Dallas Sex Crime Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Dallas, the criminal lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter are here to help you fight the allegations against you. In a society that automatically assumes you are guilty if someone accuses you of a sex crime, we believe you are innocent until proven guilty. We will do everything in our power to help free you from these charges and defend your reputation. Attorney Mark T. Lassiter has decades of experience helping others just like you defend themselves against sex crime charges, and he is ready to go to battle for you.
Who else would you want on your side but a former prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office? Who else knows the system inside and out, and can mount the best defense possible for you? Why would you trust anyone else to handle your case than Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter? Make the choice that so many others have made, and work with our Dallas sex crime defense attorneys to clear your good name.
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. This 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 crime charges and these potential penalties. However, with the help of an aggressive legal team, you might be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
To find out your options for defending yourself against a sex crime charge, call us at (214) 845-7007 and schedule a free consultation.
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.
- Sexual Assault
- Child Molestation
- Rape/Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Statutory Rape
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Sex Offender Registration Violations
- Public Lewdness
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Indecency with a Child
- Juvenile Sex Crimes
- Solicitation of Sex / Prostitution
- Solicitation of a Minor
Sex Crimes According to Texas Law
Texas state laws and federal laws determine whether a specific action constitutes a sex crime. Typically, they are any type of action that involves pornography, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault.
Following are definitions of sex crimes under the Texas Penal code:
1. Sex crimes involving children
It’s illegal to participate in a sexual act with a person under the age of 18.
- Criminal Solicitation of a Minor – Texas Penal Code § 15.031
- Indecency with a Child – Texas Penal Code § 21.11
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children – Texas Penal Code § 21.02
- Human Trafficking; Sexual Trafficking of a Child – Texas Penal Code § 20A.02 (a) (7) or (8)
- Sexual Performance by a Child – Texas Penal Code § 43.25
- Employment Harmful to Children – Texas Penal Code § 43.251
- Compelling Prostitution Child Younger than 18 – Texas Penal Code § 43.05(a) (2)
- Improper Relationship between Educator and Student – Texas Penal Code § 21.12
2. Sex crimes involving sexual assault
Statutes in Texas don’t include the word rape. They use the term “sexual assault” as a crime under state laws.
- Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code § 22.011
- Aggravated Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code § 22.021
3. Sex crimes involving pornography
It’s illegal to hold, possess, own, create, store, or participate in pornography in any way.
- Improper Photography or Visual Recording – Texas Penal Code § 21.15
- Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography – Texas Penal Code § 43.26
- Obscene Display or Distribution – Texas Penal Code § 43.22
- Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to a Minor – Texas Penal Code § 43.24
4. Sex crimes involving prostitution
- Prostitution – Texas Penal Code § 43.02
- Promotion of Prostitution – Texas Penal Code § 43.03
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution – Texas Penal Code § 43.04
- Compelling Prostitution – Texas Penal Code § 43.05
Defenses Against Sex Crime Allegations
If you find yourself facing allegations of a sex crime, there are various defenses you could use, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some of the common defenses for sex crimes include:
- The victim wrongfully identified the defendant;
- The defendant wasn’t present during the alleged sex crime and has an alibi to confirm that; or
- The defendant didn’t understand what they were doing because of psychological problems.
Affirmative Defense Against Sex Crimes
If you choose to use the affirmative defense strategy, that would mean you admit to committing the act but argue that the circumstances do not make it a criminal offense. With this defense, you’re not admitting that you’re guilty of committing a sex crime but attempting to show the court that the act wasn’t a crime. The specific circumstances that could justify using an affirmative defense include:
- The defendant didn’t use threats, force, or cause the victim duress during the offense.
- The defendant and victim were married at the time of the incident.
- The victim gave consent to sexual contact.
- The defendant wasn’t more than three years older than the victim if the case involves statutory rape.
Defenses Against Statutory Rape
Texas laws issue exemptions to the charge of statutory rape, which occurs when the victim is underage.
- Marital Exemption: The adult defendant is married to the minor, which allows sexual acts with their spouse despite being under the legal age.
- Romeo and Juliet Exemption: The victim who is a minor between the ages of 14 and 17, gave consent to the defendant, who isn’t more than three years older than the minor.
- Mistaken Age: The defendant believed the victim was over the age of consent and couldn’t have known how old they were.
Additional Defenses Against Sex Crimes
If you’re facing charges of sexual assault, you could potentially use any of the defenses below:
- The defendant’s intent was not to commit a sex crime.
- The defendant didn’t possess the knowledge to commit a sex crime.
- The sexual activity was actually medical care for a child, and excluded contact with or penetration of the child’s sexual organ, mouth, or anus.
- The defendant was insane.
- The victim was of legal age and provided consent to the defendant.
Penalties for Sex Crime Convictions
The penalty you face will depend on various circumstances of the sex crime charge against you, such as:
- The age of the victim
- Your age
- The sexual act that occurred
- Your relationship with the victim
- Prior sex crime convictions
Examples of misdemeanor sexual offenses include:
- Indecent exposure
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Sexting by a minor
The penalties for misdemeanor sex crime convictions are:
- Class A misdemeanor: A maximum of one year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a maximum of a $2,000 fine.
- Class C misdemeanor: Up to $500 in fines.
Examples of felony sexual offenses include:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Indecency with a child
- Sex trafficking
- Indecent contact with a child
- Possession of child pornography
The penalties for felony sex crime convictions are:
- First-degree: Between 5 and 99 years or life in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
- Second-degree: A minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Third-degree: 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum of a $10,000 fine.
- State jail felony: A minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 2 years in state jail with $10,000 in fines.
If you get released from jail or prison, you have to register as a sex offender with the Texas Sex Offender Registry. It might be difficult for you to find a job because most people don’t want to employ a convicted sex offender. You’re also not allowed to own a firearm, vote, or run for public office. If you want to go back to school, your conviction could prevent you from college admission or applying for grants if you do get accepted.
How Can a Dallas Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Help Me?
Facing a sex crime charge is frightening and stressful. The allegations against you are serious, and you could end up serving time behind bars. It’s crucial that you hire an experienced lawyer from Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at the beginning of your case to ensure you have the best representation possible. If you try to handle this alone, you could end up with a much harsher sentence than if you have us by your side.
When you hire us, we’ll review the details of the charges against you and immediately start working on your defense. We have the resources to obtain sufficient evidence that proves your innocence or pokes holes in the prosecution’s theory to get your charges reduced or dropped.
You might worry about the costs of hiring a Dallas sex crime defense lawyer and decide to go with a public defender instead. That could end up working against you. While public defenders are hardworking and experienced in defending clients against sex crime allegations, they also have large caseloads and little time to perform a thorough investigation. To ensure your rights stay protected and you have the best chance of being exonerated, you should contact Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter.
Speak with a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer in Dallas Today
If you stand accused of a sex crime, you do not have to accept the charges against you and the damage they will do to your freedom and your reputation in the community. Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter is here to help you. With a former prosecutor and “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” on your side, you can prove to a jury, the court, and society that you are not guilty of the charges levied against you. Why trust your case to an inexperienced attorney, when you can have Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter on your side, fighting on your behalf? 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 protect your freedom and fight these charges against you.