What If A Sex Charge Involves A Child Or Minor?

Sex crime charges are bad enough under any circumstances, but what if a sex charge involves a child or a minor? Let the sex crime defense lawyers at the Neal Davis Law Firm help you.

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The sobering fact is that, in Texas, sex crimes with minors are the most serious. Public outrage is extreme in such cases, and Texas sex crime laws and punishments reflect this.

The most serious such offense would be sexual assault of a child or a minor.

In Texas, a minor is anyone who is under 18 years of age. However, in Texas the legal age of consent for sexual relations is 17. So, if an adult has sexual relations with someone 17 years old and those relations were consensual (and not an assault), then consent would be a legal defense against a claim of sexual assault.

As for statutory rape of a minor, that refers to an adult having sexual relations with a child who is under 17 years of age — and therefore under the legal age of consent. Section 21.011 of the Texas Penal Code holds that statutory rape is a sexual assault between an adult and a victim under 17 who is not his or her spouse.

Other Sex Crimes Against Minors

Still more sex crimes against minors can include aggravated sexual assault of a child, child molestation and indecency with a child.

Aggravated sexual assault of a child occurs when a person knowingly, recklessly or intentionally threatens harm or causes harm to a child via a sexual attack without consent. Such assaults are deemed aggravated based on several aggravating factors. These include sexual actions with a youth younger than age 14, using deadly weapons in the assault, causing bodily harm or fatal injuries to the victim, causing the victim to fear for his or her life, using drugs to incapacitate the victim or having an additional perpetrator present.

Child molestation involves sexual or inappropriate contact between an adult and a child.

Indecency with a child involves either sexual contact or exposure, with no contact.

Texas Penalties for Sex Charges Involving a Child or Minor

The penalties in Texas for sex charges involving a child or minor can be extremely harsh.

Let’s take a look:

  • Sexual assault of a child is a second degree felony with punishments upon conviction of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Also, there is no statute of limitations for this crime, meaning you could be charged and convicted many years after the alleged crime.
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first degree felony with punishments of up to life in prison. If the child was 14 or younger at the time of the assault, the penalty is up to 99 years in prison with no chance of parole until at least half of the sentence has been served.
  • Indecency with a child by contact, which does not involve penetration, is a second degree felony with punishments of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

These are some but not all examples of possible punishments in Texas when a sex charge involves a child or a minor.

Defenses Against Sex Charges Involving a Child

Often, in America, people are falsely accused of sex crimes against a child. In fact, studies have shown that up to 10 percent of child sex abuse claims are false.

Sometimes that may be due to a spouse or former spouse using such a claim against a person in a child custody proceeding. It may involve a spurned lover seeking vengeance. It may involve a simple case of mistaken identity.

Whatever the circumstances or reasons, a person facing false allegations of a sex crime against a child must seek a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced sex crime defense lawyer as soon as possible. That way, perhaps a charge can be avoided, dismissed or reduced prior to trial — or a defense against a charge of sexual assault of a child can be prepared if it’s necessary to go to trial.

Such a strong defense is especially needed in Texas due to the state’s severe laws against sex crimes involving a child, but also because of the rush to judgment in today’s society. Time after time, instant widespread news of a charge or claim leads many people to conclude that someone is guilty before they’ve had a chance to defend themselves.

Defense against sex charges involving children can include citing a Texas statute known commonly as a Romeo and Juliet law. This law holds that if the older sex partner is no more than three years older than a younger partner, who is under 17 but older than 14, there was no crime. This particularly protects youths who engage in consensual sex from being charged with a sex crime.

Another defense against a sex crime against a child can involve finding and asserting evidence which weighs against the allegation. Yet another defense may mean establishing that a child lied about sexual contact, molestation or assault. Indeed, it’s a myth that children never lie about molestation.

Whatever your individual case, you need a sex crime defense lawyer with sufficient experience to fight for your legal rights to achieve the best possible result for you.

Contact Experienced Sex Crime Defense Attorneys Today

The sex crime defense lawyers at the Neal Davis Law Firm have years of experience handling the most challenging sex crime cases. Often, we’ve been able to get charges reduced or even dismissed for our clients before a case goes to trial.

But the sooner you contact us, the better.

If you face a sex crime against a child charge in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County, contact us today at the Neal Davis Law Firm for your case review.

We stand ready to advise you on your legal rights. Then, you can decide how you wish to proceed when a sex charge against you involves a child or minor.

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