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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Sexual assault is regarded as a serious offense in Amarillo. Such a charge could lead to legal consequences and may negatively impact future professional and social opportunities. Contact an aggressive Amarillo sexual assault lawyer who can research various legal options to fight the charge.
Every sexual assault case is different, but the importance of finding a credible defense attorney remains steadfast. A sexual assault case can escalate quickly and spiral out of a person’s control without an attorney to help refute the charge.
Laws in Amarillo
Under the Texas Penal Code §22.011, sexual assault includes any type of sexual penetration without the person’s consent. The specific types of sexual penetration are detailed in §22.011, but the law is broad enough to encompass most actions. If the individual in question is a child, then any type of sexual contact whatsoever may constitute sexual assault.
Generally, individuals who use physical force, violence, coercion, or the threat of force or violence to cause harm to another could face a sexual assault charge. Someone who assaults another knowing that the individual is unconscious, physically incapable of resisting, or unaware of the assault may also incur such a charge.
When a person who assaults another knows that the individual has a mental disease or defect that prevents them from understanding of the nature of the act or being able to resist it, they may be charged with sexual assault in Amarillo court. This also includes scenarios where a person accused of the offense administers a substance to the individual without the individual’s knowledge that results in impairment or incapacitation.
Sexual Assault of a Minor
A minor who is under the age of 17 is typically not able to legally give consent and, under this stipulation, an adult person who engages with them in sexual activity may face a sexual assault charge. Such a charge may be incurred despite whether a person’s received consent or if the party in question participated willingly.
Some circumstances surrounding a sexual assault can elevate the charge to aggravated sexual assault. For instance, if the assault involved a child under the age of 14 or a deadly weapon, it could result in aggravated sexual assault charges.
Penalties for Sexual Assault Offenses
The level of felony charged in a sexual assault depends on the circumstances that surround the incident and the nature of the incident itself. However, sexual assault normally is a second-degree felony under Texas Penal Code §12.33, which carries a potential penalty of two to 20 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
Violent assaults that result in serious bodily injury or incidents that allegedly contain an intent to kill aspect could be upgraded to a felony of the first-degree. Sexual assault charges that are aggravated because they involve a minor child can also be upgraded to a felony in the first degree. A first-degree felony under Texas Penal Code §12.32 potentially may result in life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
How a Sexual Assault Attorney May Help
A resourceful defense attorney could request and examine the evidence collected from the alleged sexual assault incident. This may include:
- DNA testing results and other forensic evidence
- Interviews with the accuser and any witnesses
- Telephone, email, and social media account records of communications
The bottom line is that sexual assault is a serious criminal offense in the state of Texas. Many sexual assault allegations are complicated and may involve a great deal of “he said, she said.” When defending against a sexual assault offense, a person should refrain from communicating with the prosecution without the presence of an Amarillo sexual assault lawyer.
Speaking with an Amarillo Sexual Assault Attorney
Sexual assault is a severe charge under Texas law. Someone who is accused of such an offense may need the legal assistance of an Amarillo sexual assault lawyer who could review the case and help defend against the charge.
A dedicated defense attorney could help devise an effective strategy and vigorously represent your interests in the case. Contact an experienced lawyer to begin formulating a defense.