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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Being convicted of a sex crime can be career ending and reputation damaging, and can create a stigma that follows a person for the remainder of their life. Accordingly, immediately upon becoming aware that you are being investigated or charged with a sex crime, it is important to contact a knowledgeable local sex crimes attorney.
The 24-hour cable news cycle can often result in local stories becoming fodder for the masses to grab and repeat. In many cases, a person can be deemed guilty by the public before a jury ever hears the complete story.
An experienced Odessa sex crimes attorney will make conscientious efforts to ensure that allegations of a sexual crime do not become a person’s verdict long before the case has been fully investigated. If you have been charged with a sexual crime in Odessa, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney before risking your reputation, as well as your personal and professional life.
In Texas, a person that knowingly or intentionally assaults another in a sexual manner without consent is guilty of sexual assault in Odessa. Without consent does not explicitly require the person to say no, it only requires that the individual not consent to the act. Sexual assault is commonly a second-degree felony, which is punishable by fines that do not exceed $10,000 and imprisonment for two to 20 years.
The charge can be aggravated, which leads to enhanced penalties, such as when the act is committed using a deadly weapon, the plaintiff is under the age of 14, the plaintiff is injured, or the accused used drugs for the accuser’s compliance, among other factors.
Sex Offender Registry
While the intent of the registry is to protect the public, the sex offender registry is a flawed system for numerous reasons, including the lack of rehabilitation options to be removed from the list. It is designed to allow the public to search for those that have been convicted of sex crimes law violations in Odessa and elsewhere throughout the United States.
In Texas, anyone that has a reportable conviction or adjudication has to register on the sex offender registry. A reportable conviction or adjudication is one that is based on sexual assault, sexual abuse of a child or children, prostitution-related offenses, or kidnapping when the purpose of the kidnapping was sexual, among others.
There are three risk levels that are associated with the sex offender registry – level one, two, and three. Level one registrants are deemed to pose the lowest risk to the public. The increased levels reflect the increased risk to the public. The registry requirement may not be permanent for every offender, however, until the requirement is satisfied, those that are required to register must do so. Failing to register as a sex offender is a crime on its own, so relocating from one jurisdiction to another does not allow an individual to circumvent that process.
Contact an Odessa Sex Crimes Attorney
If you have been accused of any crime, particularly a sexual offense, understanding the seriousness of the allegation, your legal rights, and the available options is important. If you need information or you are accused of a serious sex crime, Odessa sex crimes attorneys are available to help you.