San Antonio Sex Crimes Attorney

Arrested? Call Attorney John J. Fox Today!

Even the mere hint of a sex crime allegation is enough to ruin someone's reputation permanently. For this reason, it is imperative that people who are facing these charges seek help from a legal professional as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the nature of your charges, you could be facing years behind bars, fines, and a permanent place on the sex offender registry. The Texas Penal Code Title 5 Chapter 21 gives detailed information regarding the charges and penalties of sex crimes. Under the law, sexual intercourse is defined as the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ and sexual contact is touching another person for sexual gratification. What can make these cases difficult it that it can often come down to a case of one person's word against the others and false allegations are unfortunately not uncommon.

Child Pornography

Last year at the National Strategy Conference on Combating Child Exploitation, it was stated that child pornography offenses are on the rise. This being said, law enforcement is cracking down on suspected cases of possession and promotion of child porn. The sad truth is that innocent people may be accused of this offense because of the authorities' eagerness to put a stop to these offenses. According to the Texas Penal Code §43.26 (2007), a person can be convicted of the possession or promotion of child pornography if they knowingly had any type of visual material of a child under the age of 18 displayed in sexual activity. Someone who is convicted of possession of child pornography could be charged with a second degree felony under this law. For more information regarding charges of child pornography, click here. Consult a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer if you have any questions!

Molestation

Under the law, a child cannot give consent to any type of sexual contact. This being said, any sexual conduct towards a child is considered child molestation or child sexual abuse. Molestation includes a broad category of crimes including indecency with a child and improper relationship between an educator and a student. Indecency with a child is committed by an adult against a child that is under the age of 17, regardless of the sex. This could include exposing the private parts of the child or the offender or touching the child inappropriately. If the adult was only three years older than the child at the time of the offense and did not use force, this could be an affirmative defense. Also, if the adult was married to the child at the time, this too is an affirmative defense. If not, this offense can be charged as a second degree felony or a third degree felony, depending on the severity of the case.

Sex Offender Registration

The Texas Department of Public Safety operates a sex offender registry for all sex offenders in the state. The reason the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program was created was in order to protect the public and make them aware of sex offenders who live near them. Any adult or juvenile who was convicted of a sex offense will be required by local law enforcement to register in their own particular county. The registry will have a photograph of the offender, their name, their address, and the details of the crime they were convicted to. This is not a once-off procedure, but they will have to report to the police station intermittently in order to ensure that the information the Department of Public Safety has is accurate and up-to-date. There are several databases this information will be stored on and the public will be able to access any of them in order to find sex offenders in their neighborhood.

Sex with a Minor

In Texas, the age of consent to have sexual intercourse is 17. If an adult engages in any form of sexual contact with a child under the age of 17, they could be accused of a sex with a minor. It is important to know, however, that if you were less than three years older than the individual at the time of the offense, this could be an affirmative defense. If you are found guilty of inappropriate sexual contact, however, and the individual is more than three years their senior, they could be charged with a second or third degree felony. What makes this offense so complex is the fact that a boyfriend or girlfriend could be accused of this offense if the person they are in a relationship with is more than three years their junior.

Child Sexual Abuse

What makes child sexual abuse different from other types of sex crimes is the frequency of the assaults. According to Section 21.02 regarding the continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children, if the abuse took place over a period of thirty days or more and committed more than one instance of abuse. It also takes into account the age of the victim and the abuser. The abuser had to be 17 years or older at the time and the child had to be 14 years of age or younger. The types of abuse include sexual assault, sexual performance by a child, trafficking, prostitution, indecency with a child, and more. This offense is classified as a first degree felony and you could be put in prison anywhere from 25 years to life if you are convicted.

If you are facing sex crime charges it is imperative to contact a San Antonio sex crime attorney from our firm right away to ensure that your rights are protected!

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