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Sex Offense Lawyer in Texas

Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Surrounding Areas

Statutory rape laws are designed to prevent adults from engaging in sexual behavior with minors before they reach the legal age of consent. But what happens when both parties engaging consensual sex are minors?

Minors who are under the age of 18 can face very serious consequences if they are convicted of a statutory rape offense in Texas. In addition to possible imprisonment and fines, convicted juvenile offenders can also be required to register as sex offenders for several decades. For these reasons, it is imperative that juveniles accused of sexual crimes turn to an experienced sex offense lawyer.

Why Hire a Lawyer?

If your child is being accused of a statutory rape crime in Texas, he or she may face numerous repercussions that can affect them for several years to come. These types of charges are not easy to beat, which is why it is important to seek the legal assistance of a highly skilled criminal defense attorney.

Paul Stuckle has more than 25 years of experience handling cases involving various sex offenses, and he works tirelessly to get dismissals, acquittals, or not guilty verdicts at trials. Stuckle & Associates PLLC represents clients throughout the entire state of Texas. We can review your case during a free, confidential consultation when you call (972) 423-4405 or contact us online.

How Is Statutory Rape Defined Under Texas Law?

There are multiple Texas laws that address sexual contact with minors. These include:

  • Indecency with a Child, Texas Penal Code § 21.11 — Under this statute, “sexual contact” is defined as either any touching by a person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of that person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person younger than 17 years of age, or any touching of any part of the body of a person younger than 17 years of age, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person. This is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender engages in sexual contact with the person younger than 17 years of age or causes the child to engage in sexual contact. This is a third-degree felony if the alleged offender exposes his or her anus or any part of his or her genitals, knowing the person younger than 17 years of age is present, or causes the person younger than 17 years of age to expose the person younger than 17 years of age’s anus or any part of the person younger than 17 years of age’s genitals.
  • Sexual Assault, Texas Penal Code § 22.011 — This is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly:
    • causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a person younger than 17 years of age by any means
    • causes the penetration of the mouth of a person younger than 17 years of age by the sexual organ of the alleged offender
    • causes the sexual organ of a person younger than 17 years of age to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender
    • causes the anus of a person younger than 17 years of age to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender
    • causes the mouth of a person younger than 17 years of age to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault, Texas Penal Code § 22.021 — This is a first-degree felony if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly:
    • causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a person younger than 14 years of age by any means
    • causes the penetration of the mouth of a person younger than 14 years of age by the sexual organ of the alleged offender
    • causes the sexual organ of a person younger than 14 years of age to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender
    • causes the anus of a person younger than 14 years of age to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender
    • causes the mouth of a person younger than 14 years of age to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender

Exceptions to Statutory Rape Charges

Not all sexual activity involving minors is against the law in Texas. Some of the types of cases in which consensual sex would be legal include:

  • Romeo and Juliet Law — Minors who are older than 14 years of age but younger than 18 can legally engage in consensual sex with someone who is three or fewer years older than themselves
  • Marital Exemptions — A minor who is legally married to someone 18 years of age or older can legally engage in consensual sex with his or her spouse

However, it is important to note that there is no such exception under any circumstance for a minor who is younger than 14 years of age. Additionally, Texas does not allow any person accused of a statutory rape charge to claim that he or she did not know the person with whom they engaged in sexual activity with was a minor.

Penalties

The possible punishments for a statutory rape crime depend on whether the alleged offender is tried as a juvenile or an adult.

Delinquency Petition

An alleged offender can seek juvenile adjudication for his or her case through a delinquency petition. Under this process, the court may use an adjudication hearing to impose one or more of the following requirements:

  • Community Service
  • Driver’s License Suspension
  • Drug Rehabilitation
  • Limited Confinement
  • Participation in Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) Rehabilitative Program
  • Probation
  • Restitution

Determinate Sentence

In certain cases, the prosecutor may seek a determinate sentence. In such cases, prosecutors must seek grand jury approval of a determinate sentencing petition. If the grand jury approves the petition, then the alleged offender may be committed to TJJD and either retained in the juvenile system upon his or her 19th birthday or transferred to an adult prison facility to complete his or her sentence.

Under determinate sentencing, an alleged offender faces the possible punishments:

  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in custody
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in custody
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 40 years in custody

Adult Sentence

For cases in which an alleged offender is tried as an adult, the possible consequences of a conviction depend on the classification of the alleged statutory rape crime:

  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years imprisonment and fine of up to $10,000
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years imprisonment and fine of up to $10,000
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years imprisonment and fine of up to $10,000

Contact Our Firm Now To Begin Your Legal Defense

Is your child being investigated for or has he or she been charged with a statutory rape offense in Texas? Our firm can help. Stuckle & Associates PLLC fights to help alleged juvenile offenders in Plano and surrounding areas, including Dallas, McKinney, Allen, and Frisco.

Paul Stuckle is an experienced criminal defense attorney whose background includes time spent as a police officer, a municipal court judge, and a county trial attorney. Call (972) 423-4405 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.

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