Charged with a Sex Crime in Texas?
Few criminal charges are more serious than those related to sexual offenses. Not only are possible punishments for Texas sex crimes quite serious, but the ramifications usually extend into all areas of one’s life—from possible future employment to living arrangements. The bottom line is that anyone charged with a sex crime must act quickly to seek out legal help.
Texas Sex Crime Offenses
Dozens of Texas laws relate to sexual crimes. Some of the more commonly charged offenses are:
- Indecency with a Child
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student
- Improper Photography of Visual Recording
- Prohibited Sexual Conduct
- Promotion of Prostitution
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
- Compelling Prostitution
- Obscenity Display or Distribution
- Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to Minor
- Sexual Performance by a Child
- Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography
- Criminal solicitation of a Minor
- Public Lewdness
- Indecent Exposure
Defending Sex Crime Charges in Austin, TX
Sex crime lawyers in Texas understand that these charges are some of the most difficult to defend because of the stigma attached. Prosecutors often feel strongly motivated to believe a child victim no matter what. And because of the sensitive nature of sex crimes committed against adults, prosecutors often feel a heavy responsibility to obtain convictions.
Fortunately, the criminal justice system ensures that people charged with crimes—no matter what type of crime—will have their rights respected. That means that prosecutors must actually prove each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If sufficient evidence does not exist, then the accused cannot be found guilty. It is crucial to have proper legal defense such that prosecutors are required to prove their case.
For example, the offense of Texas sexual assault is guided by §21.011 of the Texas Penal Code. The statute explains to commit the offense one must intentionally or knowingly penetrate the body/mouth of another or engage in sexual contact without their consent. The statute then lists at least eleven situations where “consent” is deemed not to have existed—such as when another is unconscious or suffering from a mental disease or defect. To meet the requirements of the law, the prosecution must provide evidence to prove the defendant’s mental state, the actual unauthorized conduct, and lack of consent beyond a reasonable doubt. A defense attorney can explain if there may be insufficient evidence to prove any elements of the crime in your situation.
Help While Being Investigated for a Sex Crime
Many Texans first discover that they may be charged with a sex crime when informed by authorities that they are being investigated. It is important to seek out the help of a Texas sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible when you hear about such an investigation. What you say and do during an investigation can be critical in any subsequent criminal case. In fact, in some cases work can be done to ensure charges are not filed at all. This is important in keeping your record clean, because arrests (even if dropped or leading to a not guilty verdict) end up on criminal records.
Sex Offender Registries
One of the most well-known consequences of sex crime convictions is having to register as a sex offender. For example, if you are convicted of a crime like continuous sexual abuse of a young child, indecency with a child, sexual assault (more commonly called rape), or aggravated sexual assault, you may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. This is on top of any (long) prison sentence.
The registries are public databases that anyone can search to identify the past crimes. For example, one of the most popular is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The consequences of being forced to register are severe on future employment, housing, and community engagement activities. However, an attorney with experience in these cases can work to help avoid the damage. In some cases registration may be deferred or blocked with completion of proper treatment programs.
Sex Crime Lawyer in Austin, Texas
In the Austin area, Texas criminal defense lawyer Bill Mange has a history of success in sex crime cases—both as a prosecutor and defense attorney. His experience on both sides of the aisle mean that he is able to vigorously defend you at trial as well as negotiate with prosecutors if necessary.
Texas sex crime charges are always sensitive. It is crucial to have a legal advocate on your side who understands the delicate nature of the charges and appreciates the seriousness of the consequences. Be sure to get in touch with Attorney Mange for the experienced professional you need to defend yourself and protect your future.