Allegations of sexual assault are some of the most stressful a client faces. The repercussions faced by both the victim and the person charged with committing the crimes are long lasting. Even more so, if the allegations involve that of a child. Individuals charged with sexual assault crimes are often shunned and have a very difficult time coping as the charges are being handled. You need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to navigate the pitfalls of these charges. The Low Law Firm can help you.
All too often sexual assault cases are taken to trial with little to no evidence except the uncorroborated statement of the alleged victim. Unfortunately, many result in convictions, especially if the victim is a child. Juries do not believe that children lie and rarely believe that adult victims are lying.
Convictions for these crimes carry substantial prison terms and lifetime registration as a sex offender. While it is possible that probation can occur, this often also results in lifetime registration as a sex offender and completion of a sex offender treatment program.
Proper defense of these charges requires in depth and detailed investigation. The Low Law Firm works with the best private investigations team around to ensure that no stone is left unturned. You must be prepared even before a formal indictment happens. The moment an arrest occurs or you believe an investigation has begun you should consult with an experienced attorney. Sexual Assault Attorneys Tara Gilmore-Low and Rick Dunbar are available to discuss your case as soon as you are ready.
The crime of sexual assault is covered in the Texas Penal Code Chapter 22, Section 22.011. Generally, the crime of sexual assault is defined as non-consensual, unwanted sexual contact against another person involving penetration. The facts of the case will determine whether or not the charge would be a first or second degree felony.
The first analysis in any case involving adult sexual assault is consent. The state will assert that the alleged victim did not consent to the sexual act. Facts surrounding the allegations will help your lawyer determine whether or not consent can be proven.
A lack of physical evidence does not preclude the charge from being filed. All too often evidence comes down to a simple “He said/She said.” The fact that there is no physical evidence to support an accusation of sexual assault does not preclude such a charge from being filed. In many cases, the evidence boils down to “he said, she said.” It is during this time that an effective trial attorney is your best weapon.
The situations surrounding sex crime charges are always fraught with emotional complexity. They are not to be taken lightly, as the consequences to a person’s career and educational opportunities last long after the criminal investigation is over. A person convicted of sexual assault could face a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
The Texas Penal Code, Chapter 22, Section 22.021, goes on to address sexual assault allegations that are what we call “aggravated.” There are certain factors that can cause the charge to be enhanced to “aggravated sexual assault.” Those factors include some of the following:
- Victim age
- Disability of the victim
- Serious bodily injury
- Attempts to cause the death of the victim (or threats, actions or statements therein)
- Threats of kidnapping
- Use of a deadly weapon, this includes exhibition of the deadly weapon
- Use of intoxicating drugs commonly referred to as “Date Rape Drugs”
The most important distinction between aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault is the severity of the punishment. If you are convicted of an aggravated sexual assault charge this is a 1st Degree Felony which carries a punishment range of 5 years to 99 years, or life.
If the alleged victim is under the age of 6 years or younger than 14 years old and violence occurred, the perpetrator could face a minimum of 25 years. Registration as a sex offender is mandatory for any conviction of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault.
Low Law Firm attorneys Tara Gilmore-Low and Rick Dunbar will fight to protect your rights. Call us today 325-455-1889.