Sex crime charges are becoming more public issues than ever before. The rise of the #MeToo movement and accusations in the public eye have encouraged more victims to step up and take action against these types of crimes.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Texas, you need to take action too. Why? Because these types of charges come with serious penalties. In addition to the typical jail time or fines that come with a criminal charge, convictions will lead to a spot on the sex offender registry. Sex offenders have a long list of rules about registering, re-registering, and how they are allowed to live their life in general.
No matter what type of sex charge you face, you have the right to a fair trial and a strong defense. There are many strategies that you may use against a sex crime charge if they apply to your case.
Common Strategies That Experienced Texas Criminal Lawyers Use to Battle Sex Charges
Look through this list, then talk to an experienced sex crimes lawyer about the best way to fight to get your charges dropped.
Consensual sex between adults is not a crime. A sexual assault conviction requires proof that the victim did not (or could not, based on mental incapacity or age) consent to the sexual actions. If you can prove that the victim consented to the act, you may face reduced charges or have your charges dropped entirely.
Texas Law and Statutory Rape
Each state has different laws regarding the age of consent. The age of consent according to Texas law is at least 17. Texans accused of statutory rape (sexual acts with a minor who cannot consent) may be able to use certain nuances of the law to get charges dropped, such as:
- “Romeo and Juliet”: If the person is close in age and in a consensual relationship, you may be able to avoid charges. Defendants who are between 14 and 17 years old and have sex with someone who is three years older (i.e. a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old) will not be able to press charges if the sexual actions were consensual.
- Marital exemption: If a minor is married to an adult and the couple has consensual sexual relations, the adult cannot be convicted of sexual assault.
- Mistaken age: If there is no way of knowing that the defendant was 16 years or younger, you may be able to have your charges dropped.
Lack of Proof
You are innocent until proven guilty. In order to secure a conviction, the alleged victim will have to provide solid proof that you did commit the crimes in question. Without proof, you will walk free.
A defense strategy can be built around picking at each piece of the accuser’s argument and disproving it.
False Accusation Out of Spite
Sometimes, people will accuse a parent or spouse of sex crimes out of spite. A spouse may use sex crime accusations in order to get a better deal after a divorce, for example.
If this is relevant to your case, you cannot build a defense based on spite alone. Collect detailed accounts of your conversations surrounding your relationship and the possible motives behind the crime.
Not Present at the Time
The alleged victim will have to recount details of the incident and your presence at the incident. Take note of when the victim said they were assaulted or abused, including the time of night and the location. If you can provide an alibi that proves that you were not present at the time of the alleged incident, you can show that the accuser was lying.
Mental instability, sex addiction, and other psychological issues may be able to help you build a defense. Rather than punishment, a judge may seek rehabilitation.
While you are waiting for your court date, talk to a psychologist or therapist about what options you have for treatment. If you can get proof that you are taking positive steps toward rehabilitation, you may face a reduced sentence or have your charges dropped entirely.
The same steps may be taken if you believe you have problems with drug or alcohol addiction and committed the crime while you were intoxicated.
The Best Defense Is a Knowledgeable Texas Sex Crimes Lawyer
There are a lot of options available for building a defense to get out of a sex crime conviction, but none of these defenses will be as strong without a skilled Texas sex crimes lawyer.
Before you start to gather evidence, contact a Texas lawyer who has experience fighting sex crime charges. The penalties for sex crimes are too high — don’t waste time. Call for a free consultation today.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.