Were you or a loved one charged with a crime?

It’s important to have the best Texas criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Being accused of a sex crime or other criminal offense is a frightening experience. In addition to the stigma and social isolation you may suffer as friends, families and coworkers distance themselves from you, there are serious and long-term consequences if you’re found guilty of such a crime.

And perhaps no state comes down more harshly on criminals and sex offenders than Texas—particularly Galveston and Harris counties.

In the city of Galveston itself, which is home to just over 50,000 people, the overall crime rate is significantly higher than the state and national averages.

Although violent crimes like murder/homicide, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault have generally declined in the last decade, Galveston and Texas City are still among the most dangerous Houston-area suburbs, according to FBI statistics.

Our law office is located in Houston, Texas, just west of I-45 in the Houston Heights community. We regularly take cases from in and around Galveston County and throughout Southeast Texas, including:

  • Bayou Vista
  • Clear Lake Shores
  • Dickinson
  • Friendswood
  • Galveston
  • Hitchcock
  • Jamaica Beach
  • Kemah
  • La Marque
  • League City
  • Santa Fe
  • Texas City

A majority of sex crimes are categorized as felonies, which means you could spend years and even decades in prison. Then, if and when you eventually get out, you may have to register as a sex offender, which can negatively impact employment, housing, education and many other areas of your life.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a serious offense such as a sex crime in Galveston, Texas, we strongly advise that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney near you as soon as possible. Time is not on your side. At the Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, we can protect your rights and future.

From our Houston law office, we skillfully defend clients from communities across Southeast Texas. Visit our main office, located less than an hour from downtown Galveston just off I-45.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Galveston County or a surrounding area, start protecting your rights and future right now.

Take just a couple minutes to fill out the form below and schedule your free consultation with Matthew Sharp.

     

    matt sharp

     

    I understand the importance of listening to my clients. I take the time to fully know each of my clients’ needs because their future may be at stake. I’ve dedicated my career to providing the best legal counsel to ensure my clients’ rights and freedoms are vigorously protected. If you hire me to represent you, that’s my commitment to you. I believe everyone deserves a second chance and a strong defense.

    Attorney Matthew D. Sharp

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    Types of sex crimes and their penalties in Galveston, TX

    The Texas criminal justice system enacts some of the most severe punishments when it comes to sex offenses in the Lone Star State. While the actual penalties may vary depending on the facts of each individual case, Texas enforces strict sentencing guidelines that almost always result in severe punishments.

    Here’s a list of the most common sex crimes and the possible penalties:

    • Rape. If a sexual encounter is not consensual, then a person could be charged with rape in Texas. Rape and sexual assault is generally a second-degree felony, which can result in 2 to 20 years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000.
    • Prostitution. Pimping, patronizing, promoting and other prostitution activities are typically categorized as a Class B misdemeanor, but the offense can increase to a Class A misdemeanor or a felony if you’ve been previously convicted. It’s a third-degree felony to solicit sex from someone who is younger than 18 years old (but older than 14), and a second-degree felony if they are younger than 14.
    • Solicitation of a minor. Solicitation involves intentionally sending sexually explicit communication with a minor via online (the internet) or phone (sexting). Online solicitation of a minor is typically a third-degree felony, with the possibility of being elevated to a second-degree felony if the child was less than 14 years old.
    • Aggravated sex crimes. A sexual assault can be elevated to “aggravated” in certain situations, such as if the victim is injured, if there is an attempt on the victim’s life, if there is a threat of force, or if a weapon is used to commit the crime. Sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 is also considered an aggravated sex crime in Texas. Aggravated sexual assault is generally a first-degree felony.
    • Child pornography. Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony. Promotion or distribution of child porn is a second-degree felony in Texas. Pornography can be any images, video or written material that shows or describes a child engaged in sexual activity.
    • Sexual assault of a child. The age of consent in Texas is 17, which means that any sexual activity with a person under the age of 17, whether consensual or not, is a criminal offense. Statutory rape is usually sentenced as a second-degree felony, though certain conditions can elevate the charge to a first-degree felony such as continuous sex assault or aggravated sex assault.
    • Indecency with a child. Sexual contact (fondling) or exposure to a child under the age of 17 with no penetration is a crime in Texas. Indecency with a child by contact is generally a second-degree felony, whereas indecency with a child by exposure is usually a third-degree felony.
    • Sexting. Sexting is the act of storing and/or sending indecent pictures on your mobile phone or device. While consensual sexting between adults isn’t necessarily a crime, you can be charged with a sex offense if you send indecent images to a minor or possess indecent images of a minor on your phone, even if you didn’t know the minor was under the age of 17. It’s also a Class C misdemeanor for minors to send or receive sexts from other minors. Penalties can include a fine of up to $10,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both.

    Other examples of sex crimes in Texas include public lewdness, improper student/teacher relationship, child molestation, unsolicited and invasive photography or video recording, incest, obscenity, and voyeurism.

    Whatever sex crime you or a loved one have been charged with, it’s vital to obtain the best possible legal representation immediately to begin mounting a strong defense.

    Get the best possible defense against your criminal charge

    In addition to sex crimes, veteran defense attorney Matt Sharp specializes in defending clients against other serious criminal offenses in the Galveston area, including:

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    DWI charges

    Whether you’re facing a first-time DWI charge, or it’s your second or third offense, the consequences of drunk driving in Texas are serious. Let us begin building your defense today.

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    Drug possession

    Were you arrested for possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth or another illegal drug? A drug charge can result in severe penalties that affect your life long afterwards.

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    Federal crimes

    Federal charges differ from state offenses in many ways. For starters, the penalties are often more severe, which is why it’s vital to hire a defense attorney who specializes in federal law.

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    Prostitution

    In Texas, it’s illegal to solicit a prostitute for the purposes of engaging with him or her in sex for hire. Let us show you how we can mount a strong defense against a prostitution charge.

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    Violent crimes

    The punishments for violent crimes like armed robbery, assault, kidnapping, battery and murder are harsh in Texas. If you’ve been charged with a violent crime, get the best defense attorney possible.

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    White collar crimes

    An allegation of a white collar crime such as fraud, identify theft or embezzlement can have a devastating impact on your professional career and personal life. We can defend you against these charges.

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    Theft

    Shoplifting, burglary, robbery, identify theft and other property related crimes are common offenses in the Texas criminal justice system. Our theft defense lawyers can make sure you’re properly represented.

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    Internet offenses

    New Texas laws make it a criminal offense to engage in online harassment, soliciting, hacking, extortion, child pornography and other computer crimes. Work with a lawyer who knows how to defend you.

    Local resources for Galveston, TX residents

    Official government websites

    City of Galveston, Texas

    Galveston County, Texas

    Texas Public Sex Offender Registry

    Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

    Galveston Police Department
    601 54th St
    Galveston, TX 77551
    Emergency 911
    (409) 765-3702 (non-emergency)

    Galveston Sheriff’s Office
    601 54th St
    Galveston, TX 77551
    (409) 766-2322 (non-emergency)

    Local legal resources

    State Bar of Texas

    Galveston County Bar Association

    Galveston County Criminal Case Records Search

    Galveston County Justice System

    Galveston County Courthouse
    600 59th St
    Galveston, TX 77550

    Federal Courthouse in Galveston
    601 25th St
    Galveston, TX 77550

    Why hire a top-rated sex crime defense attorney near Galveston?

    Simply put, because your freedom and reputation are on the line. Don’t leave your defense up to chance.

    One wrong move or word can derail your defense completely. Aggressive prosecutors will use that to their advantage by seeking a conviction with harsh penalties in your case. The state of Texas takes sex crimes and other offenses seriously, and so should you. If you live near Galveston and have been accused of a crime, it’s vital that you take steps right now to avoid a conviction and understand your rights. Time is important when facing criminal charges, so do not delay in seeking legal help.

    With over 12 years of experience in the legal field, seasoned criminal defense attorney Matt Sharp dedicates his entire practice to criminal law. He is admitted to practice law in the state of Texas, and widely recognized for his legal skills and ethics. In addition to volunteering his legal skills to the local community in Houston, Matt Sharp is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.

    Chat with Matt to find out what to do next and to schedule your free case consultation.

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