Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Sex Crimes FAQ

The criminal justice system comes down hard on people who commit sex crimes, especially in Texas. Lawmakers, judges, prosecutors are pressured by citizens to be ruthless, unforgiving, and aggressive toward sex offenders — especially when it involves children. That’s why people who commit sex crimes in Texas are faced with harsh penalties that don’t always fit the crime. Not only can they spend many years in prison, but they can also be labeled as a sex offender. Being convicted of a sex crime can affect your entire life. Not to mention, the amount of unnecessary stress, your ability to find employment, as well as your freedom and reputation. When it comes to defending Texas sex crimes, the stakes couldn’t be higher. That’s why you need to have a qualified attorney by your side.

sex crimes faq
What is considered a sex crime in the State of Texas?

According to the Texas Penal Code, there are a number of actions that are considered sex crimes. The most obvious ones are child sex offenses, which include the following:
– Continuous sex abuse of a child.
– Aggravated sexual assault.
– Aggravated kidnapping.
– Statutory rape.
– Sex trafficking.
– Child prostitution.
– Sexual performance by a child.
– Sexting with a minor.
– Online solicitation of a minor.
– Possession or distribution of child pornography.
– Indecency with a child (by contact).
-Indecency with a child (by exposure).
– Texas sex crimes can also include any of the following:
– Public lewdness.
– Indecent exposure.
– Improper student-teacher relationship.
– Invasive visual recording.
– Voyeurism.
– Unlawful disclosure and promotion of intimate visual material.
– Prostitution.
– Promotion of prostitution.
– Obscenity.
– Rape and sexual assault.
Most sex crimes in Texas are considered felonies. And if you’re convicted, the penalties can be severe (depending on whether it’s first-degree, second-degree, or state jail). You can serve many years in prison, be required to pay steep fines, and become a registered sex offender. Individual sentences can vary, so you should speak with an attorney with experience in defending these types of cases.

What is the legal age of consent in the State of Texas?

The legal age of consent in the State of Texas is 17 years old, But if the younger person (who is the alleged victim) is at least 14 years old and the age difference between both parties is three years or less, the penalties aren’t strictly enforced. The consent laws in Texas don’t differ with each gender, and they apply to both heterosexual and homosexual actions.

What is the Romeo and Juliet Law in the State of Texas?

Many states have “Romeo and Juliet” laws that protect teens from sex crime charges and punishments if the case meets certain requirements. In Texas, this law offers two main protections for cases that involve non-consensual sexual relations:

The three-year age gap defense — Anyone who is accused of a sex crime in Texas may be exempt from persecution if there is a three-year age gap between both parties and the alleged victim was at least 14 years old.
The sex offender registration exemption — While someone who had consensual sex with a minor isn’t protected from being charged with statutory rape if there is more than a three-year age difference, the Romeo and Juliet Law may make this person exempt from having to register as a sex offender. But they have to meet certain requirements if he or she had consensual sex with someone under 17 years of age. The alleged victim must be at least 15 years old, and there can’t be more than a four-year age difference.

Feel free to speak to a qualified attorney for more information about the Romeo and Juliet Law in the State of Texas.

How far does a registered sex offender have to live from a school in Texas?

While some states specify how far registered sex offenders can live from a school or playground, there’s no standard in Texas with regard to where they’re allowed to live. If they’re being supervised by the court because they’re on parole or probation, there are limits to how close they can live to a school or any “child safety zone”. But it’s determined on a case-by-case basis. Texas sex offenders who aren’t under court supervision can live anywhere they want, but the state keeps track of where they are and may take certain steps to inform people living in the area.

What is the statute of limitations for charges related to indecency with a child?

Certain Texas sex crimes have no statute of limitations, including indecency with a child. And because of certain changes made by the Texas legislature in 2008, the same is true for sexual assault of a child or continuous sexual abuse of a child.

What crimes require a sex offender registration in Texas?

In Texas, there are a number of sex crimes that require a convicted person to enter the sex offender registry. Some of them include the following:
–  Sexual assault.
– Sexual assault of a child.
– Continuous sexual assault of a child.
–  Sexual performance by a child.
–  Aggravated sexual assault.
–  Indecency by exposure.
–  Indecency by contact.
–  Unlawful restraint.
–  Burglary.
–  Aggravated kidnapping.
–  Aggravated kidnapping for sexual purposes.
– Compelling prostitution.
– Trafficking.
–  Online solicitation of a minor.
–  Repeat offender for indecent exposure.
– Child pornography.
You will also have to register if you attempt to commit any of these offenses.

How long do I have to register as a sex offender in Texas?

The Texas Penal Code requires some people who have been convicted of a serious sex offense to be registered for life, while others who have been convicted of a less serious sex crime may only need to be registered for at least ten years. Some may need to register for assigned times that are based on their personal risk level, which is decided by the court.

As a condition of their probation, all convicted sex offenders are required to register with their local police department under the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. And they must do so with one week of arriving in any part of the state. Failing to register can lead to the removal of probation, possible jail time, and additional penalties.

What kind of information do sex offenders need to provide to register?

Once you report to a local law enforcement agency for the first time, you will be required to submit a form and provide detailed information about the following:
–  Full name.
–  Place of residence.
– Date of birth.
– Gender.
–  Race.
–  Height.
–  Weight.
–  Eye and hair color.
–  An up-to-date photograph.
–  Details about the convicted offense.
–  Job title and status.
–  Any online identifiers (which includes the names of social media accounts and email addresses).

Providing this information may seem extensive and even a little intrusive, but it has been put in place by the Texas Department of Public Safety to protect the public from a sex offender who is living in their community.

What’s the difference between rape and sexual assault?

A lot of states no longer use the word “rape” and have replaced it with sexual abuse or sexual assault to describe prohibited sexual activity. Standard rape is covered by these statutes and may be considered sexual abuse in the first degree, but most sexual assault statutes cover more types of sexual acts than what’s usually thought of as “rape” and will apply to victims of either gender.

If you have been charged with a sex crime and are looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.