Texas Penal Code Chapter 21 outlines the state’s laws regarding sex crimes and related offenses. This section of the state’s criminal code includes a wide range of offenses, from relatively minor to a felony of the first degree. If the police or state accuses you of violating any of these laws, we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible.
Our team can protect your rights and ensure you get a fair trial while also building a strong argument to clear your name or possibly reduce the charges against you. We will fight a conviction in your case, pursuing the most favorable outcome possible based on the circumstances of your arrest.
Sex Crime Offenses in Texas
Sex crimes in Texas can include almost any activity of a sexual nature, under the wrong circumstances. Examples include:
- Aggravated sexual assault (including rape)
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault of a child
- Solicitation of a prostitute
- Solicitation of a minor
- Internet sex crimes
- Sexting, especially if it involves a minor
Many of these statutes are somewhat vague, allowing police to arrest you and prosecutors to build a case against you under many different circumstances. For example, almost any non-consensual sexual encounter could fall under the state’s aggravated sexual assault law. At the same time, if the other party is under the age of 17, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity regardless of consent.
Another example is the state’s prostitution law. You do not need to have any sexual contact, nor do you have to exchange money to be charged. Any promise of any kind of fee — including paying with drugs or other valuables — violates this law, and you could face arrest.
Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes in Texas
Just as Texas law includes a wide variety of sexual offenses, the penalties you could face if convicted of one of these offenses varies as well. The actual sentence you could receive depends on several factors, including the crime, the facts of the case, and any deals your attorney can negotiate. Some examples of possible consequences for committing a first offense Texas sex crime include:
Sexual assault is a serious crime that demands at least two years in prison in Texas. You will face up to 20 years behind bars and a fine of $10,000. Aggravated sexual assault comes with enhanced sentencing, calling for prison time of between 5 to 99 years.
Invasive Visual Recording
Hiding a camera in a bedroom or bathroom, taking “up-skirt” pictures, or similar activities without the consent of the participants is a state jail felony in Texas. A visual recording type of conviction calls for a minimum of six months in jail and not more than two years of jail time. You could also have to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
These are the same penalties you could face for sharing an intimate picture or video without permission from the person in it, known as “unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material.”
Sexting a minor, even when you are a minor, is illegal in Texas. If you are a minor, you could face the consequences that come with a Class C Misdemeanor. This includes a fine of as much as $500. If you are an adult sexting a minor, the penalties are much more significant. You could face up to 20 years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you face sex crime charges in Texas, you need an attorney who knows how to build a strong case for your defense and pursue the most favorable outcome possible for you and your family. Sex crime defense takes someone knowledgeable about these laws and how prosecutors build this type of case.
Let the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Represent You in Your Texas Sex Crimes Case
Sex crimes defense attorney Randall Isenberg has more than 30 years of experience representing those accused of Texas sex crimes. In addition to his career as a criminal defense attorney, Randall has served as both a former prosecutor and as a state district judge. He knows what it takes to build a strong sex crimes case against the accused party — and how to defend his clients in this type of case.