Fort Worth/Dallas Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
Simply being accused of sexual assault is stressful and embarrassing enough. Add to the mix the complex and often overwhelming Texas criminal justice system. To many people, sexual assault is the worst crime a person can commit, especially if the victim is a child or disabled person. Anyone charged with any sex crime needs a dedicated sexual assault defense attorney representing them.
If you, a family member or friend has been charged with any sex crime, then Defense Attorney David Owens may be able to help. He is passionate about helping his clients fight their allegations, and he and his team work hard to preserve the client’s rights and freedom. No matter how serious the charges, Fort Worth/Dallas sexual assault defense lawyer David Owens has the knowledge, experience and resources to provide you with a vigorous and thorough defense in your case.
Sexual Assault Criminal Charges
Sexual assault generally is the legal term for rape or some kind of sexual molestation. According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense of sexual assault if the person intentionally or knowingly causes:
- The penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
- The penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the assailant, without that person’s consent;
- The sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person, including the assailant;
- The penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
- The penetration of the mouth of a child by the person of the sexual organ;
- The sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person, including the assailant;
- The anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the assailant; or
- The mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the assailant.
Without consent may mean that the defendant is accused of physically forcing the victim or threatening the victim or of committing the act against a victim who is mentally or physically incapacitated and therefore unable to give consent. Note that it does not matter whether the victim suffered any injury or not; the crime is the act of causing the penetration or contact itself. However, to prove a person guilty of sexual assault in Texas, the prosecution must prove that the defendant acted knowingly or with intent. If you are facing sexual assault allegations or formal charges, then you need to retain a competent criminal defense lawyer to handle your case. Like any sex crime, sexual assault charges are particularly serious, and may impact virtually every aspect of a defendant’s life.
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Texas
Sexual assault penalties can vary somewhat depending on the exact sex crime committed and the particulars of the situation. Sexual assault is a second-degree felony in Texas, punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000, except in certain circumstances under which it is a felony of the first degree. Sexual assault is a first-degree felony in Texas if the victim was a person whom the assailant was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the assailant was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01 of the Texas Penal Code (the Texas bigamy statute).
A person commits the offense of aggravated sexual assault in Texas if the person commits a sexual assault and if:
- The person causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;
- The person places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of human trafficking or that death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
- The person threatens, by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim, to cause any person to become the victim of human trafficking or to cause the death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping of any person;
- The person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;
- The person acts in concert with another who causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person during the course of the same criminal episode;
- The person administers or provides flunitrazepam (rohypnol), gamma hydroxybutyrate or ketamine to the victim of the sexual assault with the intent of facilitating the commission of the sexual assault; or
- The victim is younger than 14 years of age, an elderly individual or a disabled individual.
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony, and the law mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment if the victim of the sexual assault was less than six years old at the time the sexual assault was committed.
If convicted of a sexual assault, then you face not only criminal penalties but also severe consequences in your personal and professional life. You may have difficulty finding another job; you may be restricted from living where you want; you may be estranged from your own family. Besides extensive jail time and expensive fines, a sexual assault conviction may require you to register on the sex offender registry. Having any criminal record is bad enough, but because of the severe social stigma associated with sex crime, a sexual assault conviction can have an even greater impact on your family, social and business life.
Contact a Sexual Assault Defense Attorney Serving the Fort Worth/Dallas Area
We want to help you. When defending our clients against sexual assault charges, we are familiar with the tactics the prosecution might employ to try to win a conviction. We also know effective defense strategies to combat those tactics and win cases for our clients, and we know the legal defenses to sexual assault charges.
If you are convicted of sexual assault in Texas, then you may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. A strong defense is critical to your future.
The Owens Law Firm is very thorough in our approach to criminal defense and will carefully consider every aspect of your case to identify potentially successful legal strategies. We will vigorously pursue acquittals when possible. In some cases, a plea deal can spare our clients from having to register as a sex offender. Whatever situation you are facing, we will approach it in the way that best suits your interests. If you have been arrested for sexual assault, then contact us today by e-mail or by telephone at 817-334-7997. We will stand up for your rights!