Dallas Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer

There are few other charges that have the same potential to affect just about every aspect of your life as those alleging statutory rape. That being said, you will need to do everything you possibly can to defend yourself and your future once you have been charged with this offense. The first thing you will need to do is seek legal counsel from an experienced defense lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our Dallas statutory rape defense attorneys understand just how much is at stake for you right now, and we can develop a comprehensive legal strategy to help you defend your rights and protect your future against the consequences of conviction.

Possible Consequences of a Statutory Rape Conviction in Dallas

Though these charges alone may be enough to damage a person’s reputation, the consequences of a conviction can be life-changing. Bearing that in mind, our legal team in Dallas can help you develop a comprehensive legal strategy to help you protect yourself from any of the penalties that may potentially be handed down in a conviction, including but not limited to the following:

  • Mandatory minimum prison sentencing
  • Lifetime registration as a sex offender
  • Substantial fines impose by the court

Though these charges are exceedingly serious, our legal team in Dallas can help you take the action necessary to defend your rights and protect your future throughout the coming legal process.

Statutory Rape in Texas

According to ageofconsent.net, the Texas Age of Consent is 17 years old.  Individuals aged 16 or younger in Texas are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.

Texas statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17.  Sexual intercourse between an employee of a school and a student is also prohibited, unless they are married, and no age of consent is specified in this law.

Also, Texas doesn’t have a close-in-age exemption.  Close in age exemptions, commonly known as ‘Romeo and Juliet laws’, are in place to prevent prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.

Since there is no ‘Romeo and Juliet law’ in Texas, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare.  Also, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 16-year-old and the second is a 17- or 18-year-old.

Also, according to ageofconsent.net, Texas has five statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Texas Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Texas equivalent of that charge.  The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim.  See below chart:

Criminal Charge Severity Punishment
Aggravated sexual assault Felony of the first degree Maximum of life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000
Continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children Felony of the first degree Maximum of life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000
Indecency with a child Felony of the second degree; Felony of the third degree Maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000; Maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000
Prohibited sexual conduct Felony of the second degree; Felony of the third degree Maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000; Maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000
Sexual assault Felony of the first degree Maximum of life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000

 

According to ageofconsent.net, Texas has actually defined six crimes that are used to prosecute sexual assault and related crimes within the state, if you were to include the ‘improper relationship between educator and student’. Statutory laws can be used to prosecute offenses that are related to the victim being below the Texas Age of Consent, while non-statutory rape laws are often used to prosecute offenses in which force or coercion was used by the assailant. (See https://www.ageofconsent.net/laws/texas  and https://www.ageofconsent.net/states/texas for more information).

Consult with a Statutory Rape Defense Attorney in Dallas

If you are dealing with serious allegations of statutory rape, you should consult with a Dallas statutory rape defense attorney at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter immediately. To speak with a Dallas defense attorney about the particulars of the charges that have been leveled against you, please call our Dallas offices at (214) 845-7007 today.