Whenever you’re even accused of a sex crime against children, it’s a serious matter. The mere accusation, with no evidence to back it up, can cost you your job, local reputation, friends, and family members. It may be difficult just going outside for a walk in your neighborhood!
The district attorney can put you in prison with a fairly weak case. That’s because often lawyers are too afraid or inexperienced to challenge the case and win. They’ll tell you to simply accept the guilty charges so you don’t have to spend longer in prison.
Unfair and unjust. But often true.
And if you are guilty of “super aggravated sexual assault of a child,” you can get life without parole – or even the death penalty.
What Different Charges Can You Face?
Many things can happen, depending on what you get charged with. Remember, cases involving sex crimes against children (even if the allegations aren’t true) are easier to “prove” because of societal views that children are always innocent and truthful, while sex predators are always bad and evil.
1. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
If the victim is 13 or younger, this is a 1st degree felony (up to a $10,000 fine and 99 years in prison). If the victim is 14-16, you can get up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
To get charged with this, you must commit one of the following acts:
- Penetrating a victim’s sexual organ or anus with any object
- Penetrating a victim’s mouth with a sexual organ
- Any contact between the victim’s mouth and any other sexual organ or anus
- Any contact between the victim’s sexual organ or anus and anyone else’s sexual organ, anus, or mouth
In the case of 1st degree felonies, lifetime registration as a sex offender is required. Theoretically, if you plead guilty to a judge, you can get deferred probation. But that’s extremely rare in a state known for its toughness on crime.
2. Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
It works similar to aggravated sexual assault of a child, but with a few differences:
- The victim is 5 or younger
- Attempt to cause serious bodily injury or death
- Cause the victim to believe death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping could happen
- Threaten the victim directly to cause them death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping
- Use or display a deadly weapon
- Act together with another person to sexually assault the victim
- Use drugs to cause the assault
With the “Super” enhancement, you are charged with a 1st degree felony and a 25-year-to-life sentence. The 2nd offense leads to life without the possibility of parole, and possibly the death penalty.
3. Sexual Assault of a Child
The same elements are true for this offense that is true above in the “Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.” If your victim is 14-16, you can get 2 – 20 years in the penitentiary.
The only difference is the age.
Sexual assault of a child is a 2nd degree felony. That requires you to register as a sex offender for your lifetime.
In trial situations, the judge cannot offer you probation. But the jury can. In extremely rare cases, you can get deferred probation when you plead guilty to a judge.
Indecency with a Child By Contact
This final charge happens to children 16 or younger. If convicted, you are guilty of a 2nd degree felony, and you get 2-20 years in prison. You also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Regardless of the charges you face, they’re serious. And the Texas criminal justice system wants to put you in jail, whether you’re truly guilty or innocent. It makes authorities look good to the public when they do. Many criminal lawyers are afraid to stand up to them and keep honest Texans free who deserve to be free.
That’s why it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who fights for your freedom on your side.