Fort Worth Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers
Sexual assault allegations turn lives upside down. An allegation of sexual assault most often results in a warrant being issued, a felony case being filed, having to spend time in jail after the warrant is issued, and needing to bond out of jail. All of this happens before you've even had an opportunity to defend yourself. Notice that just an allegation - someone's word without any additional proof - is enough to make all those things happen.
So it makes sense that if you are accused of any sexual allegation, you need top-notch criminal defense attorneys at your side, defending you and advising you at every turn.
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.
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 defense lawyers are experienced at launching our own investigation and gathering evidence as soon as an allegation is made. We have experienced investigators who can unearth evidence only accessible to professionals who are experienced in investigating these types of matters.
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 this offense in Texas?
- What is the Statute of Limitations? (How long can they wait before pressing charges)
- Will I have to register as a Sex Offender under Texas law?
- Can I get Deferred Adjudication for this charge?
- Can I get Probation for this charge?
The table below provides answers to those questions for many of the sex offenses in Texas.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Common Sex Offenses
|Offense||Punishment Range||Statute of Limitations||Sex Offender Registration||Deferred||Probation|
|Aggravated Sexual Assault PC 22.021||First Degree||10 Years, None if DNA hit.||Lifetime||Only if in best interest of the victim||Only from jury, only if sentence is 10 years or less. No probation if victim was under 14.|
|Compelling Prostitution of a Minor u/18 PC 43.05||First Degree||None||Lifetime||Yes.||Only from jury, only if sentence is 10 years or less.|
|Continuous Sexual Assault PC 21.02||25-99/Life||None||Lifetime||No.||No.|
|Human Trafficking PC 20A.02(a)||First Degree||None||Lifetime||Yes.||Only from jury, only if sentence is 10 years or less.|
|Improper Student Teacher Relationship PC 21.12||Second Degree||3 years||No||Yes.||Yes.|
|Indecency by Contact PC 21.11(a)(1)||Second Degree||None||10 years.||Only if in best interest of the victim, no deferred if victim under 14.||Only from jury, only if sentence is 10 years or less.|
|Indecency by Exposure PC 21.11(a)(2)||Third Degree||None||10 years||Only if in best interest of the victim||Yes.|
|Online Solicitation of a Minor u/14 PC 33.021||Second Degree||3 years||10 years.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Online Solicitation of a Minor u/17 PC 33.021||Third Degree||3 years||Lifetime||Yes.||Yes.|
|Possession of Child Pornography PC 43.26||Third Degree||3 years||Lifetime||Yes.||Yes.|
|Prostitution Solicitation of Minor u/18 PC 43.02(c)(3)||Second Degree||3 years||10 years.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Sexual Assault PC 22.011(a)(1)||Second Degree||10 Years, None if DNA hit.||Lifetime||Only if in best interest of the victim||Only by Jury. Only if Sentence is 10 years or less.|
|Sexual Assault of a Child under 14 PC 22.021(2)(B)||First Degree||None||Lifetime||No.||No.|
|Sexual Assault of a Child under 17 PC 22.011(a)(2)||Second Degree||None||Lifetime||Only if in best interest of the victim||Only by Jury. Only if Sentence is 10 years or less.|
|Sexual Performance of a Child under 14 PC 43.25||First Degree||20 years from the victim's 18th birthday||Lifetime||Yes.||Only by Jury. Only if Sentence is 10 years or less.|
“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!
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:
Sexual Assault Punishment Ranges
The table below outlines the possible punishment ranges for sexual offenses in Texas.
Sexual Offenses: Punishment Ranges in Texas
|Improper Photography||Class B Misdemeanor||0-180 Days|
|Solicitation of Prostitution||Class B Misdemeanor||0-180 Days|
|Official Oppression - Sexual Harassment||Class A Misdemeanor||1 Years|
|Possession of Child Pornography||Third Degree||2-10 Years|
|Improper Student Teacher Relationship||Second Degree||2-20 Years|
|Indecency Fondling||Second Degree||2-20 Years|
|Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14||First Degree||5-99 Years or Life, can be 25-99/Life under certain circumstances|
|Sexual Assault||Second Degree||2-20 Years|
|Sexual Performance of a Child under 14||First Degree||5-99 Years or Life|
|Human Trafficking||First Degree||5-99 Years or Life|
|Aggravated Sexual Assault||First Degree||5-99 Years or Life|
|Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child||First Degree||5-99 Years or Life|
|Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child||First Degree*||25-99 Years or Life|
|Failure to Register as a Sex Offender||Varies||Varies|
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 at (817) 203-2220 or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.
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.
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.
Common Sexual Assault Bond Conditions
How can we help?
The sooner you call us the better. It is imperative to have a seasoned 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.
- Sex Crimes 101
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Sexual Performance
- Sexual Assault of a Child
- Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child
- Online Solicitation
- Improper Student-Teacher Relation
- Indecency with a Child
- Child Pornography
- Indecent Exposure versus Public Lewdness
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 (817) 203-2220 to speak to one of our defense attorneys today.
Call for a Complimentary Strategy Session
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 us today at (817) 203-2220.
During this complimentary strategy session, a seasoned defense lawyer will:
- Discuss the facts of your case;
- Talk to the attorney who will handle your case;
- Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
- Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.
You can also contact us online:
Texas Penal Code Sec. 22.011
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) intentionally or knowingly:
(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or
(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
(2) intentionally or knowingly:
(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
(C) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
(D) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
(E) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
(b) A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if:
(1) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence;
(2) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes that the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;
(3) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
(4) the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or of resisting it;
(5) the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
(6) the actor has intentionally impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administering any substance without the other person’s knowledge;
(7) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person, and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
(8) the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;
(9) the actor is a mental health services provider or a health care services provider who causes the other person, who is a patient or former patient of the actor, to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the actor;
(10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser; or
(11) the actor is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident, unless the employee and resident are formally or informally married to each other under Chapter 2, Family Code.
(c) In this section:
(1) “Child” means a person younger than 17 years of age.
(2) “Spouse” means a person who is legally married to another.
(3) “Health care services provider” means:
(A) a physician licensed under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;
(B) a chiropractor licensed under Chapter 201, Occupations Code;
(C) a physical therapist licensed under Chapter 453, Occupations Code;
(D) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code; or
(E) a registered nurse, a vocational nurse, or an advanced practice nurse licensed under Chapter 301, Occupations Code.
(4) “Mental health services provider” means an individual, licensed or unlicensed, who performs or purports to perform mental health services, including a:
(A) licensed social worker as defined by Section 505.002, Occupations Code;
(B) chemical dependency counselor as defined by Section 504.001, Occupations Code;
(C) licensed professional counselor as defined by Section 503.002, Occupations Code;
(D) licensed marriage and family therapist as defined by Section 502.002, Occupations Code;
(E) member of the clergy;
(F) psychologist offering psychological services as defined by Section 501.003, Occupations Code; or
(G) special officer for mental health assignment certified under Section 1701.404, Occupations Code.
(5) “Employee of a facility” means a person who is an employee of a facility defined by Section 250.001, Health and Safety Code, or any other person who provides services for a facility for compensation, including a contract laborer.
(d) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the conduct consisted of medical care for the child and did not include any contact between the anus or sexual organ of the child and the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the actor or a third party.
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2):
(1) that the actor was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense; or
(A) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:
(i) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or
(ii) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and
(B) the victim:
(i) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and
(ii) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.
(f) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, except that an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.
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