In Texas, sex crimes are often punished to the fullest extent of the law with many constituting serious felonies with lengthy jail sentences and inclusion on a sex offender registry. With a justifiable stigma surrounding the vast majority of sex crimes, many convictions are subjected to mandatory minimums and further detrimental consequences upon release. While under most circumstances the penalties for sex crimes are generally fair, they can become problematic when considering that certain sex crimes such as sexual assault are among the county’s most prevalent wrongful convictions. Given the gravity of a wrongful conviction, it is crucial for those accused in Travis County to hire an Austin sex crime lawyer. These are some of the most commonly defended sex crimes in Texas and their penalties.
While still subject to an intense social stigma, hefty fines, and a stint in county jail, some of the most common sex crimes in Texas are classified as misdemeanors, such as:
Indecent Exposure: Indecent exposure is among Texas’ most common sex crimes and is defined as exposing oneself with the intention of arousal or gratifying a sexual desire while reckless as to whether someone is present who will be offended or alarmed. While indecent exposure charges can be triggered by seemingly innocent acts such as public urination or topless sunbathing, it is classified as a Class B misdemeanor carrying up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. Being charged with indecent exposure in Travis County will require the assistance of a skilled Austin lawyer, as multiple convictions will land you on the state’s sex offender registry.
Public Lewdness: A Class A misdemeanor, public lewdness is defined as knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or an act of sexual contact in public or an area where another person is likely to be present and offended or alarmed. This charge is commonly given to people who have sex in their car, at the beach, or behind an alleyway, but can apply to individuals at home or in a hotel room if they are in view of the public such as by an open window or door. While a public lewdness charge carries the potential for a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000, an expert Austin sex crime lawyer can usually assist in getting charges reduced to indecent exposure.
Texas felony sex crimes are incredibly damaging with most requiring mandatory minimum sentences and registering to the state’s sex offender registry along with a lifetime of public scrutiny and the impacts of a criminal record. The most commonly defended felony sex crimes in Texas include:
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault, commonly referred to as rape is among Texas’ most commonly committed sex crimes and can be plainly defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent. Sexual assault is classified as a second-degree felony carrying a maximum fine of $10,000 and a prison sentence between two and ten years. A sexual assault will also result in an individual’s mandatory inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry which has a major impact on what job you can have, where you can live, and what events you can go to among further impacts.
Improper or Invasive Photography or Visual Recording: An individual can be charged for invasive photography or visual recording if they photograph, videotape, record, broadcast, or transmit an image or video without consent and with the intent to gratify a sexual desire. This charge covers any non-consensual nude photos or sex tapes, and any photo or video taken in a public bathroom or changing room. improper or invasive photography or visual recording constitutes a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to a year in state jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Austin Sex Crime Lawyer:
If you’re charged with a sex crime in Austin, there are plenty of skilled lawyers that can take on your case. Here are just a few expert options:
Cofer and Connelly PLLC: For a free consultation call (512) 991- 0576.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett: For a free consultation call (512) 476- 4626.
Smith and Vinson Law Firm: For a free consultation call (512) 359-3743.