Aggravated Sexual Assault vs. Sexual Assault in Texas

What’s the difference between Aggravated Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault in Texas?

Sexual assault in Texas generally refers to an adult sexual assault that lacks any “aggravating” factor and is a second degree felony in Texas. Aggravated sexual assault in Texas, on the other hand, is sexual assault with an aggravating factor such as age, the threat of injury, actual injury, or disability. Aggravated sexual assault is generally a first degree felony in Texas.

Sexual AssaultAggravated Sexual Assault
Penal Code 22.01(a)(f)Penal Code 22.021
Second Degree FelonyFirst Degree Felony (Generally)
2-20 years in prison5-99 years or life in prison
--No probation from jury if victim is below 14
No probation from jury if sentence is 10 years or moreNo probation from jury if sentence is 10 years or more
Deferred adjudication is possibleDeferred adjudication is not possible for a second offense
Lifetime registration as a sex offenderLifetime registration as a sex offender

What’s the difference between Aggravated Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Texas?

Aspect Aggravated Sexual Assault Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
Definition Sexual assault with aggravating factors such as serious bodily injury, use of a deadly weapon, or victim vulnerability due to age or disability. Sexual assault with similar aggravating factors specifically against a child (under the age of 17).
Victim’s Age Can be an adult or a child, depending on the specific circumstances. Always a child, defined as someone under the age of 17.
Aggravating Factors Serious bodily injury, use of a deadly weapon, administering a date-rape drug, or victim’s particular vulnerability. Similar to those in Aggravated Sexual Assault but the victim’s age (child) is an inherent aggravating factor.
Penalties Typically a first-degree felony with penalties including 5 to 99 years or life in prison and substantial fines. Generally a first-degree felony with enhanced penalties possible, especially for victims younger than 6, or under 14 with an aggravating factor. Can lead to life imprisonment without parole in some cases. Some charges can also become “super aggravated” with a 25-year minimum prison sentence.

Learn more about aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Learn more about super aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas

Being accused of aggravated sexual assault is one of the most serious offenses for which a person can be charged and the presumption of innocence seems to go out the window as soon as an investigation begins. Unfortunately, people rush to judgment before you ever even step foot in a courtroom. Our goals for any sexual assault charge is threefold:

  • Avoid prison time;
  • Avoid a conviction; and
  • Avoid registration as a sex offender, if at all possible.

Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly listen to the circumstances surrounding your casework to build defenses to protect your reputation and your freedom. We have years of experience handling sex crimes – first as prosecutors and now as highly acclaimed defense attorneys. It’s imperative to have our background and experience on your side when the stakes are this high.

What is Aggravated Sexual Assault?

Aggravated Sexual Assault is a sexual assault that has at least one “aggravating” factor as set out in Penal Code 22.021. A sexual assault becomes an aggravated sexual assault if:

  • a weapon is used or displayed,
  • the defendant caused serious bodily injury,
  • the defendant attempted to cause death,
  • the defendant threatens human trafficking, kidnapping, serious bodily injury or death,
  • the defendant used a date rape drug, or
  • the victim is an elderly person
  • the victim is disabled
  • the victim is under the age of 14

What is the Punishment for Aggravated Sexual Assault?

This is generally a first degree offense, with a punishment range of 5 years to 99 years or life in prison.

First Degree Felony

Can you get probation for Aggravated Sexual Assault?

A jury cannot recommend probation to someone found guilty of Aggravated Sexual Assault. A judge cannot grant probation for someone on Aggravated Sexual Assault.

Is Sex Offender Registration Required for Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas?

A person who is found guilty of aggravated sexual assault will have to register as a sex offender for life. Learn more about registration as a sex offender in Texas.

What is Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Texas?

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child or Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor in Texas is a sexual assault of a person under the age of 14. It involves the penetration of the sexual organ, anus, mouth involving a child under the age of 14. Sexual Assault of a Child is also “aggravated” if a deadly weapon is used or serious bodily injury is threatened.

This is a first degree felony offense, with a punishment range of 5 years to 99 years in prison or life.

What is Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor?

Super aggravated sexual assault of a minor occurs:

  • If the victim is under the age of 6
  • If the victim is under the age of 14 and
    • The accused caused serious bodily injury or death;
    • Threatening human trafficking, death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping;
    • The accused uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
    • The accused uses a date rape drug.

The punishment for Super Aggravated Sexual Assault is 25 years to 99 years or life in prison. Pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 508.145(a), a person sentenced for this crime is not eligible for parole.

Why Varghese Summersett:

Our attorneys are hired in the most serious sexual assault cases for many reasons. First and foremost, we have extensive trial experience – on both sides. All of our partners started off as prosecutors and then became defense attorneys. For sexual assault cases, we not only know the State’s playbook, in many cases we trained the prosecutors and wrote the plays – so we know, better than anyone, how to beat them.

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We also have a track record of proven results. Call us to discuss how our experience and diligence can help you.

Defending Against Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges in Fort Worth

Being charged with aggravated sexual assault in Fort Worth can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go this alone. Put our experience to work for you. Call today for a free consultation.

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About the Author Board Certified Lawyer Benson Varghese

About the Author

Benson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has successfully handled thousands of state and federal cases, ranging from misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases to capital offenses, showcasing his commitment to preserving justice and upholding the rights of his clients. His firm covers criminal defense, personal injury, and family law matters. Benson is also a legal tech entrepreneur. Benson is a go-to authority in the legal community, known for his ability to explain complex legal concepts with clarity and precision. His writings offer a wealth of in-depth legal insights, reflecting his extensive experience and his passion for the law. Not only is Benson an accomplished litigator, but he is also a dedicated advocate for his clients, consistently striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. His authorship provides readers with valuable legal advice and an understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system. CriminalPersonal InjuryFamily Law Contact
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