Dallas Sex Crimes Attorney
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Dallas, Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter is here to help you fight the allegations against you. In a society that automatically assumes you are guilty if you are accused 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 let’s work together 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; 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.
- Sexual Assault
- Child Sexual Assault and 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
Allegations of sexual assault are serious charges and can result in severe penalties in Texas. Under Texas criminal codes, sexual assault can be brought for any kind of undesired physical contact, and even sexual comments could result in criminal charges.
The penalties for sexual assault can vary depending on what crime was committed and the specifics of the situation. Some examples of sexual assault include rape, date rape, child molestation, statutory rape, sexual abuse, and others. A conviction could result in jail time and costly fines, and may require you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. A conviction for any crime could have a significant impact on your life, but the social stigma of a sex crime conviction could have an even larger impact on your personal and professional life and livelihood.
In Texas, child sexual assault, rape/aggravated sexual assault, and statutory rape are all considered molestation, if the child or young adult is under 17 years of age. Because this charge covers several different acts, it is sometimes difficult to immediately determine what action you need to take to defend yourself. The first thing you should do if you are accused of molestation is to contact an attorney who has experience with these specific cases and who knows how to mount a strong defense on your behalf. Texas courts take these charges very seriously, so it is important to defend yourself immediately and vigorously.
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.
Section 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code establishes the penalties for indecency with a child. There are two types of indecency with a child that have been established by Texas law, which includes both sexual contact and exposure.
A person commits indecency by contact when they engage in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 years of age. The individual must not be the person’s spouse, or should not be the person who causes the child to engage in sexual contact.
Sexual contact is defined by Texas law as any touching (even through clothing) of the breast, anus, or any part of the genitals of a child if the action is committed with the intent to gratify or arouse any person. Contact and the intent of the person accused of indecency will be determined by the person’s conduct, remarks, and the situation.
Sexual exposure is defined as exposure of any part of the genitals or the anus in the known presence of a child or causing a child to expose their anus or any part of their genitals with the intent to gratify or arouse.
The state of Texas takes sex crime allegations seriously, even when those who are accused are minors in the eyes of the law. In today’s increasingly-connected age, smartphones and internet access have caused a spike in juvenile sex crime allegations. Sending photos or videos is a common way of communicating nowadays, and sending suggestive texts or nude/sexually suggestive pictures electronically (or “sexting”) has become commonplace. When this happens between consenting adults, it has become relatively accepted and routine in our society, but when one of the individuals is a minor, it becomes a serious criminal offense. This is also true even when both of the individuals involved are minors because the images transmitted are of children. Other crimes, assault, cyberbullying, sexual harassment are common for juveniles, so it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your child’s rights and their future.
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.\
The act of exchanging money for sex is illegal in Texas, so criminal charges could be issued against both parties in a solicitation or prostitution transaction.
A conviction for either offense could lead to jail time, significant fines, and other harsh punishments. Repeat offenders might even be required to register as a sex offender in the state’s registry. Prostitution, solicitation of prostitution, compelling prostitution, promotion of prostitution, and aggravated prostitution are all sex crimes that could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the alleged incident.
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 in 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 a 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.
Online solicitation of a minor with intent to commit a sexual act with that minor is among the most targeted and investigated criminal activities by state and federal law enforcement. E-mail, instant messaging, texting, social media, or other use of the internet is usually the way that online solicitation is conducted. A crime is committed when a conversation that is sexual in nature is had between an adult and a minor. If you’ve been charged with communicating in a sexually explicit manner with a minor, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
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.
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.