Houston Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sex crimes are among the most serious charges a person can face. Not only do sex crimes carry the potential of long prison sentences, but a person convicted or placed upon deferred adjudication may have to register as sex offender for a period of ten years or life. The stigma of being a registered sex offender can destroy a person’s work, family, and social life. For those facing sex-related offenses, representation by a qualified Houston sexual assault lawyer is essential.
Sexual Assault and Its Penalities
Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault are the most serious form of sex crime under Texas law. The penalties generally depend on the type of behavior alleged and the age of the victim. The primary difference between sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault is that for aggravated sexual assault, there is an “aggravating” factor such as the use of a weapon, drugs, or the young age of a complainant if the alleged sexual assault is of a child. Under Texas law, a person under the age of 17 is considered a minor, and with few exceptions, cannot lawfully consent to sex.
It is essential to consult a qualified Houston sexual assault lawyer if accused of committing any form of sexual assault. In many cases, law enforcement contacts those being investigated before filing charges. David A. Nachtigall represents individuals accused of sexual assault during both the investigative phase and when cases are pending in court.
David A. Nachtigall represents individuals in case including the following forms of sex crime:
- Sexual assault/aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault of a child/aggravated sexual assault of a child
- Indecency with a child
- Indecent exposure
- Public lewdness
- Possession of child pornography
Defending a Sexual Assault Case
Defending a sexual assault requires a thorough defense investigation and careful decision making. If the state’s evidence is weak, it may be best to present defensive evidence during the grand jury phase. If a grand jury determines that there is not probable cause for the case to proceed, the case is dismissed. Generally, the following are considerations present in most sexual assault cases.
- Inconsistencies in accounts of the alleged sex assault to the police and other
- Complainant’s motive to lie
- Absence of forensic evidence
- Reasons for delayed outcry, if any
Penalties for Sex Crimes
In Houston, all sex crimes involving allegations of child complainants and all forms of sexual assault are categorized as felonies. The degree of the offense depends upon the severity of the assault. Offenders may face a prison sentence of two years to lifetime imprisonment. They will also be included in the sex offenders list. Being on the list of sex offenders is an alarming experience, as it affects employment opportunities and quality of life. Those who receive a shorter prison sentence may have to attend sex offender classes and render community service.
Some sex crimes, like prostitution, indecent exposure, and public lewdness are misdemeanors punishable by county jail, as opposed to prison time.
How Our Firm Can Help
As a former prosecutor and experienced Houston sexual assault lawyer, David has handled dozens of sex offense at both the investigative and trial level. We understand the fear experienced by those facing sex-related charges and the severe potential consequences of a conviction. We provide our client’s with thorough, knowledgeable defense with an understanding and empathy toward the personal challenges of being charged with a sex crime.