Sex Crimes Penalties
Houston Sex Crimes Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
When a person is accused of a sex crime, the effects on his life can be extremely negative. In many cases, the general public and even the courts pass judgment on him before he is proven guilty. As such, it is essential for accused individuals to seek proper legal representation from a sex crimes attorney.
What are Sex Crimes?
There are many different types of sex crimes, and any one of them can have significant negative effects on the lives of defendants and their families. Some examples of common sex crimes in Texas are listed below:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault of a child
- Date rape
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Public lewdness
Possible Punishments for Sex Crimes
Punishments for sex crimes vary depending on the particular charge and the circumstances involved. People who have prior sex crime convictions face much harsher penalties. The typical punishments for sexual offenses are listed below:
Misdemeanors such as public lewdness, indecent exposure and first-time prostitution:
- Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and fines up to $4,000
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000
- Class C misdemeanor: Fines up to $500
Felonies such as indecency with a child, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault:
- State jail felony: 180 days to two years in state jail
- Third-degree felony: Two to 10 years in prison
- Second-degree felony: Two to 20 years in prison
- First-degree felony: Five to 99 years in prison
Defendants who are charged with any classification of felony may also be fined up to $10,000. Additionally, all people who are convicted of sex crimes, despite their charges, must register as sex offenders.
Possible Legal Defenses
Since most sex crimes do not have any witnesses, they are basically a matter of “he said/she said.” However, even though these cases typically only involve the victim and the assailant, prosecutors will still fight hard to convict the accused. It’s often not easy for the prosecution to prove guilt, since there’s usually a lack of evidence. Alleged victims may also lack credibility.
These facts can be quite favorable for defendants. Some common examples of legal defenses in sex crime cases include mistaken identity, biased interviews with children and questions of consent. Additionally, evidence that’s obtained illegally will be dismissed from court.
Get Help From a Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer
Nobody should ever try to handle sex crime allegations on their own. The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp are here to help in any way they can. To schedule a free review of your legal case, speak to Matthew Sharp right away.