Sex crime accusations are extremely challenging to deal with. Initially, your thoughts may be racing regarding your reputation, before even thinking about the criminal repercussions.
If you are facing sex crime allegations in Katy, TX, then you should contact a sexual assault defense attorney as soon as possible. Although rumors can be incredibly damaging, a conviction could change your life and your criminal defense attorney needs time to investigate your case and build the strongest possible defense.
At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we believe that everyone charged with a crime deserves access to legal guidance, fair investigations and trials, and protected rights regardless of what they are accused of. We work across Texas, so whether you need a Katy, Sugar Land, or Houston sex crimes lawyer, contact us today and find out how we can help.
Call An Experienced Katy Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Today
Regardless of what sex crime you are being accused of in Katy, Texas, your priority should be having your case dismissed. To stand the best chance of that, you need a lawyer who understands the best defense strategies and who is 100% committed to your case.
At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we have an in-depth understanding of criminal defense law. We are here to provide reassurance and guidance as well as a world-class legal service.
The attorney-client relationship will protect you so you can be completely honest with us about the details of your case. We will work tirelessly and aggressively defend your case with professionalism and vigor.
Choosing a criminal defense law office could be the most important decision you ever make. So contact us today at 832-843-1691 to get the process underway.
Sex Crimes in Katy, TX
Sex crimes cover a very broad range of crimes, and each case is unique. That is why it is so important that you secure representation from a sex crimes defense lawyer who has experience navigating these crimes and who understands their delicate nature.
Sex crimes could include those involving children, such as child molestation or child pornography, sexual abuse, rape, or exploitation. Each of these terms is also very broad, and there is often a lot of confusion about what different terms mean.
In Texas, the judicial system will often refer to rape as sexual assault. The judge will use phrases sexual assault or sexual harassment while police officers may continue to use the word rape.
Rape is recognized as a felony and has serious consequences. This includes statutory rape, which is a sexual act performed with someone under the age of consent, which is 17 in Texas. Under this law, even if both parties consent, the act is still illegal.
Contact a Katy sex crimes defense lawyer today to better understand what the allegations are against you and what they could mean for your future.
Penalties For Sex Crimes in Katy, TX
As with the crimes themselves, the punishments for sex crimes can also vary widely from community service and fines to a long prison sentence. Where your charges cannot be dismissed, your Katy sex crimes defense lawyer will strive to at the very least, have your charges lessened to a lower crime.
Sex Offender Registration
If you are convicted of a sex crime, then you will likely be placed on the Sex Offender Registry. This is not to be taken lightly. The registry is public, which means that it is available for anyone to see. This could prevent you from finding work, or even a home.
If you are charged, then it is impossible to evade registration, and it is a public record in all 50 states, so even if you decide to move, it is impossible to escape. That is why it is so important to seek the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer who can determine what’s available and best for you under criminal law.
Depending on the nature of your crime, your name may remain on the registry for the rest of your life.
The following crimes result in lifelong registration:
- Inciting prostitution of a minor.
- Kidnapping or unlawful restraint of a minor.
- Sex trafficking.
- Sexual assault.
- Possession or distribution of child pornography.
Other sex crime charges result in your name being on the register for a period of ten years. These include:
- Indecent exposure.
- Indecency involving a child.
- Online grooming of a minor.
Fines and Jail Time
The punishment for a sexual offense in Katy, TX varies depending on the severity of the crime. The age of the victim, the actions carried out, any prior sex crime history, and the preexisting relationship between each party will be taken into account.
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes
Although the circumstances (and the quality of your defense attorney), may mean that the following charges are classified as felonies, generally the first offense for any of the following will lead to a misdemeanor charge:
- Sexual harassment.
- Public lewdness.
- Indecent exposure.
Punishments for Misdemeanor Charges
A misdemeanor can result in fines, a prison sentence, or both.
- Class C Misdemeanors: A fine of up to $500.
- Class D Misdemeanors: A fine of up to $2,000, as well as up to 180 days in prison.
- Class E Misdemeanors: A fine of up to $4,000 as well as up to one year in prison.
Felony Sex Crimes
More serious sex crimes are considered felonies in Texas, and these carry more serious punishments. Felony sex crimes include:
- Sexual assault, and aggregated sexual assault.
- Aggravated sexual assault.
- Date rape.
- Child sex offenses, including grooming, prostitution, and trafficking.
- Soliciting prostitution.
The misdemeanor crimes listed above can also become felonies, depending on the circumstances.
Punishments For Felony Charges
Felony charges carry the most severe penalties:
- Third-degree felonies: A fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of at least two years and up to ten years.
- Second-degree felonies: A fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of at least two years, and up to twenty years.
- First-degree felonies: A fine of up to $10,000 and at least five years in prison and up to a life sentence.
Additional Penalties and Punishments
Convictions for sex crime charges in Texas are serious, they carry hefty fines and long stints in jail. Beyond these traditional punishments, there are additional penalties and punishments that you could face.
Some other potential penalties and punishments include:
- Restrictions on where you live ( i.e. away from schools, parks, and other areas where children congregate)
- Restricted interactions with minors, including your own children.
- Restrictions on living in the Katy, TX area.
- Forfeiture of cash and property.
- Difficulties gaining employment, licenses, and qualifications.
- Limitation of internet access.
- Limited access to controlled substances.
Civil Charges For Sex Crimes in Katy, TX
You could face civil penalties designed to compensate the victim for the damages they suffered as a result of your actions. This could result in you having to pay out a substantial amount of money. You could face civil charges even if your criminal charges are dropped.
Fortunately, a Katy sex crimes defense lawyer at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC can also represent you in civil court.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney in Katy, TX
A conviction for a sex crime could be the most significant event in your life. You need a criminal defense attorney with a high level of professional achievement and extensive experience helping people navigate sex crime defense in Katy and the wider Texas area.
We will fight tirelessly to secure a positive outcome for our clients. We want to protect your rights and ensure that you have high-quality representation. We will give you access to the same level of legal knowledge used by prosecuting attorneys and level the playing field.
Every sex crime charge is unique and you need a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable and adaptable and able to bring a fresh perspective to every case. We’re also mindful that each case can benefit from early intervention and a vigorous approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
While you have an obligation to provide police with basic identifying information, such as your name and address, you do not have a legal obligation to answer questions about your charge. You should avoid talking to the police about the details of your case unless you have spoken with a Katy sex crimes defense lawyer.
Police can use psychological tactics to get people to confess to crimes. They might be friendly to tell you that they will help with your case. Do not be fooled, the police can use anything you say in a court case against you. Instead, secure representation as quickly as possible. They can advise you and will be present for police interviews.
When a criminal record is sealed or expunged, it prevents it from being public for everyone to see. It is very rare in sexual convictions. A Katy sex crimes defense lawyer can help you determine if you could be eligible and will help you through the process. A sealed record could be considered in cases of:
- The offense was illegal but consensual.
- The victim was at least 15 at the time of the offense, and the defendant was no more than four years their senior.
- Minor offenses that took place in the distant past.
Once you are convicted of a sex crime in Texas, you will be legally required to submit your details to the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. Not doing so could result in felony charges, in addition to the charges in your original case.
To register, you will need to notify law enforcement in the community where you reside. You will need to prove your identity and provide your fingerprints.
Depending on the circumstances of your case and whether you have any previous convictions, your criminal defense attorney may be able to fight for you to avoid a prison sentence and instead receive probation. If your case cannot be dismissed, then your attorney will help you explore your options and decide on the best way forward.
The statute of limitations for some sexual assault cases in Texas is 10 years. After the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot be charged. However, some cases do not have a statute of limitations, such as those involving children, or if you have committed several offenses. In these situations, the prosecutor does not have a time limit for pursuing a conviction.
Call The Love Ducote Law Firm LLC Today
If you are in Katy, TX, and are facing sex crime charges, then you should speak to a Katy sex crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible.
At The Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC, we are waiting for your call. Once you secure representation from us, we will get right to work. We will investigate on your behalf, develop a vigorous defense strategy, and support and guide you throughout the entirety of your case.