Texas Penal Code Ch 21 outlines some of the state’s definitions of sexual offenses and the penalties for each. If you have been charged with violating one of these statutes, you could face a misdemeanor, second-degree felony, third-degree felony, or state jail felony. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will help you mount a defense if you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Texas.
In many cases, law enforcement may have used unfair or discriminatory tactics against you, such as entrapment. Our goal is to protect your rights and keep your reputation intact as we defend you against the charges you face. Securing legal help can give you someone to trust and depend on while fighting for your future. Our legal team will review your options with you during a free consultation today.
Sex Offenses in Texas
Examples of sex offenses listed under Texas law include:
- Public lewdness: Per Texas Penal Code § 21.07, this occurs when a person knowingly engages in sexual acts or sexual conduct in a public place. Public lewdness is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Indecent exposure: Per Texas Penal Code § 21.08, this sex crime occurs when a person exposes their genitals or anus with the intent to arouse or gratify another person’s sexual desire. Additionally, the law says this sex crime occurs when a person is “reckless about whether another person is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.” Indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor.
- Indecency with a child: Per Texas Penal Code § 21.11(a), if a person intentionally exposes themselves to a minor, a child aged 17 or younger, an indecent exposure charge could be bumped up to a third-degree felony charge.
- Voyeurism: Per Texas Penal Code § 21.17, it is unlawful to violate someone’s expectation of privacy by watching them without their knowledge for arousal or sexual gratification. This offense is a class C misdemeanor, though it can elevate if the subject was under 14 years old.
- Unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit visual material: Per Texas Penal Code § 21.19, it is unlawful to send photos or videos of someone’s intimate parts or while they are engaged in sexual conduct without their consent. This is a Class C misdemeanor.
This is a partial list of sex crimes in Texas – Texas Penal Code Ch 21 outlines many others. If you don’t see your charge listed here, you can reach out to us to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
Charges for sexual offenses listed in Texas Penal Code Ch 21 span the full spectrum from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony depending on the specific crime. For example, sex crimes involving children receive harsher penalties.
A Class C misdemeanor is generally a $500 fine. Meanwhile, a first-degree felony can result in:
- A prison sentence of anywhere from 5 to 99 years, or life
- A fine of up to $10,000
The Consequences Can Vary Based on Past Convictions
The severity of sex crime penalties depends on each case’s circumstances and whether the offender has a criminal history or past convictions. The first conviction of an offense will not require registering as a sex offender.
However, according to Article 62.001(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the second conviction of this offense likely will require registering as a sex offender unless adjudication takes place. A person convicted of a sex crime in the past will likely face a harsher sentence.
How Our Texas Sex Offenses Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
If you have been charged with a sex offense in Texas, it is a serious matter, and you may want to secure legal representation as soon as you can. In some cases, you may only face a misdemeanor offense – but additional convictions can result in a felony conviction and mandatory sex offender status, affecting your job, family, and reputation. Regardless of the charge, it is important to fight even the most minor sex crime to protect your future.
Our Team Will Review Your Situation and Advise You on Your Options
We are aware of the seriousness of the charges you face. If you hire our firm to represent you, we will get to work right away on your case. Our legal team will investigate the facts, details, and circumstances regarding your situation.
We will look at the police report and other related documents to develop a legal strategy that challenges the prosecution’s case against you. You can learn more about your next steps during a free consultation with us.
We Will Listen to You
During your free consultation, we will discuss your pending charges and what they could mean for your future. Our team will also go over the details of what happened and any prior criminal history you have.
In addition, we’ll cover how the legal process works so that you will have a clear understanding of what’s ahead. Throughout your case, we’ll advise you and answer your questions and concerns.
Our Attorneys Will Work Toward a Favorable Outcome of Your Case
Attorney Randall B. Isenberg is a former state district trial judge and senior chief felony prosecutor with 30-plus years of experience. He has worked on both sides of the bench and understands the sensitive nature of the sex crimes his clients face. He will work toward achieving a favorable outcome for you and your family.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys may be able to persuade the state to dismiss the charges against you and negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge with reduced penalties. We might be able to take your case to court or arrange a plea deal and work with the judge for a reduced sentence.
Possible Defenses in Sex Crime Cases
Sex crimes vary in nature and severity, so not all cases require the same defense. If you choose our team, we will manage your case according to its specifics, which may differ from previous cases our firm has handled. However, we can review past successes to guide us as we develop your defense.
Possible defenses to a sex crime could include:
- Lack of intent: We may be able to prove you did not intend to engage in public lewdness or indecent exposure with the intent to arouse another person. Intent is key in this sex crime, so if we prove there was no intent, we can prove that no crime was committed.
- Intoxication: Sometimes, people do things while under the influence they are not aware of. If you had been drinking and did not realize you were exposing yourself or engaging in lewdness, we may be able to reduce your charge or sentence.
- Mental instability (insanity): If a defendant has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that makes it possible that they may not have been aware of what they were doing, this could be a defense in a sex crime case.
Entrapment in Sex Crime Cases
Another possible defense we could use in a sex crime case involving indecent exposure or public lewdness is entrapment. On some occasions, vice officers have encouraged individuals by engaging in provocative behavior to trap them into committing lewd acts.
In order to determine if entrapment occurred, the state may ask if a police officer’s conduct would have caused a reasonable person under the same circumstances to commit the offense. This is called an “objective” test. In a “subjective test,” the police officer’s intention and the defendant’s state of mind is considered before a crime is charged.
Police officers have also been accused of inducing individuals to commit crimes by lying about certain facts or using false names or identities. We will review your case for any sign of entrapment and address it in your defense.
Sealing Your Criminal Sex Offense Records
Expungement of your record, or sealing your record, for minor sex crimes is possible in Texas if the crime was committed a long time ago and did not involve violence. The courts may also seal a record if the victim was 15 years old and the offender was not more than four years older, or the interaction between the parties was consensual.
You may also have the option of taking an individual risk assessment and asking the court for early termination.
We Are Committed to Our Clients, and Our Case Results Prove it
Regardless of the charge or the potential penalties, we help our clients fight their cases so they can move on with rebuilding their lives. Some of our case results include:
- Indecent Exposure – Reduced to Class C Misdemeanor
- Indecent Exposure – Dismissed, Conditional Dismissal
- Indecency with a Child (Felony) – Not Guilty by Bench Trial
Past Clients Share what It was Like to Work with Us
Our client testimonials also show how committed we are to helping people defend their cases and exercise their legal rights. Here’s what some had to say about working with our firm:
- “They really know how to do their job right. And will get you the best deal possible.” – Julia Ann Murchison
- “The Isenberg law offices are filled with professionals who take every case and client seriously, as if they’re going up to bat for their own family members. Our family will look only to Isenberg whenever we need a great lawyer.” – Christopher
- Randall Isenberg handled my case perfectly resulting in my case being dismissed. I think his prior experience as a prosecutor and a judge helped in the courtroom. I would recommend this law firm to anyone. – Anonymous Client
If you or a loved one is facing conviction, we will do everything we can as we work diligently to get the sex crime charge against you reduced or dismissed.
Call Us and Get Started on Your Free Consultation
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Texas, you could suffer serious penalties upon conviction. As such, you are encouraged to seek legal representation as soon as possible to begin building your defense.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 and let us review the case against you during a free consultation. You have a right to defend yourself against these charges, and we will stand with you.