Dallas Sex Crimes Attorney
Few criminal charges are as stigmatized or as emotionally charged as sex crime offenses. Although the U.S. justice system holds that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, many individuals charged with sex crimes find that this is not the way that they are treated, as those around them, and even family members and friends, may jump to conclusions based solely on the accusations made against them.
As such, anyone facing sex crime charges of any kind cannot afford to take chances with their defense. A sex crime conviction can not only bring with it extreme legal consequences, but those convicted also will be required to have their names listed in a national sex offender registry; a punishment that can affect job prospects, personal relationships, and even where a person can live for years to come. At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we know how difficult it can be for anyone in Dallas to be facing sex crimes charges and these potential penalties; however, with the help of an aggressive legal team, you might be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
Types of Sex Crimes
There are a number of different sex crimes charges that individuals may face, all of them extremely serious and requiring fast, effective legal attention. When facing the following charges, it is highly advised to seek the help of a qualified and capable defense team.
Individuals who have been arrested for sexual assault against a child will typically face one of two charges: Texas Penal Code § 21.02 (2012) or Texas Penal Code § 21.11 (2012).
Texas Penal Code § 21.02 (2012) is the charge of “continuous sexual abuse of young child or children” and applies to individuals over the age of 17 who have been convicted of more than one instance of sexual abuse against a child or children under the age of 14. Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children is a 1st degree felony and carries a potential penalty of 5 to 99 years in prison if convicted.
The other common charge issued in instances of child sexual assault is explained by Texas Penal Code § 21.11 (2012), “indecency with a child.” Individuals could face charges of indecency with a child if they engaged in sexual contact with a child under the age of 17, forced someone under the age of 17 to engage in sexual contact, exposed their genitals with the intent of arousing or obtaining pleasure, or if they forced a child under the age of 17 to expose their genitals with the intent of arousing or obtaining pleasure. Indecency with a child can be charged as a 2nd or 3rd degree felony, both of which carry a minimum prison sentence of two years.
Rape, also referred to as sexual assault, is a 2nd degree felony in the state, and those convicted on charges of rape could face anywhere from 2 to 20 years in prison. Rape is elevated to aggravated sexual assaults when it occurs along with the threat of physical violence, death, or kidnapping.
Additionally, this charge can apply when sex crimes occur that involve children younger than 14, elderly individuals, or when deadly weapons or drugs are used in order to remove a victim’s ability to consent to sexual activity. Aggravated sexual assault is a 1st degree felony in Texas and is punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines.
In the state of Texas, statutory rape is the charge issued against individuals accused of engaging in sexual activity with an individual under the age of 17 if that individual is more than three years older than the minor in question. Statutory rape is considered a 1st degree felony if the minor is under the age of 14, and a 2nd degree felony if the minor is under the age of 17. The 1st degree felony charge carries a potential prison sentence of 5 to 99 years, while the 2nd degree felony charge can result in 2 to 20 years in prison.
Being accused of possession of child pornography is a serious criminal charge, and one that law enforcement officials are notoriously zealous in prosecuting. Individuals charged with possession of child pornography in the state of Texas face a number of potentially life-changing consequences, including 2 to 10 years in prison, as much as $10,000 in fines, and permanent inclusion on a database of registered sex offenders.
In the state of Texas, individuals who are convicted of a sex crime are required to register with local law enforcement. The terms of this registration can vary based on the terms of an individual’s conviction, but in most cases, it will, at minimum, include providing your name, address, photo, and the charge on which you were convicted.
If you fail to comply with any of the mandated aspects of your sex offender registration, you could face very serious additional criminal penalties and punishments. As such, anyone who has been accused of violating the terms of their sex offender registration, or who fears that such a charge could be issued against them, needs experienced legal representation.
Although often perceived as a lesser sex crime, being convicted on charges of public lewdness can have significant and long-lasting effects on every aspect of a person’s life. Texas Penal Code § 21.07 defines public lewdness as anyone caught committing any of the following acts in public: sexual intercourse, deviant sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or sexual contact with an animal/foul.
Public lewdness is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, and anyone convicted on these charges could face as much as one year in jail and up to $4,000 in financial penalties.
Advances in technology have changed the way that many crimes can be carried out, and this is certainly true for sex crimes. In Texas, internet sex crimes are frequently related to the acquisition or distribution of child pornography, or fall under the charge of unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material. Unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material is the criminal charge applied to instances in which sexually explicit material is circulated without the consent of the person depicted in the material.
The consequences of an internet sex crime can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult for you to secure employment, educational opportunities, or even housing. As such, it’s important to do everything you can to defend yourself against any criminal charges.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we take sex crimes charges as seriously as you do and are dedicated to doing everything we can to uphold your rights and protect your good name. As a former prosecutor, attorney Mark Lassiter knows the tactics that the prosecutor’s office will likely use, and has experience countering these tactics.
Speak with a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer in Dallas Today
When it comes to charges as serious as sex crimes, you cannot wait to get started mounting your defense. Let the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter help you prepare a strong and aggressive defense. Call us today at (214) 845-7007 to learn more about what we may be able to do for you.