Need legal defense against a sex crime charge in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County? Contact veteran criminal defense lawyer Neal Davis for help defending or countering a Texas sex crime charge.
At the Neal Davis Law Firm, we have decades of experience providing sex crime defenses for those unjustly charged. Many such defenses can be available to you, depending on the circumstances of your case.
A strong sex crime defense is vital in the state of Texas, where local sex crime laws are very strict - particularly when a child is involved.
Among common sex crime defenses are:
- The defendant was not, in fact, present at the time of the alleged assault and has an alibi for the time the crime was reportedly committed;
- The victim mistook the defendant for someone else who actually committed the crime; or
- The defendant had psychological problems which prevented him/her from understanding the significance of what he/she did.
Affirmative Defense Strategy for a Sex Crime Charge
Another legal option is an affirmative defense strategy for a sex crime charge. That means your Houston sex crime lawyer advises you to admit committing the alleged offense but countering that it should not be deemed a criminal offense due to the circumstances.
In this way, the defendant does not, in fact, admit guilt of a sex crime, but rather steers the court toward the true nature of the sex act. The defendant and his sex crime defense lawyer do so by submitting an explanation or evidence to show why the act was not an actual crime.
Among affirmative defense circumstances are:
- When the incident happened, the defendant was married to the alleged victim.
- The alleged victim gave consent to the sexual act.
- The defendant did not use force or threats, or place the alleged victim under duress at the time of the alleged offense.
- In a statutory rape case, the defendant was not over three years older than the alleged victim.
Statutory Rape Defenses
As for statutory rape, which involves the alleged victim being under age, Texas law provides some statutory rape exemptions. These include:
- The Romeo and Juliet Exemption. This defense can be applied when the defendant is no more than three years older than the alleged victim, who gave consent and is a minor between 14 and 17 years old. Named after the young lovers in a classic Shakespeare play, this exemption protects teens who have consensual sex with a person nearly their own age from being charged or prosecuted for a sex crime.
- Marital Exemption. This applies when the adult defendant is married to a minor and thus cannot be prosecuted for having sexual activity with that minor, who is their spouse. Designed to protect young married couples, this exemption applies even if the minor is below 17, or below the age of consent, and even though sex with that person would be prohibited outside of marriage. However, it does not protect a defendant if the sexual contact was forcible.
- Mistaken Age. This statutory rape exemption can apply when the defendant had no way of knowing the age of the victim and believed the victim was above the age of consent. By Texas law, the age of consent must be at least 17 years old. Those under 17 are not deemed capable of making an informed decision to give legal consent. Mistaken age often is used as a sex crime defense, but this claim is not always successful.
Other Sex Crime Defenses in Texas
Still more sex crime defenses can be used in Texas, depending on the charge. For instance, when the charge is sexual assault, defenses can include assertions that:
- The sexual activity was, in fact, medical care for a child, and did not include penetration of or contact with the the child's anus, sexual organ or mouth by any of the same features of the defendant
- The defendant lacked the knowledge to commit a sex crime
- The defendant lacked the intent to commit a sex crime
- The victim gave consent and was of legal age to do so
- The defendant was insane
As for sex crime charges for online solicitation of a minor, defenses can include lack of proof that others hadn’t used the defendant’s computer, and the defendant’s lack of knowledge of how other persons’ may have used the computer.
Get a Houston Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
For these or other legal defenses against charges of sexual assault, rape, statutory rape, aggravated sexual assault, prostitution, indecency with a child or other sex crimes, defendants need skilled, knowledgeable and experienced legal help. They can find such a sex crime lawyer in Houston criminal defense attorney Neal Davis.
Sex crime charges are very serious and can have a lasting negative impact on a defendant’s life, including possible having to register as a sex offender – a public list that lasts for life and restricts where you can work and live.
Also, even if later proven innocent, a defendant can have his or her reputation lastingly smeared by the sex crime charge and by the accompanying misplaced public outrage.
Neal Davis understands these burdens and can work swiftly to get a sex crime charge reduced or even dropped before trial. In fact, with such swift action, it may even be possible to prevent a charge from being filed in the first place. That is why it is important to engage an experienced sex crime lawyer quickly.
Neal Davis has years of such experience, helping many defendants protect their freedom and reputation while gaining the justice they deserved after being falsely accused of a sex crime. Davis has been able to get charges dropped or dismissed when they have involved child sex abuse, indecency with a child by contact and aggravated sexual assault of a child, among other cases.
Contact the Neal Davis Law Firm today for a free legal review of your sex crime case.