Sexual Assault Lawyer in Texas
Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and the Entire State of Texas
False accusations or false allegations of aggravated sexual assault are very serious and can result in severe consequences. Therefore, it is critical that adults accused of this offense turn to an experienced sexual assault lawyer who can review the circumstances surrounding the case and help identify mitigating factors or defenses that can result in a dismissal, acquittal or reduction of the charges against you.
An aggravated sexual assault conviction has the potential to ruin the life of the accused individual. The attorneys of Stuckle & Associates PLLC understand the severity of these types of allegations and aggressive fight to help our clients avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions associated with the alleged offense. If you or someone you love is facing aggravated sexual assault charges, call (972) 423-4405 today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your defense options.
Why Adults Are Often Falsely Accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault
If you are facing unmerited allegations of sexual misconduct, you may have been falsely accused for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons to accuse another person of aggravated sexual assault are to ruin their reputation, to cause them public humiliation, to accuse them out of spite, jealousy or anger, or to receive some form monetary or financial bribe in exchange for the allegation. No matter the reason, it is essential to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney who will fight the false claims against you.
How Texas Defines Aggravated Sexual Assault
According to Texas Penal Code § 22.021, an individual can be charged with aggravated sexual assault if they commit sexual assault and:
- They cause the victim to be afraid of serious bodily injury, death or kidnapping through threats or actions;
- They administer any of the following intoxicants or controlled substances to the alleged offender during the commission of the offense:
- Gamma Hydroxybutyrate,
- Special K, or
- Any Other “Date Rape Drug”;
- They use a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
- They threaten to cause serious bodily injury, death or kidnap any person, including the alleged victim;
- The aggravated sexual assault was allegedly committed on a child under the age of 14;
- The aggravated sexual assault was allegedly committed on someone who was elderly or disabled;
- They attempt to cause the death of the alleged victim during the commission of the offense; or
- They cause serious bodily injury to the alleged victim during the commission of the offense.
An individual can also be charged with aggravated sexual assault in Texas if they act as an accomplice to an individual who allegedly engaged in a sexual assault offense.
Mental State Requirements to Be Convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault
If you have been accused of committing aggravated sexual assault, the prosecution must prove you were in a certain mental state (or state of mind) in order to convict you of the offense. If they are unable to prove you acted intentionally or knowingly when allegedly committing the offense, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Since a person’s mental state at the time of allegedly committing an offense is unique to that individual, it can be a very difficult element to prove.
Texas law defines the required aggravated sexual assault mental states as follows, according to section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code:
- Knowingly – An individual acts with knowledge if they commit an act, e.g. aggravated sexual assault, and they are aware their conduct is reasonable certain to case the result of the act.
- Intentionally – An individual has an intentional mental state if they have the conscious desire to commit the act, e.g. aggravated sexual assault, or cause the result of the act.
Penalties Associated With an Aggravated Sexual Assault Conviction
As listed in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual who is charged with committing aggravated sexual assault can face a conviction for a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
If the alleged offender is convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a child under the six at the time of the offense, they may face a minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years, as opposed to five years.
The alleged offender may also face a minimum prison term of 25 years if the charges were for committing aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 14 and the alleged offender:
- Administered a controlled substance or intoxicant to the alleged victim;
- Caused or attempted to serious bodily injury or death to the alleged victim; or
- Used a weapon during the commission of the offense.
Additionally, an individual who is convicted of an aggravated sexual assault in Dallas or accused of committing aggravated sexual assault could face any of the following:
- In inability to pursue certain jobs, occupations or professions;
- A requirement to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life, according to Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;
- Ineligibility to apply for or be admitted into certain educational or graduate school programs;
- Public humiliation or embarrassment; and/or
- Ineligibility to vote, hold public office and own or possess a firearm.
Possible Defenses to Aggravated Sexual Assault
There are numerous defenses available for adults accused of aggravated sexual harassment. However, because every case is unique, it is important to first consult with an experienced sexual assault lawyer who can help you identify the legal options that may apply to your particular situation, as they are not available in every case.
Some of the most common defenses to aggravated sexual assault include:
- False accusations
- Lack of knowledge or intent
Additionally, an individual may be permitted to use an affirmative defense to their allegations of aggravated sexual assault, depending on the circumstances of their particular case. An affirmative defense can occur when the alleged offender admits they committed the offense, but due to a specific reason, such as a legitimate medical condition, their actions cannot be classified as intentional and, therefore, cannot be considered criminal.
Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer Today to Fight Your Charges
If you have been charged with committing aggravated sexual assault, contact Stuckle & Associates PLLC today by phone at (972) 423-4405 or online for a free consultation. Paul Stuckle is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.