Both men and women from all walks of life can be accused of a sex crime. And no matter your age, marital status, or occupation, this type of conviction can have lifelong consequences. These are serious crimes with tough penalties. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime like indecency with a child, you are likely at a loss of what to do next. One of the first steps in understanding your charges is to know what is considered a sex crime in Texas.
What is Considered a Sex Crime in Texas?
On the books, Texas law doesn’t actually use the term “sex crimes.” Most crimes that the general public would consider a “sex crime” are defined and discussed under three different chapters of the Texas Penal Code: Chapters 21, 22, and 43.
Some examples of sexual offenses include:
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children
- Public Lewdness
- Indecent Exposure
- Indecency with a Child
- Improper Relationship between an Educator and a Student
Some, but not all, assaultive offenses are sexual in nature:
- Sexual Assault
- Indecent Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
And lastly, public indecency includes:
- The Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography
What Should I Do After Being Charged with a Sex Crime?
After a sex crime arrest, there are certain steps you must take to protect your rights.
First and foremost, remember that you have the right to remain silent. We understand that charges may come about after a misunderstanding and that some situations aren’t as clear cut as they seem. No matter what the circumstances are, don’t be in a rush to explain yourself to the police.
- Don’t answer any questions. Tell the police that you want to speak with an attorney first.
- Keep in mind that when using a jail phone, calls are often recorded.
- And once you are out on bail, do not speak to anyone about your case. Not the police, not the media, not your family and friends, and certainly not your accuser or their parents.
Then, your next step is to choose the most qualified sex crime attorney to represent you. Who you hire as your lawyer may mean the difference between years behind bars and an acquittal, or a felony charge that’s successfully reduced to a misdemeanor.
How to Choose a Sex Crime Attorney
When looking for an attorney, you need to do more than just flip open the phone book. Choosing the right attorney to defend you is a matter of asking some very specific questions. You need to know if they have experience with your type of charges. “How many indecency with a child cases have you handled? How long ago were these cases and in what county?” And perhaps most importantly, “What were the results of these cases?” Any lawyer worth their salt will pull up their case history online for you to read, right then and there.
You also need to know if they’ve actually been to trial for these types of cases. Or, have they just advised their clients to accept the first plea deal they’re handed? Unfortunately, many criminal defense attorneys are ultimately “plea attorneys.” They don’t go to trial because they’re either just plain lazy or they are intimidated by the prosecution and the judge.
It’s also important to look at attorney review sites like AVVO. What are past clients saying about this attorney? And what are other attorneys saying? Do they recommend him or her?
When you hire attorney Kent Starr, he wants the absolute best possible outcome for you. You can count on Mr. Starr not backing down. He will never fold his hands and advise you to accept a plea bargain if in fact going to trial is in your best interest. And on the lawyer rating site AVVO, Mr. Starr has an “excellent” rating of 8.6. You’ll see from his endorsements that other lawyers respect him, calling him “highly skilled” and “clearly experienced.” Sex crimes have potentially serious consequences. That’s why you need an experienced and aggressive sex crime attorney like him on your side.
What are the Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction?
Some of these crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies. In Texas, the punishment for any crime depends on either the class of misdemeanor or the degree of felony. To take just one example, depending on the specific circumstances, indecency with a child may be classified as either a second or third degree felony. According to Penal Code Chapter 12: Punishments:
- A second degree felony can bring between two and 20 years of prison time and a fine up to $10,000.
- And for a third degree felony, it’s between two and 10 years of prison time and a fine up to $10,000.
Unfortunately, the consequences of a sex crime conviction go beyond fines and prison time. In Texas, many people with a felony on their record are unable to vote in elections. And in many states, landlords won’t rent to someone with a sex crime on their record, making it difficult for anyone convicted to live where they want to. Also, you must consider the collateral damage to your family and friends when you are labeled as “sex offender” for life. It can damage your reputation and affect those close to you.
The bottom line is, sexual assault allegations have the capacity to ruin the future of that and your family. These are serious charges, and you must hire an attorney that’s serious about representing you. And that’s not something every criminal defense attorney is willing to do.
Plano Sexual Assault Attorney
The sooner you contact a sex crime lawyer to defend you, the better. Not only is Mr. Starr a highly rated attorney, he’s also a bail bondsman for Collin County. Just one call can get you out of jail and connect you with an experienced sex crime attorney. Save time and money by contacting him today at 214-982-1408 for a free confidential telephone consultation.
Texas Penal Code, Chapters 12, 21, 22, and 43