Sex crimes are serious offenses that often carry very heavy penalties. Because of the emphasis law enforcement places on protecting potentially vulnerable members of society, though, sometimes sex crimes are charged in situations where they may not be warranted.
Even without a conviction, charges involving sex crimes can cause problems with work, personal relationships, and other aspects of life. A knowledgeable Richardson sex crimes lawyer could help explain the implication of sex crime allegations and work to keep negative consequences to a minimum. By working with a criminal defense attorney, you could better protect your rights and your ability to work toward a positive outcome.
Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Many individuals who have been convicted of sex crimes must register with local law enforcement as part of the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. Registration requirements end after a certain period, but once a record has been available online, it never truly goes away and may be shared quickly among a large group of people.
All those with a “reportable” conviction or adjudication are required to register in this program. This includes offenses such as:
- Possession of child pornography
- Solicitation or unlawful restraint where a minor is involved)
- Indecent exposure, with a prior conviction
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Online solicitation of a minor
As part of the registration requirements, the offender must provide detailed identifying information and photographs, as well as information about employment. Local law enforcement agencies turn this information over to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which then adds the information to the sex offender database where it may be viewed by anyone at any time.
How Sex Crimes Are Treated Under the Law
The severity of many sex crimes can vary depending on the circumstances. When a minor is involved, that factor often makes an alleged sex crime much more serious, even if the person accused is unaware of that minor’s age. Prior convictions or the threat of violence usually also increase the severity of an offense.
Examples of felony sex crimes include sexual assault, indecency with a child, improper relationship between an educator and a student, invasive visual recording, unlawful disclosure of intimate visual material, voyeurism, and bestiality. Potential penalties for these offenses include years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines.
Some sex crimes are first-degree felonies punishable by a life sentence of imprisonment. These include continuous sexual abuse of a young child and aggravated sexual assault. No matter what specific charge a Richardson resident faces, a qualified sex crimes attorney could help them take stock of their legal options and act in their own best interests.
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes
A few sex crimes may be punished as misdemeanors, particularly where there are no prior convictions on the record. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is generally one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000.
Examples of misdemeanor sex crimes include public lewdness, indecent exposure, and prostitution. However, a prior conviction for many misdemeanor offenses typically causes subsequent violations to be treated as felonies.
Contact an Experienced Richardson Sex Crimes Attorney
When someone makes an allegation involving a sex crime, it is wise to take action right away. Intervention by an experienced Richardson sex crimes lawyer could help protect your rights and ensure your rights are respected through the ensuing criminal procedures.
If you are facing allegations of a sex crime, it is wise to take proactive steps as soon as possible to safeguard your future. To learn how a knowledgeable sex crimes lawyer could help, call today to schedule a consultation.