Facing any criminal charges can be alarming and frightening, but those feelings are heightened, when the charges involve crimes of a sexual nature. When that happens the first thing you should do is enlist the help of an experienced sex crimes attorney, someone who can build the best possible defense in light of the specific facts of your case. Facing prison time, fines, and a blemish on your record that may never go away can significantly impact your life, so you owe it to yourself to seek out the best possible advocate for your rights.
In Williamson County, reaching as far as Cedar Park and Round Rock, indecent exposure is considered a crime of a sexual nature and may require the expertise of a defense lawyer, such as those at The Jackson Law Firm. The crime revolves around exposing one’s “anus or any part of his genitals” with the intention of sexually arousing another individual. The law also stipulates that the location of this act and its ability to offend or alarm another person is equally important to establishing a charge of indecent exposure.
Classified as a Class B felony, Find Law reports that indecent exposure convictions can result in a sentence of up to 180 days in county jail or a fine of $2,000. In some cases, a fine and incarceration may be applied.
Generally, most people understand what constitutes prostitution, which is illegal in every state, except for some parts of Nevada. In Texas, prostitution charges may be filed against an individual for receiving a fee in exchange for offering or agreeing to engage in sexual acts, or for the actual commission of sexual acts. Where the individual knowingly engages in sexual conduct, or agrees to do so, for payment received by the intended partner, or by another on the intended partner’s behalf, prostitution charges may also be filed.
According to Find Law, there are a number of types of prostitution charges ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a charge of First Degree felony, depending on the number of previous offenses and the role the individual plays in the act of prostitution. The charge of a Class A misdemeanor, which is one class away from the previously discussed Class B, allows for a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $4,000, or a combination of the two penalties. A First Degree felony conviction carries a prison term of five years to life and a fine of up to $10,000.
Here is another charge related to the general category of prostitution. Solicitation revolves around the agreement to engage in sexual relations or acts for money and the agreement must be made in a public setting. The charge of solicitation can be filed, even in cases where the money wasn’t actually exchanged, or wherein the sexual act wasn’t actually performed. Solicitation merely establishes the agreement as an illegal act.
The classifications and penalties are the same as they are for prostitution. Here, a Second Degree felony charge is the severest charge that relates to solicitation, requiring that the individual solicited was under the age of 18, as reported by Find Law. This stipulation is true whether the person knew the other was underage and also provides for situations in which the individual believed the other was under 18 years of age, whether he or she really was below the age of consent. A Second Degree felony conviction carries a penalty of two to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
While there are distinctions between these three acts, they all fall under the same general category, requiring an experienced sex crimes attorney to mount a proper defense. The Jackson Law Firm should be contacted immediately, if you’re facing charges related to any one of these crimes. Bringing in a defense attorney as early as possible increases your chances for a dismissal of charges, acquittal, or a plea arrangement that could significantly reduce your penalty.
In Cedar Park and Round Rock, as well as throughout all parts of Williamson County, sexual assault charges are dependent upon the issue of consent. In the case of a minor under the age of 17, consent cannot be given, regardless of the minor’s willingness to participate in the sexual acts. For adults, consent has not been given in cases where the victim agreed to sex due to the threat of violence or the actual commission of violence. Similarly, if the victim is unable to resist sexual acts or is incapacitated in a way that consent cannot be given, this is also considered a crime of sexual assault.
Finally, consent cannot be given in any situation where the defendant is in a position of power over the victim and charged with his or her care. Such situations include healthcare service provider/patient, clergyman/penitent, or public servant/private citizen.
The charge may be increased to aggravated sexual assault in cases where bodily injury was caused or the defendant attempted murder against the victim. A fear of death or serious bodily injury on behalf of the victim can also prompt the greater charge of aggravated sexual assault. The use of a weapon, more than one assailant, and the use of “date rape drugs” can all complicate sexual assault charges, as well. Assaulting a minor child or an elderly adult constitutes the crime of aggravated sexual assault, whether any of these other conditions are present or not.
A sexual assault charge is usually a second degree felony, says Find Law, carrying a term of imprisonment of two to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A first degree charge may be filed, if the defendant was barred from marrying the victim or from living with the defendant in marriage-like conditions.
Similarly, aggravated sexual assault is also a first degree felony charge, carrying a prison term of five to 99 years in a state penitentiary and a fine of up to $10,000. Conditions that can implement more severe penalties include assaulting a victim under the age of six or a victim under 14, who was assaulted with the use of a deadly weapon. This may also include the use of drugs to commit the assault, attempting to kill a child victim, or seriously harming the child. Under any one of these circumstances, a minimum sentence of 25 years may be imposed.
If you’re facing criminal charges related to a sex crime in Williamson County, The Jackson Law Firm is ready to help. Contact us for a consultation, so we can go over your case with you. Together, we can outline your defense strategies and consider your best possible outcomes.