If you have been falsely accused of raping a minor, an underage person or a child in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, it is important to contact a defense attorney with immense experience in these cases immediately.
Accusations of statutory rape, even if they are false allegations, can result in serious penalties, including any of the following:
- A requirement to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;
- Jail or prison time;
- Steep fines;
- Public humiliation or embarrassment;
- An inability to own or possess a firearm;
- An inability to vote or hold public office;
- An inability to pursue certain education opportunities; and/or
- An inability to apply for certain jobs or occupations.
Dallas Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer
If you've been accused of statutory rape, you can turn to Stuckle & Associates PLLC for an aggressive defense that can give you a fighting chance. We take on even the most challenging situations, and our years of experience in this field allow us to tackle your charges with confidence. Allegations of statutory rape in Fort Worth, Plano, and other areas of Texas carry very serious consequences, so you need to know that your attorney has your back no matter what. Call (972) 423-4405 today to schedule your free consultation with Stuckle & Associates PLLC.
An Overview of Texas Statutory Rape Laws
- What is Considered Statutory Rape?
- Punishments for a Statutory Rape Conviction
- Common Defenses to Statutory Rape Charges
Statutory rape is most commonly defined as engaging in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of consent. Force or threat is generally not necessary because a minor is considered to lack the capability to consent to the sexual act. The age of consent is 17 in Texas.
A minor, child, juvenile or underage person is defined under section 22.011(c) of the Texas Penal Code as anyone who is under the age of 17 at the time of the alleged offense.
Texas law does not specifically provide for a statutory rape statute or even a rape statute. If an individual allegedly commits statutory rape offense, they will be charged under Texas’ sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault statutes.
An individual can be charged with statutory rape under Tex. Penal Code § 22.011 if they knowingly or intentionally cause any of the following acts:
- The penetration of the sex organ or anus of a child by any means;
- The penetration of the child’s mouth by the sex organ of the alleged offender;
- Contact of the child’s anus with the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person;
- Contact of the child’s mouth with the anus or sexual organ of another person;
- A child’s sexual organ to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person;
An individual can also be charged with statutory rape under Tex. Penal Code § 22.021, which can result in more serious penalties and repercussions than typical statutory rape crimes if the charges result in a conviction. An individual can be charged with aggravated statutory rape or aggravated sexual assault if they commit any of the acts listed above, in addition to:
- Acting as an accomplice to anyone who commits a statutory rape or sexual assault offense;
- Attempting to cause the death of the alleged victim during the commission of the offense;
- Causing serious bodily injury to the alleged victim during the commission of the offense;
- Causing the victim to be fearful that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will occur through the use of verbal threats or actions;
- The victim is disabled;
- The victim is under the age of 14;
- Threatening to cause death or serious bodily injury or kidnapping any person, including the alleged victim;
- Using a deadly weapon during the commission of the alleged statutory rape; and/or
- Using an intoxicant or controlled substance during the commission of the offense, such as:
- Gamma hydroxybutyrate,
- Special K, or
- The Date Rape drug.
The basic jail or prison sentences and fines for a statutory rape conviction are listed in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, these penalties can vary depending on a number of factors, including the age of the alleged victim, whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal conviction and/or whether the alleged offender committed aggravated statutory rape or statutory rape.
- A conviction for statutory rape is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for statutory rape is instead punishable as a felony of the first degree, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000, if the alleged offender was prohibited from marrying the victim of the alleged offense.
- A conviction for aggravated statutory rape is generally punishable as a felony of the first degree, which can lead to a fine up to $10,000 and/or five to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment.
- A conviction for aggravated statutory rape when the alleged victim was under the age of six at the time of the offense can result in a minimum term of imprisonment for 25 years instead of five years.
- A conviction for aggravated statutory rape can result in a minimum prison term of 25 years instead of five years when the alleged victim was under the age of 14 at the time of the offense and:
- Death or serious bodily injury occurred, was attempted, or was threatened to the victim;
- An intoxicant or controlled substance was used during the commission of the offense; or
- A weapon was used during the commission of the offense.
A defense may be applicable to your allegations. However, since these defenses are not available in every situation, it is important to consult with an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer to help you identify which, if any, of the following may apply to the facts of your particular case:
- Medical Necessity
- Mistaken Identity
In certain cases, affirmative defenses may be available to allegations of statutory rape. An affirmative defense means the alleged offender admits to committing the offense, but it is not considered a criminal offense in their particular case for a specific reason. Affirmative defenses to statutory rape in Texas can include any of the following:
- The alleged offender was married to the alleged victim at the time the offense occurred;
- There was not more than a three year age difference between the alleged offender and the alleged victim at the time the alleged offense occurred and the alleged victim was 14 years old or older and was not prohibited from marrying the alleged offender.
Hiring an Attorney for Statutory Rape Charges in North Texas
Those in Plano, Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington and the surrounding areas can turn toStuckle & Associates PLLC for experienced and determined legal counsel. We stand ready to take on even the most challenging cases, and we will do whatever is necessary to prepare a solid defense in your case. Call us today at (972) 423-4405 to schedule your free consultation regarding your statutory rape charges. We can review your unique circumstances and devise a defense strategy that suits your needs and safeguards your freedoms.