First Steps for People Accused of Sexual Assault in Texas
Legal experts agree that there is no trial which is more emotionally charged than one that regards sexual assault. Attorney Sandra Oballe can tell you first hand that the criminal justice in Texas is known to come down hard on sex offenses. In most trials, the judges and prosecutors are usually pressured to be unforgiving on sexual offenders. It gets worse when the sexual assault involves a minor. For these reasons, if you have been charged with sexual assault. You need to find a professional attorney to avoid the harsh punishments and long jail terms.
Being convicted of a sex crime can negatively impact your life. Aside from the heavy penalties, you could also be asked to register yourself as a sex offender. And this can significantly affect your reputation as a member of your society. But with the guidance of a sex crime defense attorney, you have a higher chance of protecting your image.
How Does The Texas Law Define Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is the crime of non-consensual sexual contact with another person. For adults, it entails any form of penetration. When it comes to kids, however, any form of sexual assault is considered a crime.
Under the Texas law, sexual assault can be fitted under the following circumstances;
- Compelling another person to engage in sex via force, coercion or violence.
- Compelling a person to engage in sexual activities by any form of threat.
- When the other party hasn’t consented and is unconscious or physically unable to resist.
- Taking advantage of a person’s mental inability to consent or reject.
- Not getting consent from a person and he/she is aware that the sexual assault is occurring.
- Intentionally impairing the other person’s control by using a particular substance without their knowledge.
- Using your post as a public servant to coerce a person.
- Threatening to use force or violence to compel the other person to submit.
- A mental health practitioner forcing a patient, current or former, to engage in sex.
- Being a member of the clergy and exploiting a person’s dependency on you as a spiritual adviser.
- You are an employee of a facility, and the other person is a resident.
Sexual assault can also be aggravated to Aggravated Sexual Assault. The penalties of aggravated sexual assault are more severe. Here are some aggravating factors;
- Death or injury occurring during the sexual assault.
- Threatening to injure, kidnap or traffic the victim.
- Using a deadly weapon to force the party to engage.
- Sexually assaulting a child below 14 years.
- An elderly or disabled victim.
What is The Punishment for Sexual Assault?
Under the Texas Law, sexual assault is a second-degree felony. This type of felony carries a sentence ranging from two to twenty years in a state prison. You can alternatively get a fine of up to $10,000. However, aggravated sexual assault is characterized as a first-degree felony and has a sentence ranging from five to ninety-nine years.
What To Do If You’ve Been Accused of Sexual Assault?
The first and most important thing you need to do is find an criminal justice attorney. He will assess your case and give you options. The attorney can advise you to argue that the victim did give you consent to engage in the act. Or, you can claim innocence that you didn’t commit the crime.