Top 10 Blog Posts Avvo choice awards

Statutory Rape Laws of Texas

Posted on by

Every state has laws regarding the age of consent for sexual activity. When an adult engages in sexual activity with a child who is under the age of consent, the state may prosecute. The penalties vary depending on the severity of the crime, but they can be very harsh.

In addition to penalties from the state, sex offenders are also subjected to judgement from the public and family members before they have a chance to defend themselves. Below is an overview of statutory rape laws in Texas and how they may affect someone who is accused of this crime. If you have been accused of statutory rape, it may benefit you to speak with an experienced defense attorney for advice.

HAVE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW BEEN CHARGED WITH STATUTORY RAPE? CONTACT THE LAW OFFICE OF BRETT A. PODOLSKY TODAY FOR TOUGH LEGAL DEFENSE.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Texas law makes it a crime for anyone over 18 years of age to engage in sexual activity with someone under the age of 17. In the eyes of the law, it makes no difference if the victim consents to sexual activity because they are below the appropriate age of consent. Those who are under the age of consent cannot make an informed decision regarding sexual activity, so anyone who engages in this type of activity with a minor may be prosecuted for statutory rape.

What Are The Penalties In Texas For Statutory Rape?

The penalties for statutory rape in Texas vary, depending on the severity of the crime. Some examples of charges and penalties are:

Indecency With A Child

A defendant may be charged with indecency with a child, even if no touching was involved. This charge is used when the defendant exposes himself to a child or exposes a child’s private parts for sexual pleasure. In Texas, indecency with a child is a felony and carries the following penalties if no physical contact is involved:

  • Monetary fines up to $10,000.00
  • Confinement in the state penitentiary lasting from 2 to 10 years
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender for the remainder of the defendant’s life

When a defendant physically touches a child in this manner, the penalties may include:

  • Monetary fines up to $10,000.00
  • Confinement in the state penitentiary lasting from 2 to 20 years
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender for the remainder of the defendant’s life

Sexual Assault Against a Minor

Sexual assault against a minor is a more serious crime, so the penalties are typically harsher. This charge is used when physical violence or force is used when engaging in sexual activity against the child’s will and penetration is involved. This crime is a felony in the second degree. The penalty for sexual assault in Texas may include:

  • Monetary fines issued at the court’s discretition
  • Confinement in the state penitentiary lasting from 2 to 20 years

Defendants may also have additional charges to go along with sexual assault, such as:

  • Child Molestation
  • Statutory Rape
  • Sexual Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Aggravated Sexual Assault

In Texas, aggravated sexual assault is a very serious crime and a felony in the first degree. This charge may be used when a sexual assault against a child occurs and the following contributing factors exist:

  • The child was less than 14 years of age
  • A weapon was used
  • The threat of death or physical harm was used
  • Date rape drugs were administered to the victim

Because aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony, the penalties are harsh and can include:

  • Monetary fines
  • Registration as a sexual offender for life
  • Confinement in the state penitentiary for 2 years to life

Defending a Statutory Rape Charge

To defend these types of charges, your lawyer may use strategies to prove you were not the one who committed the crime or they may use an exemption to the law. Some exemptions that may apply in Texas include:

Mistaken Age

This strategy is used when a defendant had no way of knowing the victim’s age and believed they were above the age of consent.

Romeo and Juliet

In Texas, the Romeo and Juliet exemption may be used when the minor is between 14 and 17 and the defendant is no more than 3 years older than the victim.

Marital Exemption

If the defendant and a minor are married, the defendant cannot be prosecuted for engaging in sexual activity with the minor. The law protects married couples in this manner, even when one party is below the age of consent.

Being charged with a sex crime is a stressful and difficult time. Being convicted of these serious charges could result in the loss of your freedom or cause you to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. If you are facing statutory rape charges in Texas, contact an attorney for advice.

law office of brett a podolsky

Discuss your case

Enter code below: captcha

FREE EBOOK

Download Our Free Ebook Today

The New, Free Ebook From the Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky
Address

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