The Texas Penal Code lists sexual assault as a second-degree felony. A conviction could subject you to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and having to register as a sex offender. These charges can result in public humiliation, social stigma, and irreparable damage to your reputation. To fight the charges against you, you may want to consider working with a Houston criminal defense lawyer from the very beginning of your case. Your defense team will gather evidence, prepare a defense, and negotiate with the prosecutor. You do not want to wait until the day before your trial to seek legal assistance.
You can call Blass Law today at (713) 225-1900 to get started. Even if you think that your situation is hopeless, we might be able to reach an agreement that lessens the consequences for you.
How Texas Law Defines Sexual Assault
Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code defines sexual assault as a sex act performed on another person intentionally and knowingly, without the consent of the other person.
The statute explains that the sex act is without consent if:
- The perpetrator uses violence, coercion, or physical force to cause the victim to take part in or submit to the sex act, or
- The perpetrator compels the act through harming the victim or makes a credible threat to do so, or
- The victim does not have the capacity to consent because the individual is unconscious or cannot resist physically, or
- The victim lacks the legal capacity to consent because a mental illness or cognitive impairment prevents the victim from understanding the nature of the activity or the possibility of resisting, or
- The perpetrator knows that the victim lacks awareness that a sex act is taking place and the victim did not consent, or
- The perpetrator drugged the victim without the victim’s knowledge to facilitate the sex act, or
- The perpetrator coerces the victim by threatening to harm a third party, or
- A public servant coerces the victim, or
- The victim is a current or former patient of the perpetrator, who is a health care worker and exploits the relationship, or
- The perpetrator is a spiritual advisor or member of the clergy who takes advantage of the victim’s emotional dependence, or
- The victim is a resident of a facility where the perpetrator works and the victim and perpetrator are not married to each other, either formally or informally, or
- A health care worker intentionally uses human reproductive material (such as sperm) from a donor whose material the victim has not consented to receive during an assisted reproductive procedure.
Some of these situations require additional factors to support a conviction for sexual assault. A Houston sexual assault lawyer can answer your questions about these elements and how they might apply to your case.
For a legal consultation with a sexual assault lawyer serving Houston, call 713-225-1900
The Sexual Offender Registration Program in Texas
In addition to imprisonment and the possibility of a fine, a person who gets convicted of sexual assault in Texas must comply with the Sexual Offender Registration Program requirements as set forth in Article 62.001 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Even if you file an appeal of your conviction, you must register as a sex offender until your appeal gets resolved.
Houston Sexual Assault Attorney 713-225-1900
Additional Consequences of a Sexual Assault Conviction
Doing your time after a sexual assault conviction does not mean that you get to start over with a clean slate. The criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life.
After serving your prison sentence, you may encounter the following scenarios:
Your Conviction Being Public Record
You will have to register as a sex offender for life, even if you move to another state. The Texas Department of Public Safety notes that various information about a sex offender, including their age, name, and address, are all public record. Having your record being easily accessed by the public could bar you from many opportunities.
For example, many businesses do not want their company’s name associated with sexual crimes. For that reason, you may be denied employment opportunities based on your criminal history.
Having Restricted Residential Options
After you get out of jail, you may be prohibited from living in certain areas of your community. According to the Texas Association of School Boards, you are not legally allowed to live or be within 1,000 feet of a school. For this reason, you may have to relocate to a different residence.
Your Employment and Academic Aspirations Could be Limited
Having a conviction on your record could make getting into a selective university an unreachable goal. You might have to settle for a lower-ranked college or give up your plans of getting a college degree. Additionally, the United States Department of Justice notes that there are restrictions on sex offenders being allowed to join the military. The path that you have envisioned for your life might not be possible anymore.
These are but a few examples of things that can happen if you get convicted of sexual assault. It is vital that you do everything within your power to avoid the conviction.
With so much at stake, it can be a smart decision to work with a Houston sexual assault lawyer. At Blass Law, we can help protect your future. Call us today at (713) 225-1900 to get started.
How a Houston Sexual Assault Lawyer From Blass Law Can Help You
In an ideal scenario, the charges against you are baseless, and there is no compelling evidence against you. However, this may not be the case in your situation. The ultimate goal of your defense team is to have the charges against you dropped or reduced.
We can work toward this goal by:
- Arguing that there is no evidence against you
- Determining legal precedent in cases similar to yours
- Negotiating with the prosecution for a plea deal
- Reviewing the available evidence in your case
- Carrying out a plan of action that works to promote your situation
- Advising you on your legal options
- Taking down statements from witnesses and third-party consultants
You can expect your Houston sexual assault lawyer to carry out services that meet the needs of your case. At Blass Law, we are going to work hard to get you the best possible outcome. To get started with a free case review, call us today at (713) 225-1900.