Sex Crimes Lawyer in Austin
Being convicted of a crime of a sexual nature in Texas carries some of the state’s most severe penalties. Most will result in jail time and the requirement of registering as a sex offender in the community in which you reside. The stigma of being labeled a sex offender can be a lifelong burden, alienating the accused from friends and family forever. When wrongfully charged of a sex crime, or working to reduce unreasonable charges, it is essential to call a defense lawyer right away.
What Sex Crimes Charges Might I Face?
Chapters 21 and 22 of the Texas penal code correspond to sex crimes and assault crimes of a sexual nature. They vary in scope and in the penalties associated with them.
- Sexual Assault. This is an act of sexual penetration without the consent of the victim. The state of Texas makes no distinction between “rape” and “sexual assault.” What is commonly known as “statutory rape” is also defined as sexual assault, and is the charge for penetration of a child more than three years younger than the accused. It is generally a felony of the second degree, but it can be charged as a first-degree felony in some cases.
- Aggravated sexual assault. This is a similar charge, but is enhanced if the victim is elderly, disabled, younger than 14, or if the assault is committed with a deadly weapon or includes a severe attack endangering the life of the victim. It is a felony in the first degree and can include a lengthy prison term.
- Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children. This is a series of at least two sexual abuses within 30 days. A jury does not need to agree what those abuses are, but simply that the defendant committed two of them. It is a felony of the first degree requiring a lengthy prison term.
The state also prosecutes crimes of public lewdness, indecent exposure, indecency with a child, improper relationship between educator and student and improper photography or visual recording.
Central Texas Sex Crimes Attorney
When falsely accused of a sex crime, the first instinct of the accused is to cooperate with the investigation. It is imperative you do not communicate with law enforcement personnel until reaching out to an criminal defense attorney. A conviction is not necessarily required to force an individual to register as a sex offender, and with the help of strong legal counsel it is possible to stop the prosecution before it really starts. Working with an attorney will increase your chances to achieve the most favorable outcome, hopefully before your charges are brought to a courtroom. The help of a skilled attorney can be the difference between a dismissal and a lifetime of angst.
Contact an Austin sex crimes attorney today at (512) 369-3737 and get started on your defense. We are standing by to assist you.