Not all crimes are created equally. Being charged with assault is a far cry from facing sexual assault charges. Not only is there a stigma attached to sexual crimes that doesn’t come with most other illegal acts, in many cases you may find yourself up against additional penalties, including the possibility of having to appear on the sex offender registry.
Because of this, it is important to understand which offenses the State of Texas defines as sex crimes. Thankfully, the Texas legal system has a detailed list of exactly these offenses, including definitions of each.
Sex Crimes in Texas and How They are Defined
Here is a list of many of the sexual offenses included in the Texas penal codes.
Improper teacher/student relationship: a primary or secondary school instructor engages in sexual contact with a person enrolled at the school
Invasive video recording: an individual shows intent to disclose visual material with sexual acts being shown or intimate parts exposed without consent
Indecent exposure: an individual exposes himself or herself with an intent to gratify or arouse sexual desires of any person and is reckless as to whether another person present will be offended
Obscenity: an individual participates in obscene performances or promotes or distributes obscene material
Possession of child pornography: an individual knowingly or intentionally possesses visual material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct
Prohibited sexual conduct: an individual engages in sexual conduct with a descendant, relative, or ancestor
Prostitution: an individual publicly solicits sexual conduct or engages in sexual conduct for a fee, or an individual promotes such acts
Public lewdness: an individual knowingly engages in acts of sexual contact or intercourse with a person, bird, or animal in a public place, or is reckless as to whether another person present will be offended
Sexual assault: an individual intentionally and knowingly engages in sexual conduct with another person without consent
Aggravated sexual assault: sexual assault plus bodily injury or threats or attempts to cause death of the victim
Sexual offenses against minors:
- Aggravated kidnapping with intent to sexually violate a minor
- Indecency with a minor
- Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault
- Burglary with an intent to commit sexual offense
- Sex trafficking or compelling prostitution
- Sale, distribution, or display of sexually explicit material to a minor
- Sexual performance by a minor under 18 years old
- Employment harmful to minor under 18 years old in a sexually-oriented commercial enterprise
Unlawful dissemination of intimate visual content: photographs, videotapes, recordings, broadcasts, or transmissions of invasive video recordings.
Voyeurism: an individual observes another person without their consent with an intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire of the individual.
Texas Sex Crime Charges Demand a Strong Defense
If you are convicted of a sex crime, you may face many years in prison and a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. In many cases Texas law has tougher registry requirements than the federal law.
For example, if you are convicted of burglary with intent to commit a sexual offense, Texas law requires you to register for your lifetime, but the federal law requires 15-25 years, depending on the case.
The fines and prison sentences for convicted sexual offenders range widely and depend on the details of each case. However, you need to know that Texas courts tend to be tough on those convicted of sexual offenses.
That’s why you need the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will be able to help you understand the unique aspects of your case and put together the strongest possible defense, but only if you get in contact first. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
About the Author:
Brandon Fulgham has an in-depth understanding of both Texas law and Texans themselves. Before practicing law here, he received his undergraduate degree from TCU, and his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduation, he worked in District Attorneys’ offices as a prosecutor, building cases designed to put people behind bars. Now, he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people in and around Fort Worth, making sure they receive the strongest possible defense when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. He has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, Fort Worth Magazine, and others.