Sexual abuse is commonly defined as any type of non-censual sexual contact. This can include a variety of acts, such as sexual touching, penetration, fondling, oral sex, causing unwanted physical pain during a sexual act, encouraging an individual to commit a sexual act against their will, encouraging an individual to engage in pornography against their will, and/or encouraging an individual to engage in prostitution against their will. Sex abuse can occur between family members, strangers, or anyone else, and can happen to men, women and children.
If you have been accused of committing sexual abuse in Texas, it is important to know that you do not necessarily have to face a conviction if you have an aggressive sexual defense lawyer on your side. The state prosecutor must prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to achieve a conviction. If the judge or jury has any doubt you committed any element of the offense, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced sex crimes lawyer who will help you identify your best legal defense throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex.
Dallas Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Contact Stuckle & Ferguson, PLLC for a consultation about your alleged sexual abuse offense throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, including the areas of Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Denton, Lewisville, and Arlington. The attorneys of Stuckle & Ferguson are experienced in defending accusations of sexual abuse throughout Texas and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact Stuckle & Ferguson for a free consultation today at (972) 423-4405 about your alleged sexual abuse throughout Dallas and Fort Worth.
Dallas Sexual Abuse Information Center
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Dallas Sexual Abuse Offenses
There are a number of offenses an individual can be charged with if they allegedly engage in a sexual abuse offense. These offenses can include, but are not limited to:
Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code § 22.011 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally or knowingly:
- Cause the penetration of the anus or sex organ of another person by any means, without their consent;
- Cause the penetration of another person’s mouth with a sexual organ without their consent;
- Cause the non-consensual sexual organ of another person to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sex organ of another person, including the alleged offender; and/or
- Commit child sex assault.
This offense can result in a conviction of a felony of the first or second degree.
Aggravated Sexual Assault – Texas Penal Code § 22.021 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they engage in a sexual assault offense, in addition to:
- Causing serious bodily injury or attempting to cause the death of the alleged victim or any other person during the commission of the offense;
- Placing the victim in fear of immediate death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping through words or actions;
- Threatening to cause the death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping of any person through words or actions while in the presence of the alleged victim;
- Using or showing a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
- Being an accomplice to any person who causes serious bodily injury to the victim;
- The alleged victim is a child under the age of 14 years old;
- Administering any of the following substances to the victim during the commission of the offense:
- Gamma hydroxybutyrate
This offense can result in a conviction of a felony of the first degree.
Child Sexual Abuse – Texas Penal Code §§ 21.11, 22.011 and 22.021 - An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault or indecency with a child against a child younger than 17 years of age. This offense can result in a felony of the first, second or third degree conviction.
Continuous Child Sex Abuse – Texas Penal Code § 21.02 - An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit any of the following offenses two or more times to a child or children under the age of 14 during a 30 day period, and the alleged offender is at least 17 years old:
- Aggravated sexual assault,
- Certain forms of aggravated kidnapping,
- Certain forms of burglary,
- Certain forms of indecency with a child,
- Sexual assault, and/or
- Sexual performance by a child.
This offense can result in felony of the first degree conviction.
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Sex Abuse Defenses in Dallas
There may be a variety of defenses or mitigating factors available to an individual that has been charged with a sexual abuse offense throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. Although the following defenses do not apply to every case, your experienced sex crimes defense attorney will help you identify whether they may be applicable to the facts of your particular situation. Defenses to sex abuse allegations may include:
- Mistaken Identity,
- Coercion, and/or
Affirmative defenses may also exist for your particular sex abuse charges. This form of defense can apply when the alleged offender concedes they committed the acts that would normally be considered a criminal offense, but they are not guilty of a crime for a specific reason. Affirmative defenses can include if the alleged offender and victim were married, or if the act was committed for a legitimate medical purpose.
If your defense attorney plans to use an affirmative defense in your case, you will now have the burden of proof, instead of the prosecutor. Generally, the defense does not have to show any evidence if they don’t want, and the prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the alleged offender committed the offense. When using an affirmative defense, your lawyer will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the defense existed. This means they will have to show the defense more than likely existed, or it existed by 51% to 49%.
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Penalties for Sexual Abuse in Dallas
Sex abuse penalties are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, the following penalties can vary depending on a variety of factors, including whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, the type of offense, the victim’s age, whether the alleged offender caused serious bodily injury and/or whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree sexual abuse offense can result a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree sexual abuse offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree sexual abuse offense can result in two to ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
An individual convicted of a sexual abuse offense in Texas may also face any of the additional repercussions:
- A negative impact on personal and professional relationships,
- An inability to vote, hold public office or own or possess a firearm,
- A possibly permanent criminal record,
- An inability to apply for certain jobs or pursue certain professions,
- Ineligibility to be admitted into certain college or graduate school programs, and/or
- Requirements to register as a sex offender.
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Stuckle & Ferguson, PLLC | Fort Worth Sex Abuse Attorney
If you have been accused of committing sex abuse throughout Texas, including the areas of Collin County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Lubbock County, El Paso County, Bexar County, Nueces County, Webb County, Bell County, Travis County, Williamson County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County and Montgomery County, contact Stuckle & Ferguson today. Paul Stuckle is a knowledgeable Dallas sex crimes attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Stuckle & Ferguson today for a free consultation at (972) 423-4405 or send an online message about your sex abuse allegations in Texas.