Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense
Houston Aggravated Sexual Assault Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Aggravated sexual assault is actually one of the most serious crimes that a person could be charged with. It’s actually considered a first-degree felony. By comparison, typical sexual assault charges only reach the level of second-degree felony.
Texas Penal Code 22.021 states that aggravated sexual assault takes place when a sexual assault occurs and any of the following factors are true:
- A deadly weapon was used
- The assailant threatened to kill, kidnap or physically injure the victim
- The defendant actually seriously injured or attempted to kill the victim
- The victim was under the age of 14, elderly or disabled
- Certain so-called “date rape drugs” were used during the commission of the crime
The aforementioned threats of kidnapping, death and serious bodily injury could have been directed at any person. This charge could stand, for instance, if an assailant threatens the life of a victim’s family member. Much like the ‘felony murder’ rule, a person can also receive an aggravated sexual assault charge for simply being an accomplice.
The punishments related to aggravated sexual assault are quite severe. The least of most people’s worries after being convicted of the crime are the fines related to it. In addition to these fines, an individual will have to register as a sex offender, and this designation never goes away. This will affect a person’s ability to get a job for the rest of their life.
However, the aforementioned penalties aren’t the most serious. An aggravated sexual assault conviction brings a minimum prison term of five years and can even result in a life sentence.
Possible Legal Defenses
Anyone charged with this crime faces an uphill battle, but it definitely isn’t impossible to persevere with a good Houston aggravated sexual assault attorney. The state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual assault took place and that one of the previously mentioned additional factors also occurred.
One of the main defenses is that none of the above conditions took place. The prosecution, for example, may have to absolutely prove that great bodily injury or some type of physical threat actually occurred. This can often be quite difficult.
It’s also important to point out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that eight percent of all sexual assault allegations are “unfounded.” It’s definitely possible to throw a wrench in the prosecutor’s case, but a strong legal defense is necessary.
Speak to a Houston Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer
Matthew Sharp has seen too many people’s lives ruined by unfounded sex crime accusations. As your aggravated sexual assault lawyers, they will do their best to protect your rights. Talk to The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp today to get a free consultation and review of your case.