Any criminal case that contains accusations that are sexual in nature are going to have serious consequences. These offenses are heavily prosecuted and carry significant penalties. They also carry an immensely strong negative stigma, reinforced by Texas’s sex offender registration law. If you are required to register as an offender, all your neighbors in Austin and anyone else with access to the internet will know about your crime.
This is despite the fact that charges of this nature can be based on exaggerated claims and even outright false allegations. Your attorney can challenge these assertions, though, and fight the charges against you.
Austin Sex Crime Lawyer
If you face allegations of any kind of sexual offense, Austin criminal lawyer Kevin Bennett can fight for your rights. By challenging the evidence against you and vigorously cross-examining witnesses, he will fight to show the jury the holes in the prosecution’s case and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Kevin Bennett strives to keep his clients informed through open and honest communication. Being charged with an offense of this nature is a scary time, and you deserve to know what is going on. Kevin Bennett personally handles every matter of your case.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation. Kevin Bennett represents clients throughout Travis County, including in Austin, Rollingwood, Lakeway and Sunset Valley.
Texas Sexual Offenses Info
- Sexual Assault in Texas Law
- Other Sexual Offenses in the Texas Penal Code
- Punishment for Sex Crimes
- Registration as a Sex Offender
Sexual Assault (Texas Penal Code § 22.011) covers a wide range of offenses, but they largely come back to the concept of forcibly penetrating the sexual organs or anuses of another, or causing the penetration of another part of the body with a sexual organ, without that person’s consent, including if that person was unable to give consent.
It also includes any sexual act with a child younger than 17, unless the accused is three years older or less.
Sexual assault can include vaginal, anal or oral sex, and the accused can be a male or female. It includes both acts by physical force or physical force and acts where the law says the victim lacked consent, including where the victim was drugged, unconscious, mentally ill or disabled or where the accused was in a position of authority, such as a health professional, a mental health professional, a member of the clergy or a police officer.
Sexual assault is a second degree felony.
Aggravated sexual assault is a sexual assault in which the victim sustained serious bodily injury, a deadly weapon was used, the accused threatened to make the victim become part of sex trafficking or administers a date rape drug, like GHB, rohypnol or ketamine. It is a first degree felony.
A number of sexual offenses fall under Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code.
Indecency With a Child (Texas Penal Code § 21.11): A person commits this crime if he or she touches a child younger than 17 on the genitals, breast or anus, or causes a child to touch the genital, breasts or anus of another person, unless the accused is three years or less older. It is a second degree felony. It is the same charge, as a third degree felony, for a person to expose his or her anus or genitals, or expose a child’s anus or genitals, with the purpose of sexual gratification.
Indecent Exposure (Texas Penal Code § 21.08): Indecent Exposure means to expose one’s genitals or anus to sexual gratify the accused or another person, and being reckless about whether someone who may witness would be offended. It is a Class B misdemeanor.
Public Lewdness (Texas Penal Code § 2107): Public lewdness means to engage in a sex act and be reckless about whether a person watching would be offended. It is a Class A misdemeanor.
Improper Photography or Visual Recording (Texas Penal Code § 21.15): This charge means the accused allegedly used a camera, video camera, webcam, spy camera, phone camera or any other visual recording device to record someone in a private setting without their consent for sexual gratification. Selling, advertising or otherwise promoting such a recording is also an offense. It is a state jail felony.
Prostitution (Texas Penal Code § 43.02): Prostitution includes any act where the accused either offers sexual services for a fee or attempts to purchase sexual services for a fee. It is a Class B misdemeanor unless it is a second or third offense, which makes it a Class A misdemeanor. Any subsequent offense is a state jail felony.
The punishment for a sex crime depends on its classification:
- First Degree Felony: Five to 99 years in prison or life and a fine up to $10,000
- Second Degree Felony: Two 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Third Degree Felony: Two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- State Jail Felony: 180 days to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Class A Misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000
- Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000
Conviction for a serious sex crime, including sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, online solicitation of a minor, compelling prostitution or certain kidnapping offenses with the intent to commit a sex crime could result in the accused being forced to register as a sex offender.
As a registered offender, anyone with internet access will have access to see your name, address, work address, photograph, description and certain details of your conviction, including the age and gender of the victim. A person can search on the internet for all sex offenders near him or her. If someone wanted to look up all the regiestered offenders in Tarrytown, Hyde Park or any neighborhood, they could do so.
It can be hard to find a job when employers are worried that you pose a risk to fellow employees, clients or customers. They will also likely worry that their address may be listed on the website as a place of employment that has hired a registered offender. If you want to be in a relationship with a person, they can easily find your name and learn about your past. With such harsh penalties, it is clear why you should have a strong Austin criminal defense lawyer.
Representing Those Accused of Sex Offenses in Travis County
If you have been accused of any of these offenses, you can fight the charges and avoid the severe penalties. Kevin Bennett, an experienced Austin criminal lawyer is proud to represent those in Travis County who face charges of sex offenses. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a free consultation.