Sexual Assault is one of the most serious offenses in Texas. If you are being charged or even investigated for sexual assault then you need to hire a lawyer immediately. Innocent people are convicted of sexual assault, and one reason is they try to handle things without a lawyer, and end up making statements that are used against them. You should never voluntarily participate in a sexual assault investigation in Texas. Hire a lawyer to protect you.
Let’s look at what sexual assault is in Texas. Sexual Assault is defined in Texas Penal Code 22.011. It’s a lot to cover, so let’s summarize the main points of the statute.
Basically, and this is just a summary of 22.011-
A sexual assault is when a defendant uses force, violence, or threats of force or violence and intentionally or knowingly causes
- The penetration of a sexual organ or anus, without a person’s consent.
- Or causes the penetration of another person’s mouth with the sex organ of the actor without that person’s consent.
- Or causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
These are some of the most serious offenses in Texas, and the punishment is normally a 2nd-degree felony. In Texas, a 2nd-degree felony has as punishment range anywhere from 2-20 years in prison with a fine not to exceed $10,000.
If, though, the state can prove that the alleged victim in the case was a "person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Penal Code 25.01" otherwise known as bigamy, the punishment is a 1st-degree felony. Bigamy is essentially trying to be married to more than one person, in a very general definition.
The punishment can be considered a 1st-degree felony when the alleged victim is a "person with whom the actor was prohibited from engaging in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse under Penal Code 25.02." Texas Penal Code 25.02 prohibits people from engaging in sexual intercourse with ancestors by blood or adoption, stepchild/stepparent, brother/sister (whole or half blood or adopted), nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, etc.
A 1st-degree felony carries a punishment ranging anywhere from 5-99 years in jail with a fine not to exceed $10,000.How can I Fight My Case?
There are several different approaches used to fight a Sexual Assault case. One way is to take a polygraph test. Even though these types of tests are not allowed in the trial, if you are certain of your innocence and the results are favorable, it is a great report to use when negotiating with the prosecutor. For example, we’ve had cases where we submitted polygraph results as part of a grand jury packet.
These types of cases are difficult to defend and require client cooperation to get the best result, and it is vital you are upfront with your attorney from the very beginning so they can know how to fight your case. But even if that is not the best approach for your case, there are many more avenues your team of lawyers can work and explore. Remember each case is different and fact specific!
If you find yourself facing these charges and are not sure where to start, give Guest and Gray a call today, we have an exceptional team of lawyers ready to investigate your case.