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What Should I Know About Sexual Assault Charges in Texas?

Sexual assault is a serious crime in the state of Texas. Section 22.011 of the Texas penal code discusses various aspects of the crime of sexual assault, affirmative defenses, and prohibited behaviors.

Any individual who finds themselves facing charges related to sexual assault should be aware of how Texas defines sexual assault and the potential criminal penalties. Our law firm has extensive experience handling sexual assault cases and has achieved favorable results for clients.

If you have been arrested and charged with sexual assault or questioned by law enforcement officials, you cannot wait to obtain legal representation. Contact our law firm and ask to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

What Are the Elements of Sexual Assault Under Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code?

In Section 22.011, sexual assault without a person’s consent can be charged as described in (a)(1) or (a)(2) or both. Both sections detail sexual assault by penetration of a sexual organ, a second-degree felony in Texas.

A sexual assault occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally acts in the following manner:

  • Causes the penetration of the female sexual organ or anus of the victim.
  • The sexual contact was unwanted and non-consensual.
  • The accused is not the spouse of the victim.

Some other sexual assault charges discussed in Section 22.011 (a) (2)(A) (C) and (D)
are sexual assault by the following means:

  • Sexual assault by penetration of the mouth.
  • Sexual assault by penetration of the anus or female sexual organ of a child.

The element of sexual assault by penetration of the mouth or the anus or female sexual organ of a child is a second-degree felony. Any individual under the age of 17 is considered a child in this context, and these charges follow the same guidelines as in (a)(1) or (a)(2) or both.

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Texas, you cannot delay or postpone obtaining quality legal representation.

What Are Affirmative Defenses For Sexual Assault Cases Under the Texas Penal Code?

Sections 21.011(b-1) (d) and (e) provide affirmative defense guidelines against prosecution for sexual assault if an individual meets specific legal criteria.

Affirmative Defense for Spouses

was the legal spouse of a child at the time of the offense. However, it should be stated that the defendant has the burden of proof and must demonstrate that such a defense exists and be able to prove it through clear and convincing evidence.

Affirmative Defense for Medical Care

This section of Texas penal code 22.011(d) describes affirmative defenses for healthcare providers administering medical treatment. Still, it does not include contact between the sexual organ or anus of the child or the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the individual providing those services.

Affirmative Defense for Youth Defense

Section 22.011(e) stipulates an affirmative defense against prosecution for sexual assault if the accused is not more than three years older than the victim as long as the victim is at least 14 years or older. Also known as the Romeo-Juliet Law in Texas, the defendant must not have been obligated to provide their name to the Texas Sex Offender registry for life as a sex offender. Additionally, the defendant will be excluded from this defense if they had a reportable conviction or adjudication for indecency with a child offense.

What are the Criminal Penalties For Sexual Assault in Texas?

Texas has strict laws that dictate criminal penalties for individuals convicted of sexual assault. Anyone found guilty of sexual assault faces a minimum two-year prison sentence. However, because sexual assault is considered a felony in Texas, individuals could be sentenced from two to 20 years in prison with a fine of up to 10,000.

Furthermore, anyone convicted of aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony in Texas, could be sentenced to anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Finally, sexual assault convictions require the offender to place their name in the Texas Sex Offender Registry.

A sexual assault conviction can easily ruin your life and prevent you from achieving your goals. A sexual assault charge can also prevent you from enlisting in the military, dictate where you can live, obtain gainful employment, and enroll in the college of your choice.

Therefore, even if there is a slight chance you may be charged with sexual assault, you must consult with a skilled defense attorney who will advise you of your options and how to protect yourself when talking with law enforcement.

How Can a Sexual Assault Defense Attorney Help Me With My Legal Needs?

One of the most significant roles that a sexual assault defense attorney plays for clients is to guide them through the complex Texas legal process. For individuals who come in contact with the Texas criminal justice system, the experience can be highly stressful and overwhelming.

The stakes are even greater for individuals accused of sexual assault crimes. The potential to go to prison added to the social stigma only worsens an already challenging situation.

On this account, it is always in your best interest to hire a sexual assault defense attorney immediately. If you wait too long to hire legal counsel, your attorney has to play catch up, which may cause unnecessary delays and cost you time and money.

Our law firm is passionately committed to treating our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve during this emotionally trying time. Our main objective is to negotiate with the prosecutors to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Nevertheless, our sexual assault criminal defense lawyer is client-centered and fully prepared to take your case to trial if necessary.

Contact the Cory Roth Law Office of Houston, TX, at 832-400-4133 and ask to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case and potential legal options.

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