No allegation is more emotionally draining and charged as that of a sexual assault, also known as rape. The circumstances regarding the allegation are understandably hard to hear, and the punishments when a criminal has been convicted could be extremely severe. But what actually constitutes a sexual assault case in Texas?
Attty. David A. Nachtigall gives an overview.
Sexual Assault as Defined Under Texas Criminal Law
According to the Texas Penal Code, sexual assault occurs if the accused deliberately or intentionally:
- Penetrates a victim’s sex organ or anus without consent;
- Penetrates a victim’s mouth using her or his sex organ without consent by the victim;
- Causes the contact or penetration of a victim’s mouth, sex organ, or anus of another individual, including the defendant, without consent;
- Penetrates a child’s sex organ or anus through any means;
- Penetrates a child’s mouth using the accused’s sex organ;
- Causes the penetration of contact of a child’s mouth, sex organ, or anus of another individual, including the accused;
- Causes a child’s anus to come in contact with another individual’s sex organ, anus, or mouth including the accused; and
- Cause a child’s mouth to come in contact with another individual’s sex organ or anus, including the accused.
Note that any individual below 17 years old is considered a child in Texas.
What to Do If You’re Accused of Sexual Assault in Texas
A charge of sexual assault in Texas is a Second Degree Felony and is punishable by imprisonment of two to 20 years, as well as a fine note more than $10,000. However, a sexual assault lawyer in Houston adds that sexual assault could also be a First Degree Felony under certain circumstances, and in this case is punishable by imprisonment of five years to life, and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
It’s crucial that you get help from an experienced sexual assault lawyer if you’re facing a criminal charge. Your lawyer will be able to tell you your legal rights and options, as well as help you build a solid defense that will ensure the most ideal outcome for your particular case.