By Benson Varghese

Last Updated: June 24th, 2021 at 1:20 PM
Published on: August 1st, 2020 at 8:08 PM

What is aggravated sexual assault in Texas?

Aggravated Sexual Assault is defined generally as sex with or without consent of a child (who by definition cannot give consent) and by causing or threatening serious bodily injury or threat, exhibiting a deadly weapon, or by use of drugs or an intoxicant. Sexual assault is also aggravated if the victim is under 14. (Penal Code 22.021).

What is the punishment for Aggravated Sexual Assault?

This is a first degree felony with a punishment range of 5-99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Sexual assault is “super aggravated” or carries a 25-year minimum if the victim was under six years old or the victim was under 14 but another aggravating factor was present. As explained below, you cannot get probation, deferred adjudication, or parole for a super aggravated sexual offense charge.

What is the punishment for Aggravated Sexual Assault with a prior conviction?

If you have a prior conviction for a sexually violent offense, you are facing life without parole as a mandatory sentence.

What is the sex offender registration requirement for Aggravated Sexual Assault?

If you are convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication for, aggravated sexual assault, you will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life.

What happens when an accusation is made?

A referral will be made to CPS (now TX DFPS) and a forensic interview will be conducted.

False Accusations of Aggravated Sexual Assault

False accusations of Aggravated Sexual Assault occur for a number of reasons. Divorce, child custody issues, embarrassment, ” buyer’s remorse,” and manipulation are just a few of the reasons false accusations are made.

Defenses: Advice from a Tarrant County Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer

As hard as it seems to fathom, innocent people get charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault. Professing your innocence to a detective is NOT going to keep you from getting arrested. The absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out to an attorney immediately. Do not even consider calling the detective back, even if they claim to not believe the allegation and “just want your side of the story” to “close out the investigation.” It’s true, the investigation will be closed – upon your arrest.

In addition to aggressively and diligently mounting a defense to these accusations, an attorney can maximize the chances you might be able to self-surrender instead of being arrested and fight these allegations for you at the only real place the truth has a chance of setting you free – in court.

Can you get probation for Aggravated Sexual Assault?

It depends. A judge cannot give you straight probation because Aggravated Sexual Assault is a 3G offense in Texas. A jury cannot give you probation after a conviction if 1) your sentence is over 10 years or 2) the victim was under the age of 14. Neither a judge nor jury can give you probation for a “super aggravated” sexual assault.

A prosecutor could agree to give you deferred adjudication unless you’ve been previously convicted of certain sexual offenses. A prosecutor cannot give you deferred adjudication for a super aggravated sexual assault offense or if you are a habitual offender.

Even if a person were granted probation, they would be expected to follow a number of conditions that limit their day-to-day life. In addition to registering as a sex offender, they will have to stay out of certain child safety zones, oftentimes find a new residence, find suitable employment, abide by curfews, attend sex offender classes and treatment, and potentially wear a GPS monitor.

How do we defend Aggravated Sexual Assault charges?

First and foremost we start by taking a close look at what the state has. We find weaknesses in the prosecution. Specifically, we look at the allegation or forensic interview and start comparing statements to find discrepancies and suggestions a person is not being truthful. We look for impeachment evidence. We look at the physical evidence or lack thereof. We look at motives a person may have to fabricate an allegation. Every case is unique but we have the breadth of experience, and we understand the other side of the case because we started our careers as prosecutors. We don’t just know their playbook – we helped write it. If you’ve been charged or are under investigation, call a Tarrant County Aggravated Sexual Assault defense attorney at our office immediately.

Tarrant County Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer
Varghese Summersett PLLC
Varghese Summersett PLLC