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Sexual assault allegations turn lives upside down. There are few things worse than being accused of sexual assault – whether that accusation is an adult sexual assault or child sexual assault. You may find out about an allegation because the accuser confronts you, a police detective makes contact with you, or in some cases, when you’re placed under arrest. Regardless of the scenario, it’s extremely important to contact a Fort Worth sexual assault defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Tip #1 If You Are Accused of Sexual Assault

If by some good fortune you are reading this article before you’ve talked to a CPS investigator or a detective – whatever you do, do not talk to them. If you think the truth will set you free – it won’t – not with them. If you they tell you that your candor will be taken into consideration – that’s a lie. If they tell you that they already can prove their case without you – you have no way of knowing if that is true, but it’s very hard to unring a bell once it has been rung. Not impossible, just very difficult.

Tip #2 If You Are Accused of Sexual Assault

Contact an attorney as quickly as possible. An allegation of sexual assault often results in a warrant being issued, an arrest, and a bond being posted before you’ve had a chance to collect your thoughts and contact an attorney. All of this certainly happens before you’ve even had any meaningful opportunity to defend yourself.  Notice that just an allegation – someone’s word without any additional proof – is enough to make all those things happen.

What to Look for in the Sexual Assault Attorney Interview and Consultation

When you or a family member gets their feet under them, you’ll want to set up a consultation with a top criminal defense attorney. For example, during our consultations our attorneys:

  • Assess whether you and your case is a good fit for our firm
  • Discuss the facts or allegations that led to your arrest or the investigation
  • Analyze and discuss possible defensive issues
  • Chart a path forward to put you in the best position to defend against this allegation.

During the consultation, you should assess whether we are a good fit for you by considering:

  • Our experience
  • Our experience in the courts and against the prosecutors on your case
  • The number of times we have taken cases to trial
  • How comfortable you feel entrusting your life into the hands of the attorney you are speaking to.

Goals in Sexual Assault Cases

Our goals as your sexual assault defense attorneys are threefold:

  • avoid prison time,
  • avoid a conviction, and
  • resolve the case in a manner that allows for even the arrest record to be cleared or sealed.

Types of Sexual Assault Allegations

OffenseAge
(if app.)
Elements PunishmentStatutory DefensesStatute
Indecent Assault--Without consent touches anus, breasts, or genitals, exposes them, puts them in contact with bodily fluids or excertions. MA 0-1 years ($4k)--PC 22.012
Sexual Assault--Pentration of anus or sexual organ without consent or mouth with sexual organ without consentF2 2-20 years ($10k)--PC 22.011
Aggravated Sexual AssaultSexual Assault +(serious bodily injury/attempted death or threat of serious bodily injury, deadly weapon, drug)F1
5-99 years ($10k)
PC 22.021
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildUnder 14 - if age is the aggravating factor.Sexual Assault + (weapon or SBI or threat of SBI/death or drugged or under 14 or elderly)F1
5-99 years ($10k)
No Romeo-Juliet where victim is under 14PC 22.021
Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (Age)Child under 6Sexual Assault of Child under 625-life, ($10k), no parole--PC 22.021
Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a ChildChild under 14Sexual Assault of Child under 14 + (SBI or Threat or Deadly Weapon or Drugged)25-life, ($10k), no paroleNo Romeo-Juliet where victim is under 14PC 22.021
Sexual Assault of a ChildUnder 17aka Statutory rape; penetration of the sexual organ, anus, mouth or contact of mouth to same.F2
2-20 years ($10k)
F1
5-life, if prohibted from marrying (incest)
Within 3 years of victim's age if over 14, certain spousal and medical exceptions.PC 22.011
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or ChildrenUnder 14Two or more qualifying sex acts over 30 days apart; regardless if committed against one or more victims25-99 years, no probation, no deferred, no parole ($10k)Romeo and Juliet statute: within 5 years of victimPC 21.02
Indecency with a Child by ContactUnder 17Contact, not penetration, of genitals, anus, breast, including over clothing.F2
2-20 years ($10k)
Romeo and Juliet is within 3 years and must be opposite sex (ripe for constitutional challenge); spouse.PC 21.11
Indecency with a Child by ExposureUnder 17Exposure of anus or any part of their genitals, knowing the child is present; or causes the child to expose with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any personF3
2-10 years ($10k)
Romeo and Juliet is within 3 years and must be opposite sex (ripe for constitutional challenge); spouse.PC 21.11
Indecent Exposure--Exposure for purposes of sexual gratification to someone who might be offended or alarmed. MB
0-180 days ($2k)
--PC 21.08
Sexual Performance by a ChildUnder 18employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conductBetween 14-18 = F2
2-20 years ($10k)

Under 14 = F1
5-99 years ($10k)
Romeo-Juliet statute is two years. Some exceptions for spouse, educational, medicinal, physiological, psychiatric, judicial, law enforcement, or legislative purpose.PC 43.25
Online Solicitation of a MinorUnder 17adult has a sexually explicit conversation; or sends a sexually explicit media; or asks to meet the minor to engage in sexual contactExplicit materials or media and 14-17
= F3
2-10 years ($10k)

Explicit materials or media and under 14 = F2
2-20 years ($10k)

Conversation about meeting = F2
2-20 years ($10k)
Romeo-Juliet: within 3 years older and minor consented
married to minor;
PC 33.021
Prohibited Sexual Conduct--deviate sexual intercourse or sexual intercourse; actor’s ancestor/descendant; current or former stepchild/parent; brother or sister; son or daughterBy a Parent = F2
2-20 years ($10k)

Other Family Member = F3
2-10 years ($10k)
--PC 25.02
Trafficking a ChildUnder 18traffics child to engage in forced labor or sexual conduct;F1
5-99 years ($10k)
--PC 20A.02
Trafficking--transport, entice, recruit, harbor, provide, or otherwise obtain another person by any means.F2
2-20
($10k)
--PC 20A.02
Improper Relationship Between Educator & StudentAge is not a factorsexual contact between a teacher, educator, or any employee of a primary or secondary school and a studentF2
2-20 years ($10k)
defendant not more than three years older and relationship pre-dated educator relationship; marriedPC 21.12
Compelling Prostitution ChildUnder 18person knowingly causes another by force, threat, coercion, fraud or by any means a child to commit prostitutionF1
5-99 years ($10k)
--PC 43.05
Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution--owns, invests in, fiances, controls, supervises, or maanges prostitution enterprise with two or ore prostituesF1
5-99 years ($10k)
--PC 43.04
Promotion of Prostitution--receives proceeds; solicits another to engage for compensation;F3
2-10 years ($10k)
If under 18:
F1
5-99 years ($10k)
--PC 43.03
Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to MinorUnder 18material appeals to the prurient interest of a minor, in sex, nudity, or excretion; sells, distrbutes, exhibits, or possesses for sale, distribution, or exhibition to a minorMA
Up to 1 year ($4k)

Hires a Minor = F3
2-10 years ($10k)
married at the time; used for bona fide purposesPC 43.24
Possession or Promotion Child PornographyUnder 18Possession or accesses with intent to view, visual material that depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made engaging in sexual conductPossession = F3
2-10 years ($10k)

Promotion = F2
2-20 years ($10k)
Certain exceptions for law enforcement, school administration, educational, medical, psychological, psychiatric, judicial, or legislative purposes.Within two years of age.PC 43.26
Employment Harmful to ChildrenUnder 18prohibits employment at a massage establishment, nude studio, modeling studio, love parlor, or other similar enterprises with the primary goal of offering services intended to provide sexual stimulation or gratification to customersBetween 14-18 = F2
2-20 years ($10k)

Under 14 = F1
5-99 years ($10k)
--PC 43.251
Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting ChildUnder 18depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or public area of a child; appeal to pruient interest in sex;FS
180 days-2 years ($10k)

Priors = F1 or F2
--PC 43.262
Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting MinorUnder 18promotes to another minor visual material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conductCan be Class C, A, or B Misdemeanor depending on circumstancesdepicted only the actor; did not produce/solicit; possessed after receiving; destroyed after receivingPC 43.261

Our Fort Worth sexual assault defense lawyers have been exceptionally successful at reaching these goals, but success starts with an understanding of what you are going through.

The moment you are accused of sexual assault, your life changes. Regardless of whether there is truth to any of the allegations, you are on the verge of being labeled a sex offender and you are facing serious time in the penitentiary.

False accusations are, unfortunately, made very often. Only a defense attorney experienced in sexual assault cases can guide you through the process that begins the moment an accusation is made. The accusation is followed by an investigation, the case being filed by the detective, the grand jury process, indictment, pre-trial settings and may ultimately end with a trial by jury.

Our lawyers are experienced at launching our own investigation and gathering evidence as soon as an allegation is made. Our legal team has experienced investigators who can unearth evidence usually only accessible to professionals who are experienced in investigating these types of matters.

Potential Defenses Against Charges

Our attorneys have decades of experience handling cases alleging sexual assault. Common sex crime defenses include:

  • The sex act was consensual
  • The defendant was married or dating the alleged victim
  • The victim mistook the defendant for someone else
  • The defendant has an alibi

Frequently Asked Questions about Fort Worth Sexual Assault Defense

The rules that apply to sexual offenses in Texas are found throughout the Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. Some of the most common questions clients ask include:

  • What is the punishment range for sexual assault in Texas?
    Sexual assault is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,ooo fine. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
  • What is the statute of limitations? (How long can they wait before pressing charges)
    The statute of limitations is for sexual assault is 10 years. However, there is no statute of limitations in a number of circumstances, including if DNA was collected, if it involves serial sexual assault or sexual assault of a child.
  • Will I have to register as a sex offender under Texas law?
    If you are convicted of sexual assault, you will have to register as a sex offender.
  • Can I get probation for this charge?
    Yes, if you have never before been convicted of a felony in the state of Texas, a jury could recommend probation.

There are a number of sexual assault offenses in Texas. Most require registration as a sex offender if convicted. A staggering number of sexual assault offenses are filed each year. Here is a summary of sex cases that were filed in Tarrant County alone over a five-year period:

tarrant county sexual assault defense

 

How We Are Different

  • Individualized Attention: Our defense lawyers understand that clients who hire us are coming to us with the biggest problems in their lives, and we treat their problems with the care and attention warranted by the problem. We seek out the best outcomes by over-preparing, finding weaknesses in the State’s case, through careful negotiations and, when necessary, trial.
  • Exceptional Experience: We’ve handled hundreds of sexual assault charges. All of our senior lawyers are former prosecutors. We not only know the State’s playbook, in many cases we helped write it. We have over half a century of experience handling criminal cases, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.
  • Proven Results: We know you have a lot of options to choose from. We hope the results and reviews of our lawyers speak for themselves. Recent Results.
  • Time is of the Essence: As former prosecutors, we know the best results go to the most proactive defense lawyers. Call us today or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.

Common Sexual Assault Bond Conditions

Even though there is a presumption of innocence in any criminal case, once you are charged with a crime the court will place you on a set of bond conditions you must abide by if you wish to remain out of custody.

  • Defendant is subject to a child safety zone: The defendant may not supervise or participate in any program that includes as participants or recipients, persons who are 17 years of age or younger and that regularly provide athletic, civic or cultural activities; or go in, on, or within a distance specified by the judge of premises where children commonly gather, including, but not limited to, a school, day-care facility, playground, public or private youth center, public swimming pool, amusement park, recreation center, or video arcade facility. Specified distance is 1, 000 feet.
  • Do not supervise, accept any employment and/or participate in any program or volunteer activity that includes as participants or recipients persons who are 17 years of age or younger and that regularly provide athletic, civic, cultural, or other activities.
  • Defendant will not possess any printed, photographed, or recorded material that he/she may use for the purpose of his/her deviant sexual arousal. Nor shall the defendant frequent any place where such material is available for the purpose of deviant sexual arousal. The defendant shall not possess, acquire, obtain, retain or review journalistic, video, photographic, electronic, compact disc, computer generated or computer originated material, or material generated by an individual or material that is sent or received by the Internet, World Wide Web, text/photo messaging with a cellular device or electronic mail that is sexually oriented and/or portrays nudity of a child or of an adult.
  • Avoid any and all contact in any form or fashion with the victim and his or her family. Do not attempt to contact the victim or his or her family by writing, in person, by telephone, or any other harassing manner and do not employ any agents to act on your behalf in reference to contacting the victim or his or her family.
  • Defendant shall not reside in a home where persons who are 17 years of age or younger reside unless approved by the court.
  • Defendant shall have no contact, visitation, or personal association with any person 17 years of age or younger unless approved by the court. This includes, but is not limited to, contact by phone, writing, and/or in person.
  • Defendant will abide by a curfew by remaining in his/her place of residence between the hours of Midnight and 6:00 AM with the exception of medical emergencies or employment. If a medical emergency arises or employment conflicts with the curfew, the defendant is required to provide verification to the Court.
  • You shall be responsible for your appearance at all times. This includes the wearing of undergarments and clothing in places where another person may be expected to view you.
  • Defendant shall not hitchhike nor pick up hitchhikers.
  • Defendant shall not possess, install, and/or download any programs or software on his/her computer equipment that is intended to erase or delete internet and computer activities.
  • Defendant is prohibited from using the Internet or World Wide Web to access material that is obscene, access a commercial social networking site, communicate with another individual concerning sexual relations with an individual who is younger than 17 years of age, or communicate with another individual the defendant knows is younger than 17 years of age.
  • Install and activate at your own expense, a software program capable of tracking or blocking access to sexually explicit material on any personal computer in your residence or place of employment. Software must be approved by the Court.

Fort Worth Sexual Assault Defense: How Can We Help?

The sooner you call us the better. It is imperative to have a seasoned Fort Worth sexual assault defense lawyer in your corner. In a perfect world, you will call a defense lawyer before you call back a detective. A common ruse employed by detectives is for them to call you and invite you down to give “your side of the story” at a location like Alliance for Children. Make no mistake, while it is true that you will walk out of that meeting a free man or woman, understand that an arrest is imminent. It is crucially important to call an experienced sexual assault defense lawyer as soon as you can before or after a detective has contacted you. While avoiding an arrest may not be possible in every instance, there are instances where our defense lawyers have prevented arrests, negotiated self-surrenders, assisted in getting bonds, won the case at the grand jury level, and taken others to trial.

The road defending an allegation of sexual misconduct, rape, or any form of sexual misconduct can be a long one. If you have or live with children, expect their lives will be disrupted by CPS. During the investigative phase, it is essential to have a defense lawyer represent you before you even consider having a conversation with a detective or an investigator. If a case is filed, understand that you will have to abide by bond conditions even though you have not been found guilty of an offense. You will have to make a bond, which may be set extremely high. You may have to change your residence. All of this will be happening while you are working with us on the defense of your case. Our sexual assault defense lawyers are experienced in defending individuals throughout the process and are extremely skilled at taking cases to trial should the need arise. Come by our office and visit us to learn more about how we are different. We are the only criminal defense firm in Fort Worth with a mock courtroom where we prepare you for trial. Call us today to speak to one of our defense attorneys today.

Review: “An Answered Prayer”

We put a lot of thought and prayer into picking an attorney. We read a lot of reviews in our search for the best firm. Varghese Summersett was an answered prayer. The team is extremely dedicated, hard working, and will really push for justice. We had a case that was unlike any other and we were in a tough place. It is very difficult, as you know, to place all your hope on a team you do not know. I urge you to read their reviews and move forward as we did. Anna and Benson worked closely with us but most of all worked diligently for us. Trust them. You won’t be disappointed!

A. Reynolds(Former Client)

A Proactive Defense is the Best Defense

Call us to find out why time is of the essence and what our sexual assault defense attorneys can do to:

1) try to prevent a case from being filed,

2) prevent the case from being indicted and

3) complete our own investigation to put you in the best possible position for a dismissal, no-bill, or reduction.

If you have been accused of rape or another sexual offense, you can’t settle for anything other than the best possible defense and outcome for your situation. Hire the defense firm that brings over three decades of experience to the table and handles your case with the discretion and seriousness the allegations require.

Call a Fort Worth Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

Being accused of sexual assault can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go this alone. Our defense lawyers have decades of experience and a proven track record of success. We are known for our aggressive, proactive approach to criminal defense. The stakes are too high to leave anything to chance. Call our Fort Worth sexual assault defense lawyers today for help.