Have you been charged with indecency with a child by contact in Texas? Learn what to expect in your case based on Texas penal code and criminal law.
Here’s a scenario: You walk into a public restroom to wash your hands. As you do, an unsupervised child runs out of the bathroom and tells his parents that you touched him in his privates. Now it’s his word against yours and the social stigma of such an accusation is not in your favor.
Being accused of indecency with a child by contact (also referred to as “fondling”) is a very serious situation. If you’ve been charged with a child sex offense, it is imperative you contact a Texas sex crime defense lawyer immediately to discuss your constitutional rights to a fair defense.
Not only is your freedom at stake if you are convicted and sentenced to many years in prison, but your job, reputation, friendships and relationships with loved ones are all on the line too.
At the Neal Davis Law Firm of Houston, our experienced trial lawyers focus on complicated criminal defense cases like indecency with a child and other child sex offenses in Texas and nationwide. We are often able to favorably resolve sex crime cases quickly and quietly, without the need for trial – helping to preserve your freedom and reputation.
Don’t leave your case up to chance.
Contact an experienced Houston child sex crime defense attorney today to discuss your case and secure the best possible outcome.
There’s no cost, no commitment – this first one’s on us.
What is indecency with a child by contact?
The criminal act of indecency with a child is separated into two distinct offenses in Texas: indecency with a child by contact and indecency with a child by exposure.
According to Texas Penal Code (Section 21.11), indecency with a child is defined as follows:
A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person:
- engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or
- with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
- a. exposes the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the child is present; or
- b. causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.
The first act is considered indecency with a child by contact, whereas the second act is indecency with a child by exposure. The punishments for committing these two child sex offenses differ.
“Sexual contact,” as defined by the law, refers to acts committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, including touching a child’s genitals, breast or anus (or touching any part of a child’s body with a person’s genitals, breast or anus). Sexual contact can occur regardless of whether or not the touching was through clothing.
Possible Defenses for Your Indecency with a Child by Contact Case
Texas child sex offense law (under Section 21.11) lists two possible defenses for individuals accused of indecent contact with a child:
- Consent. If the accused person is less than four years older than the child, the opposite sex as the child, not a registered sex offender and there was no use of force or threats against the child, then the defendant may be able to claim a consenting age defense.
- Marriage. If the accused is married to the minor, then no offense has occurred.
While these defenses are the only two listed by Texas sex crime law, many other defenses may be available to you depending on the details of your case. Contact an experienced sex crime defense attorneys to explore all your legal options.
Indecency with a Child by Contact Charges: TX Sentencing & Punishment
Indecency with a child by contact is a more serious offense than indecent exposure and it is considered a second-degree felony in the state of Texas.
If a person is convicted of engaging in sexual contact with a child or causes a child to engage in sexual contact, they may face up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Many aggravating factors may play a role in how harsh or lenient the sentencing is for indecent contact with a child, such as if the defendant is a first-time or repeat offender, if the accused’s actions were considered violent, if the accused committed the crime under great stress or duress as well as other mitigating circumstances.
“Words cannot describe my emotions right now. And words definitely cannot be conveyed in a message on how grateful I am for your hard work and time you men put into my case. I will Be forever in your debt. You men have allowed me to continue doing my job in raising my children and supporting family. Thank you Thank you Thank You!!!!! God is Great.”
Houston | Aggravated sex assault of a child. Grand jury returned a no bill and case was dismissed after our very thorough investigation.
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Indecency with a child cases are typically very complex and complicated legal matters. In court, child sex offense cases often turn into the child’s word against the defendant and many people are sent to prison on this alone, despite a lack of physical evidence. That’s why it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible – even before you or a loved one are formally charged with indecency with a child by contact, if possible.
You will never be able to talk your way out of this corner. Anything you say can and will be used against you, which is why you should always have an attorney present when talking to police.
Being charged with indecency with a child by contact is serious. Contact a serious Houston criminal defense lawyer at the Neal Davis Law Firm to secure the best possible outcome. Neal Davis has over 25 years of experience successfully defending clients in high-profile state and federal cases in Harris County and across the state of Texas.
Schedule an appointment with our experienced Houston child sex crime defense attorneys today if you are ready to take the next step and fight for your rights. Otherwise, we invite you to continue learning by taking advantage of the following resources: