police investigations.
- Child Abuse
- Date Rape
- Indecent Exposure
- Online Solicitation
- Solicitation of a Minor
- Sex Offender Registration
- Sex with a Minor
- Sexual Assault
Whether the case involves a child victim that is being coached by another parent, or a past intimate partner who is now claiming that the sexual involvement was not consensual, there are many motivations that drive someone to falsely claim sexual assault. Regardless of the motivation of the complainant, a sexual offense allegation is a serious matter that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. You should contact a sexual assault defense attorney at the first sign of an allegation.
Understanding Sexual Offenses Under Texas Law
Many of the most common sex offenses that can result in severe penalties and required sex offender registration fall under Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code. This section of the law covers criminal sexual offenses in Collin County and throughout the state of Texas. While we often hear about people being accused of date rape or spousal rape, many sex crimes actually have much more specific statutory definitions. These laws are extremely complicated, and it is important to discuss your defense options with a Collin County sex crimes lawyer.
Examples of chargeable sex crimes under Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code include but are not limited to the following:
- Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children (Section 21.02);
- Public lewdness (Section 21.07);
- Indecent exposure (Section 21.08);
- Indecency with a child (Section 21.11);
- Improper relationship between educator and student (Section 21.12);
- Invasive visual recording (Section 21.15);
- Voyeurism (Section 21.16); and
- Unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material (Section 21.16).
Often these criminal offenses are charged in connection with other crimes, which can lead to substantial penalties, including imprisonment and steep fines. As you might have noticed, rape crimes are charged under another section of Texas law, emphasizing the complicated nature of defending against such allegations.
Sexual Assault and Rape Charges in Collin County
In many situations where an alleged victim accuses a person of rape and charges are brought in Collin County, such rape crimes typically will be charged under the statutory category of sexual assault, or Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code. That statute defines sexual assault as any of the following:
- Alleged penetration of the complainant’s sex organ or anus with another person’s sex organ;
- Alleged penetration of the complainant’s mouth with another person’s sex organ;
- Alleged penetration of the complainant’s sex organ by any means not already listed;
- Alleged contact of the complainant’s sex organ or anus with another person’s sex organ;
- Alleged contact of the complainant’s mouth with another person’s sex organ;
- Any of the following involving a child
Any of the above alleged acts can be charged as sexual assault if they are committed without the consent of the complainant. Issues of consent can be complicated, and it is always important to seek advice from a Collin County sexual assault lawyer. In cases where the defendant is alleged to have inflicted serious bodily harm (or to have intended to inflict serious bodily harm), the crime may be charged as aggravated sexual assault, which carries stiffer penalties.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Collin County
As we have emphasized, sex crimes are very serious offenses, and they are often charged in combination with other criminal offenses. The potential penalties for sex crimes vary depending upon the specific facts of the case and the way in which the defendant has been charged. Generally speaking, sex crimes can range from a first-degree felony to a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties for those offenses are as follows under Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code:
- First-degree felony: up to life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000;
- Second-degree felony: imprisonment for period between 2 and 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,0000;
- Third-degree felony: imprisonment for period between 2 and 10 years, and a fine of up to $10,0000;
- Class A misdemeanor: jail time of up to one year and/or fine of up to $4,000; and
- Class B misdemeanor: jail time of up to 180 days and/or fine of up to $2,000.
Contact our Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers today
No crime carries with it a stronger public sentiment nor tougher sentences than sex crimes. If you are facing such a case, you could face long prison sentences, life-time registration as a sex offender and other devastating consequences that could remain on your criminal record for quite some time. You should trust your future to a Collin County criminal defense attorney with the experience and legal skills to handle such a complicated matter. For sexual assault charges, contact Rosenthal & Wadas for a free and confidential initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case. We understand the sensitivity of your case, and will help you understand the workings of the criminal justice system and will try to minimize the consequences of being charged with a sexual assault crime. Early intervention is critical to obtaining the best results.