Juvenile Sex Crime Lawyer in Texas
Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Surrounding Areas
Many juveniles or young adults in modern times are experimenting with sexuality at a much younger age. Although many of these acts are natural or normal, juveniles can be charged with heinous crimes without even realizing they are doing anything wrong. For example, a juvenile may be required to register as a sex offender if they are a certain age and engage in sexual intercourse with a person just a year or two younger. In some cases, children as young as 10 years old can face serious criminal penalties.
A juvenile sex crime lawyer at Stuckle & Associates PLLC will fight to make sure your child does not become a registered sex offender. This is a penalty that could have an impact on their entire life. We also work to ensure that juveniles are not sent to the Texas Youth Commission, or juvenile prison.
Why Hire a Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney?
If your child has been charged with a sex crime, the state must prove they committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt before they can be adjudicated guilty. This is a very high burden of proof and can be difficult to satisfy. If the judge or jury has any doubt your child committed the sexual offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges against them may be reduced or even dismissed. With their entire future is at stake, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced at representing juveniles falsely accused of committing a sex crime and who is not afraid to fight tirelessly on their behalf.
Stuckle & Associates PLLC focuses on sexual crimes, and we know exactly what you or your loved one is up against. We are ready to aggressively tackle your charges or that of your loved one, no matter how challenging the situation may seem. Minors under the age of 18 charged with sex crimes in Texas can turn to a juvenile sex crime lawyer at our firm for the highest quality legal defense. To schedule a free consultation regarding the details of your unique situation, contact us today.
Who Is Considered a Juvenile in Texas?
A juvenile is defined under section 51.02 of the Tex. Fam. Code § 51.02 as anyone who is under the age of 17, but at least 10 years old. A juvenile is also anyone who is older than 17, but under the age of 18 at the time the sex crime was allegedly committed.
An individual who was older than 17 at the time of the alleged offense will be prosecuted as an adult in Texas for their alleged crime. The juvenile justice system only has jurisdiction over individuals who are between the ages of 10 and 17.
Types of Juvenile Sexual Offenses
Some of the most commonly charged juvenile sexual offenses throughout Texas can include:
- Indecency with a Child – A juvenile can be charged with this offense under section 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code if they commit any of the following against another person under the age of 17:
- Sexual contact or causes the child to engage in sexual contact;
- Expose their anus or any part of their genitals knowing a child is present with the purpose or intent to arouse any person or gratify any person’s sexual desire; or
- Cause the child to expose their anus or any part of their genitals with the purpose or intent to arouse any person or gratify any person’s sexual desire.
- Indecent Exposure – A juvenile can be charged with this offense under section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code if they show or expose any part of their genitals or anus with the purpose or intent to arouse any person or gratify any person’s sexual desires. The alleged juvenile offender must also act recklessly as to whether another person is present who may be alarmed or offended by the alleged offender’s actions.
- Sexual Assault – A juvenile can be charged with this offense under section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code if they intentionally or knowingly engage in any of the following:
- Penetrate a child’s anus or sex organ;
- Penetrate a child’s mouth with the alleged juvenile offender’s sex organ;
- Cause a child’s sex organ to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sex organ of any other person;
- Cause a child’s anus to contact the mouth, anus or sex organ of any other person;
- Cause a child’s mouth to contact the anus or sex organ of any other person;
- Penetrate the anus or sex organ of another person without their consent by any means;
- Penetrate another person’s mouth without their consent by a sex organ;
- Cause the sexual organ of another person to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sex organ of any person without their consent.
- Aggravated Sexual Assault – A juvenile can be charged with this offense under section 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code if they commit a sexual assault offense, but also engage in any of the following acts:
- Cause serious bodily injury to the alleged victim or attempt to cause death;
- Threaten to cause death or serious bodily injury, or cause the alleged victim to be afraid death or serious bodily injury will occur;
- Use a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
- Distribute or administer certain drugs to the alleged victim during the commission of the offense;
- Commit a sexual assault offense against a child under the age of 14; and/or
- Is an accomplice to another person who commits a sexual assault offense.
Potential Penalties for Juvenile Sex Crimes in Texas
False accusations of juvenile sex crimes can result in serious consequences, even if the child is subsequently adjudicated not guilty of their crime. Some of the most common repercussions associated with child sex offenses can include:
- A criminal record;
- A driver’s license suspension or loss of driving privileges;
- A refusal to be admitted into certain education programs, colleges or graduate schools;
- Community service up to 500 hours;
- Confinement to the Texas Youth Commission;
- Court costs and supervision fees;
- Inability to apply for certain jobs, professions or occupations;
- Probation in a public or private institution or agency, the juvenile’s home or a foster home;
- Public humiliation or embarrassment;
- Requirements to register as a sex offender and/or
As an alternative to the penalties listed above, a juvenile offender may instead be eligible for deferred prosecution, deferred adjudication or another deferral program. Deferred prosecution is available for first time juvenile offenders who are low risk and have agreed to abide by the terms of the program. Depending on the facts surrounding their case, some of the requirements may include restitution, community service or counseling. If the juvenile offender successfully completes the terms to the program, the charges against them may be completely dismissed.
If the alleged juvenile offender is adjudicated, or found guilty, of their sexual offense, they will likely have a criminal record. Although this record is generally kept confidential, the juvenile offender may be eligible to seal their record after:
- They turn 21 and meets certain requirements to seal their record;
- Two years after being released from the juvenile system, if no other offenses are committed and they meet certain requirements; and/or
- The court deems it is necessary to seal the juvenile offender’s record.
Establishing an Aggressive Legal Defense
When a juvenile offender is accused of committing a sex crime in Texas, certain legal defenses may be available to combat the allegations them. Defenses may not be applicable for every case, so it is important to consult with an experienced juvenile sex crime lawyer to help you identify the most optimal approach.
- Mistake of Fact
- Mistaken Identity
In other cases of juvenile sex crime allegations, an affirmative defense may be available. An affirmative defense applies when the alleged act would typically be considered a criminal offense, but it is not in the instant situation because of some specific reason, as provided by statute. Affirmative defenses that may be available to juvenile sex crime accusations in Texas can include:
- If the alleged juvenile offender was three years older or less than the alleged victim and the alleged victim was of the opposite sex; the alleged juvenile offender did not use force or a threat of violence against the alleged victim; and the alleged juvenile offender was not required to register as sex offender; or
- If the alleged juvenile offender was the spouse of the alleged victim at the time of the offense.
Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Consultation
Juveniles falsely accused of a sexual offense in Texas can turn to Stuckle & Associates PLLC for an aggressive defense and experienced representation. We know what you’re up against, and we are ready to guide you through every step of the overwhelming process ahead of you. Call (972) 423-4405 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney at our firm regarding your sexual offense charges.