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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Being accused of a sex crime can destroy a person’s life. The punishments for these kinds of offenses have gotten tougher in recent years. Even beyond jail time, they can leave an individual stigmatized for life. Convicted sex offenders are often restricted in where they can live and may have to tell their neighbors about their conviction. The person’s name, address, and photograph can also be posted on the Internet. People who have been convicted of sex offenses may find it hard to continue with their careers. If you or a loved one are facing this difficult situation, you need to talk to an Abilene sex crimes lawyer who has dealt with these sensitive issues before and know how to fight for the rights of the accused. Speak to a persistent and compassionate criminal attorney who can work diligently to build a solid case for you.
Typical Sex Crimes Charges
In general, laws may prescribe acts which are considered either sexual abuse or behavior that societies consider to be inappropriate. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact between two or more adults or two or more minors and, depending on laws with regard to the age of consent, sexual contact between an adult and a minor. Some common sex crimes that carry substantial penalties are:
- Sexual assault
- Date rape
- Sex with a minor
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Sex trafficking
A variety of laws aim to protect children by making various acts with children a sex crime. For example, the “corruption of minors” by introducing material or behaviors that are intended to groom a minor for future sexual conduct. The materials or behavior can involve sexual content but do not necessarily have to. Prosecutors are more likely to pursue “date rape” charges than they used to be. Even if the prosecutor fails to prove the charge, the life of the defendant can be ruined just by having their name publicized in connection with such a heinous accusation.
Many bars now post signs in the men’s room pointing out that “an intoxicated woman cannot give consent.” Behavior that would have been shrugged off a generation ago can now lead to prosecution. False accusations of sexual assault or sexual abuse are quite common, particularly in domestic disputes and custody battles. A person who makes such a charge can expect great sympathy from the judicial system.
Burden of Proof
Any American has certain specific rights that the courts must respect. No American has to prove themselves innocent. The state must prove them guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors, and they must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Searches by the police must be done in accordance with a warrant that “particularly describes the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized,” according to the US Constitution.
An intelligent Abilene sex crimes lawyer will challenge any evidence that the government tries to use. Many sex crime cases turn into “he said, she said” contests, and lawyers with substantial courtroom experience can spot the inconsistencies and weaknesses in an opponent’s testimony.
Speaking with an Attorney
Sometimes pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser punishment is the wise course of action when accused of a crime. Because the punishments for sex crimes are so severe, and the stigma is permanent, it is often better to fight the charges in every way. An Abilene sex crimes lawyer will listen to your story with respect and sympathy, and then start building the strongest defense possible. If you are facing possible sex crime charges, contact right away.