Have you been charged with sexual assault in Fort Worth, Texas? Sexual assault is a serious crime, and with a serious crime comes serious penalties. If you have been arrested and charged with sexual assault in Texas, contact us immediately to begin working on your case with an experienced sexual assault attorney in Fort Worth. Before you speak with law enforcement in any interviews or make any statements, make sure that you have an attorney present. You have a legal right to counsel provided by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and it is important that you exercise these rights.
During your consultation, you will be able to speak with an attorney about the circumstances that led to your arrest, and the charges you are facing, and get to know our approach to sexual assault cases like yours. This is a great opportunity for you to understand how working with us will be, and what our style is when defending clients through cases such as your own. Read more about sexual assault charges and penalties in Texas, and contact us now to get started on your legal criminal defense.
What is Sexual Assault?
The Texas Penal Code, under § 22.011, defines sexual assault, generally, as non-consensual and unwanted sexual contact against another person. Depending on the situation, it may or may not involve penetration, but is applied to non-penetration situations where unwanted sexual contact takes place as well. In addition, any sort of sexual contact with a child is sexual assault and is treated differently than sexual assault between two adults.
The charges of sexual assault are increased to aggravated sexual assault if the sexual assault also involves physical injury, fear of injury or death, the use of weapons during the assault, date rape drugs were used in the assault, there was an additional accomplice in the assault, or if the victim was a minor, disabled, or elderly. Aggravated sexual assault carries even greater punishments than charges of sexual assault, which includes the possibility of more prison time, as well as greater fines.
Allegations of Sexual Assault
In many cases, sexual assault cases are heard in Texas courts without concrete evidence, instead relying on the testimony of the victim. It is important as a criminal defense attorney to ensure that our client’s Constitutional rights are upheld throughout the trial and that any evidence brought against them is sufficient and truthful. For our defense, we may offer our client’s perspective on the matter. For instance, there are some situations where consent was given, but later regretted, and ultimately led to a false accusation of rape. In addition, if our client did not have the intent or knowledge that the contact was unwanted, we will make this very clear in court as well.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
The penalties for sexual assault can vary depending on the situation. In many cases, sexual assault is a second-degree felony. However, if the assault was found to be an aggravated sexual assault, the charges are increased to a first-degree felony, and the penalties increase as well.
Second-degree Felony Sexual Assault
A second-degree felony sexual assault can be punished with 2 to 20 years in prison, as well as the possibility of a fine of up to $10,000. However, a second-degree felony can be elevated to a first-degree felony even if it is not an aggravated charge if the defendant was prohibited from contacting the victim.
First-degree Felony Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault may be elevated to a first-degree felony if it was found to have been an aggravated assault, or if it meets the criteria of the aforementioned second-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree sexual assault range from 5 years to life in prison, as well as fines of up to $10,000.
Contact a Fort Worth Sexual Assault Lawyer for a Free Consultation
When you are accused of a serious sex offense, you face extremely harsh penalties. Prosecutors and judges in Fort Worth are more likely to take a harsh approach when dealing with people accused of sexual assault compared to other offenses. You deserve the best possible legal defense to fight for your future and protect your reputation.
At Cole Paschall Law, we will put our decades of experience to work for you. Call our law office today at (817) 477-4100 to schedule a free case review with an experienced Fort Worth sexual assault lawyer to discuss your case.