Facing criminal charges for sex crimes in San Antonio, TX, can be intimidating and confusing. The stigma surrounding such allegations alone can impact your personal life, employment, and reputation within the community – even if you’re found not guilty or the charges are dropped.
Because of the significant effect a conviction can have on your life, it’s essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you’re facing charges in San Antonio, Texas.
We can help protect your rights and your future. Contact the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez by calling (210) 807-8656 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio sex crimes attorney.
How the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez Can Help if You’re Arrested for a Sex Crime in San Antonio
Being arrested for a sex crime in San Antonio, TX, can be an overwhelming and distressing experience, leaving you unsure about what’s next. Our San Antonio criminal defense lawyers are here to assist you with all aspects of your case, including:
Our firm carries out detailed assessments of the charges against you. We meticulously review all relevant evidence and identify potential flaws in the prosecution’s accusations.
Negotiate With Prosecutor
Skilled negotiation is a key part of our defense strategy. The aim is to help dismiss or reduce the severity of the charges.
Should your case reach trial, our attorneys at the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez are aggressive advocates in court. We present relevant evidence, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and passionately argue your case to the judge and jury.
We’re here to vigorously represent you at every stage of your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.
Overview of Sex Crimes in Texas
Sex crimes in Texas encompass various offenses and are taken very seriously, with severe penalties for those convicted. Some common sex crimes include:
Assault by Contact
Considered one of the less serious sex-related offenses, assault by contact is still significant. This crime occurs when somebody knowingly makes physical contact that a reasonable person would perceive as offensive or provocative – typically nonconsensual kissing or groping over clothing.
Indecent exposure occurs when an individual exposes their genitals or anus with the intent to stimulate sexual desire in any person, and the alleged offender is reckless about whether someone else might be present and offended or alarmed by the behavior.
Public lewdness in Texas is a serious matter, defined by engaging in sexual acts in areas where such behavior may be observed by others. The law does not confine public lewdness charges solely to overtly public spaces like parking lots or back alleys. Even private homes could lead to public lewdness if the parties are reckless as to whether others can see the behavior.
Online solicitation of a minor occurs when an adult solicits someone 16 or younger – or someone they believe is 16 or younger – via an electronic form of interaction such as email, text messaging, or online chat rooms. It is not a defense to claim that no meeting in person ever occurred.
Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student
An employee at a primary or secondary school (kindergarten through high school) commits this particular sex offense if they engage in any sort of sexual contact with a student enrolled in that same institution.
Under Texas law, no actual penetration needs to have occurred for this crime to be committed, and it does not matter if the physical act was consensual or even if the victim is 18 years or older. This law broadly covers not just teachers but also support staff at schools.
Sexual Assault on An Adult
Accusations of sexual assault of an adult are considered very serious. This crime occurs when an individual, without receiving consent from the other party, deliberately initiates sexual activity.
Sexual assault in San Antonio includes penetration – however slight – of another person’s sexual organs or anus by any means without their permission. It also includes forcing them to engage in oral contact with your own sexual organ or making forced contact between the victim’s mouth, anus, or genitalia and someone else’s – including your own – genital area.
This is not an exhaustive list of sex offenses in the State of Texas – another common one includes child pornography – but provides a good overview of what potential crimes you could face in this area of the law.
What Are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in San Antonio, Texas?
Sex crimes, due to their severe nature, are not taken lightly in San Antonio, Texas. The exact penalties vary widely since they’re subject to the specific crime committed and other factors such as your criminal history. However, some common penalties include:
Jail or Prison Time
Depending on the nature and severity of a sex crime you commit, you may face jail or prison sentences. An assault by contact charge is a Class C misdemeanor and carries no jail time, whereas more severe offenses, such as first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault, can lead to many years or even decades in prison.
Sex Offender Registration
For individuals convicted of most sex crimes, there is mandatory sex offender registration requiring them to register in the Texas state and national sex offender database. The requirements to register as a sex offender span either 10 years from release or could be life-long, depending upon the criminal act committed.
Fines for sex crimes can escalate into tens of thousands of dollars, again contingent on the severity and circumstances surrounding the crime.
Not only are fines and incarceration at stake if you’re convicted of a sex crime, but other significant collateral consequences can greatly impact your life. For example, felons can’t own guns, vote, or run for or hold public office in Texas.
Additionally, sex crimes could affect your employment and other personal matters like divorce and custody cases in a similar way that domestic violence charges can.
Facing charges for a sex crime in San Antonio in Bexar County should be taken very seriously due to the severe penalties that could affect your future. Always talk to a San Antonio sexual assault attorney as soon as possible.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Arrested for a Sex Crime in San Antonio, TX?
Facing charges for sex crimes in Texas can be overwhelming – whether you’ve made a mistake or have been falsely accused – but it’s vital to understand that you have several available defenses under the law. Your defense strategy will rely heavily on the specifics of your case, but the following are some common legal defenses in these cases:
In some instances, victims might present accusations that are inconsistent or verifiably untrue. Providing an alibi is one of the best ways to counter these allegations, which means showing you were in a different place at the time of the alleged offense.
Arguing consent is also a plausible defense in certain cases. If the accused can demonstrate that a clear and mutual agreement for sexual behavior was given, this could disprove charges of any non-consensual act. This defense is difficult as it often comes down to he said/she said, but it isn’t impossible.
Mistaken identity can be another valid defense. This arises in situations where the victim identifies the wrong person as their assailant due to limitations like limited visibility during the crime or inherent bias in police lineups. If you can demonstrate that there’s reasonable doubt regarding your identification as the perpetrator of a crime, it could lead to a not guilty verdict.
Romeo and Juliet Defense
Commonly known as the Romeo and Juliet defense, Texas employs a legal measure to protect young adults from prosecution for engaging in consensual sexual acts. Under this defense, four conditions need to be met for legal protection:
- Both involved must give full and voluntary consent
- Neither participant is permitted to be on the sex offender registry in any state
- The younger party needs to be no less than 14 years old
- A maximum three-year age difference between both individuals participating
So, if an 18-year-old has a consensual relationship with a 16-year-old and all the above criteria are met, they would not face legal consequences. However, if the older person were 20 years old instead, there would be no legal protection because of the increased age difference.
This list is not exhaustive, but it provides an overview of common defenses used in sex crime cases. Always consult with a knowledgeable defense lawyer or law firm for legal guidance and to explore all the potential defense strategies that could work best given your circumstances.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our San Antonio Sex Crimes Attorneys
Dealing with sex crime charges requires a competent attorney with a sophisticated understanding of the criminal justice system. At the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez, we’re here to use our extensive experience and aggressively fight on your behalf to safeguard your rights and reputation.
If you’re facing such charges in San Antonio, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately to schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio sex crimes attorney.