Both Texas and federal laws are unforgiving when it comes to sex crimes, especially those involving children. If convicted, the minimum punishment you can get is two years in prison and tens of thousands in fines, not to mention the compulsory registration as a sex offender.
The social stigma experienced by child sex offenders, as well as the probability of never visiting or working in certain areas, can further make it difficult to get back on track after imprisonment. Not everyone who’s charged or convicted of indecency with a child is guilty.
If you’ve been accused of committing indecent acts with a child, avoiding a conviction is your top priority. Your life will only change for the worse after conviction. Having a Dallas sex crime lawyer could lead to your charges being lessened or even your case being thrown out altogether.
Indecency with a child consists of two disparate charges: by exposure and by contact. These charges carry different penalties, but it’s also possible to be charged with both crimes.
This occurs when a person exposes their or the child’s genital areas, breasts, or anus for sexual arousal or gratification. Indecency by exposure is a felony by third degree and carries a two- to ten-year prison sentence, up to $10,000 in fines, or both.
Indecency with a child by contact happens when a person engages in sexual contact with anyone less than 17 years of age.
In this context, sexual contact means that the perpetrator either touched the child’s private areas or used their genital parts, breasts, or anus to touch the child. Remember, indecency by contact will still hold even if the touching occurred through clothing.
The penalty for this crime is two to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both punishments.
There are two affirmative defenses that your attorney might use to avoid a conviction. The first is proving that the parties are married. The second is having an age difference of less than three years, where no force or coercion wasn’t involved, if you aren’t registered in the sex offenders database.
If the above doesn’t apply, your lawyer can still defend you by arguing mistaken identity or proving that you did not do it. They might also show that the child’s memories and beliefs have been tainted and thus are unfit to be used as evidence.
Indecency with a child is a serious charge that you do not want to risk facing without proper legal assistance. An attorney who understands Texas laws will look into the evidence and build a strong case to defend you in court.