Just last year, students at the University of North Texas were victimized by a man who confessed to committing a series of assaults. But not all cases are as cut-and-dry; in fact, the lines between what is assault and what is not can get blurred easily, especially when in college. However, you need to familiarize yourself with the laws of sexual assault in Texas – if you are charged, you could be facing a huge fine and a lengthy prison sentence.
Sexual includes intentionally penetrating or engaging in intercourse with a person without obtaining the permission of that person. It also includes any form of intentional sexual contact, such as fondling a person or grabbing their buttocks without their consent.
While other states may have separate definitions and laws for rape and sexual assault, Texas does not. Here, rape and sexual assault are essentially synonymous and are covered together under Chapters 21 and 22 in the Texas Penal Code.
Because sexual assault is defined as an intentional act without consent, this concept must be at least generally defined. The statute provides guidance by defining an act without consent as one where:
Sexual assault is a second-degree felony charge. If convicted of sexual assault, you could be fined up to $10,000, or sentenced to a term anywhere between 2 and 20 years in a Texas state prison, or both.
In some instances, sexual assault is a first-degree felony, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term lasting from 5 up to 99 years. The first-degree felony charge is for people who sexually assault a person they claim to have married but to whom they are not legally married, such as an instance of bigamy.
Sexual assault is considered an aggravated act if:
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony. The fines and prison time are the same as a first-degree sexual assault felony. It is possible to automatically receive a minimum prison sentence of 25 years if:
If a person accuses you of sexually assaulting them, there is very little evidence they need to provide before officers arrest you. While we don’t want to believe anyone would lie about something so horrible, it is something that definitely can – and does – happen. A sexual assault charge is a felonious offense – in no time, you could be a felon, sitting in prison for years and trying to figure out how you will possibly be able to afford the enormous fine the court imposed along with your prison sentence.
But don’t lose hope – you still have a chance to restore your good name. You may have an even better opportunity to do so if you hire a competent attorney to help you. At Tress Law Firm, we don’t take accusations at face value. Instead, we take the time to hear what everyone has to say about the incident, we ask questions, and we gather any information that could help us understand exactly what happened.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will not cast aspersions on you. We know you are entitled to due process of the law, so we stand by your side and fight for your rights. We make sure you are treated fairly by the police and the court system, and we prepare a thorough defense to get you the best outcome possible. Call us today to speak with an attorney about your case.