Fort Worth Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys
Sexual assault allegations turn lives upside down. 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 attorneys 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 an attorney experienced in defending sexual crimes 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 attorneys are experienced in beginning our own investigations 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 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:
|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.|
There are a number of sexual assault offenses in Texas. Most require registration as a sex offender. A staggering number of sexual assault offenses are filed each year. Here is a summary of the cases of a sexual nature that were filed in Tarrant County alone in the last five years:
What is the punishment range for a sexual offense in Texas?
A list of the most common sexual offenses and punishment ranges is found below:
|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|
Time is of the Essence: A Proactive Defense is the Best Defense
Call us to find out why time is of the essence and what we can do to 1) try to prevent a case from being filed, 2) prevent the case from being indicted, and 3) how we can 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 outcome for your situation. Hire the firm that brings over three decades of experience to the table and handles your case with the discretion and seriousness the allegations require.
What are common conditions of bond in sexual assault cases in Texas?
- 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.
How can we help?
The sooner you call us the better. In a perfect world, you will call us before you call a detective back. 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 us 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 we 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
- 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 as well. During the investigative phase, it is essential to have an attorney 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 on the defense of your case. Our attorneys 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 town with a mock courtroom where we prepare you for trial. Call (817) 203-2220 to speak to one of our attorneys today
Texas Penal Code Sec. 22.011: SEXUAL ASSAULT
(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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Call for a Complimentary Strategy Session
Being accused of sexual assault can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go this alone. Put our experience to work for you. Give us a call at (817) 203-2220.
During this complimentary strategy session we 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.
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Rated By G. M.
I am overwhelmed with emotion as I type. I simply can not find words that adequately state the level of care, concern, the high level professionalism, and the diligence that was put forth into the case concerning my family. I can only say that I doubt very seriously that I would ever find better lawyers than Mr. Varghese and Ms. Letty Martinez. I could not have asked for better representation on any level. To any person reading this trust that you will not find better!!!!! 10 stars +
Rated By Chris G.
Christy Jack and Benson Varghese of Varghese Summersett represented me on a false charge of sexual assault. They treat you like family. The went far beyond any of my expectations in how they investigated and disproved the accusation. They got me a NO-BILL at the grand jury. If you are ever charged with a crime especially a sexual assault the best thing you can do for yourself is to call Varghese Summersett.
How We Are Different
- Individualized Attention: We 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 charges. All of our partners 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.
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- Time is of the Essence: As former prosecutors, we know the best results go to the most proactive attorneys. Call us today at (817) 203-2220 or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.