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Harris County Date Rape: Give Her a Beer & Get a Felony

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Date rape is actually sexual assault that occurs between a victim and someone who is known well to that person. In fact, you could be charged with date rape, even if you have previously had consensual sex with someone. This crime does not have to involve penetration, as any sexual contact that is unwanted or offensive may qualify.

Sexual activity that takes place while a person is unconscious or under the influence of alcohol or drugs can also be considered date rape, even if that person consents to the behavior. That’s because the law declares that someone who is in one of these states is incapable of consenting. Texas law also recognizes that victims who are given “date rape” drugs without their knowledge should be protected, which is another reason why they prosecute offenders harshly.

Classified as a Felony

Date rape is a serious matter, and Harris County prosecutors can charge you with either a first or second-degree felony, depending upon the circumstances. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while a first-degree felon can receive a life sentence. You are more likely to be charged with a first-degree felony if:

  • The victim is a minor
  • Threat or force was used in committing an act
  • You have previously been convicted of a sex act
  • The victim sustained serious bodily harm or injury

Additional Sanctions Possible

There can be other sanctions aside from jail time, a few of which include:

  • Monetary fines
  • Probation
  • Mandatory sex offender registry

Of these, the requirement to register as a sex offender can be the most damaging. Once you are classified as a sex offender, your ability to choose where you live and work can be severely hampered, not to mention the fact that you will have a social stigma attached to you that can affect you socially and economically as well.

Strong Defense is Needed

Since date rape potentially carries the same punishment as murder, a strong legal defense is needed in order to ensure the state of Texas bears the burden of proof required by law. When handling a case, defense attorneys may use one of several possible defenses depending upon the circumstances:

  • Alibi
  • Mistaken identity
  • Defendant is a victim of false allegations
  • Lack of intent

Witness statements should be examined closely to uncover signs of a conspiracy or gaps in an official story. When the evidence is sketchy, charges can often be reduced or dropped because the burden of proof cannot be met. In any case, you should consult with an attorney as soon as you become aware of an investigation to secure the best outcome possible. Give Brett A. Podolsky a call today at 713.227.0087.

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Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky
917 Franklin St. Ste 510
Houston, TX 77002