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Statute of Limitations for Statutory Rape

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Statute of Limitations for Statutory Rape in Texas

In Texas, a person who is convicted of statutory rape may face severe criminal penalties. These penalties can include years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and lifelong sex offender registration. The extent of the penalties is usually based upon the perceived severity of the offense.

In some cases of statutory rape, the defendant may try to use the statute of limitations as part of their defense. However, depending on the type of criminal charge, this may not be possible. Learning more about the charge of statutory rape and the effects of the statute of limitations can help defendants plan a legal defense.

What Is Statutory Rape?

In Texas, statutory rape refers to a type of sexual assault. According to Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with sexual assault if that person is accused of initiating sexual contact with another person without consent. Consent is a term that is used to refer to a knowing and willing agreement to engage in sexual activity.

A person who attempts to compel or force consent through the use of coercion, threats or physical violence may also be charged with sexual assault. A person who is drugged, unconscious or mentally handicapped cannot give consent.

According to Texas law, only adults aged 18 or over can give consent to sexual activity. This is why 18 is known as the “age of consent.” This means that a person aged 17 or younger cannot give consent to sexual activity.

Therefore a person aged 18 or over who has sex with a person aged 17 or younger can be charged with sexual assault. This is known as “statutory rape” because even if the younger partner agreed to have sex, consent was not obtained because the younger person is too young to legally give consent.

Texas law states that a person who commits statutory rape may be charged with sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault or indecency with a child.

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What Is The Statute Of Limitations?

In legal terms, the statute of limitations is used to determine if legal charges can still be brought forward for crimes that occurred in the past. Some crimes have a relatively short statute of limitations.

For example, some felonies in Texas have a statute of limitations of three years. This means that if a person is accused of one of these felonies after three years have passed since the date of the offense, charges cannot be filed.

However, if a person is accused of statutory rape and is then charged with sexual assault, they may be arrested as soon as charges are filed. This is because, in Texas, there is no statute of limitations for:

  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Indecency with a child

However, there are some legal defenses to a charge of statutory rape.

Legal Defenses

If a person is accused of statutory rape in Texas, he or she may have a strong legal defense if they meet certain requirements. These requirements are based on the age of the defendant and their sexual partner.

If the defendant is:

  • No more than three years older than his or her younger sexual partner

And the younger partner is:

  • Aged between 14-17

The defendant may not face prosecution. This is because Texas laws try to protect young couples who engage in consensual sex, even if one partner is below the age of consent.

Additionally, if the partners are legally married and engage in consensual sex, they may not face legal penalties. This is true even if the two partners are more than three years apart in age.

Being accused of statutory rape in Texas is very serious. Hiring an attorney is the best way to get prepared for defending against these charges in court.


If you have been accused of statutory rape , it’s crucial to contact an experienced attorney. Brett A. Podolsky will fight to protect your rights. Call 713-227-0087 or email for a confidential consultation today!
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