Plano Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys
When a criminal charge involves a sex crime, it is important to act quickly. The penalties of a sex crime begin well before you are even convicted, as you now have to deal with the social stigma that is often associated with accused individuals. At Rosenthal Barbieri, our Plano sex crime defense lawyer works towards not only defending your reputation, but also defending your rights and freedom as you move through the criminal process.
Our attorneys have extensive experience defending and achieving positive results for those charged with sex crimes. If you are looking for an attorney who you can trust to professionally handle your sex crime case, you have come to the right place.
Sex Crime Cases We Handle
Sex crime cases we can handle include, but are not limited to:
Child Molestation Charges
There are many different forms of sexual abuse which are not looked at lightly under the law. However, when it comes to sex crimes involving a minor, such as child molestation, these are taken very seriously by law enforcement and the courts. Because these types of offenses are prosecuted heavily, it is imperative that you retain legal counsel right away if you or a member of your family member is facing child molestation charges of any type.
Rape / Sexual Assault Charges
You have been accused of rape or sexual assault, and you feel terrified. This accusation may have devastating consequences on your career, your family, your reputation and your future. If convicted, you could lose years of your life behind bars.
The state of Texas prosecutes rape very aggressively. Texas classifies rape as a second-degree felony. However, if there are certain aggravating factors present including serious bodily injury, the presence of a deadly weapon or the use of a drug, the state elevates the crime to a first-degree felony. This is the second most serious crime in the state, and the consequences are severe. If convicted of either of these charges, you may face penalties including:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Civil commitment
- Between 2 and 99 years in jail
- Mandatory registration as a sex offender
When it comes to your date-rape case, our lawyers leave no stone unturned. This may include interviewing witnesses, subpoenaing phone records, uncovering hidden evidence and poking holes in the prosecution’s argument.
We have successfully defended numerous clients against date-rape charges, earning a reputation as one of the most sought-after firms in Texas for these cases.
Sexual Assault of a Child Charges
If you have been charged with a crime involving sexual assault of a child or you are currently being investigated, you should retain legal representation right away. Our team’s sex crime attorney has extensive experience on this topic and is often sought after to speak because of her knowledge in this field.
If you have a previous sex crime conviction on your record, the penalties for any further conviction will involve much more severe penalties, especially in the case of sexual assault of a child. All cases involving a minor being violated are taken very seriously and will be prosecuted severely. If convicted, the consequences and penalties will depend on the specifics of the crime.
Depending on the severity of the incident, you may be charged with:
- First-degree felony
- Second-degree felony
- Third-degree felony
With each category of charges, the possible prison sentence and fine will differ greatly. While a third-degree felony can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a first-degree felony charge may carry a large fine and a prison sentence of up to life in prison. A conviction will also result in you having to register as a sex offender, which will limit your ability to find housing or gain employment.
Indecent Exposure Charges
Texas defines indecent exposure as the intentional exposure of one’s private parts and sexual organs to another person who would reasonably be offended or upset by the act. Contrary to popular belief, the crime does not require a public setting to be charged.
We may be able to prove your innocence by using one or more of these possible indecent exposure defenses:
- No intent: The exposure of your private parts was entirely unintentional.
- No offense: The person who witnessed your exposure was not actually upset by the act. They might later try to file charges against you out of spite, or based on false pretenses.
- Mistaken identity: You were not the person who committed the act of indecent exposure. Witnesses often only catch fleeting glances of the suspect, which lends heavily to the possibility of mistaking identities.
The aforementioned defenses are only possibilities. One, all or none of them might apply to your case. It is important to let us work closely with you to determine the best possible path to a valid defense.
Lewd Conduct Charges
People accused of lewd conduct, or public indecency, in Texas are accused of acting in an obscene or offenses sexual way in public. There are plenty of gray areas in this legal definition that could have resulted in you being wrongfully charged for the crime.
Any sort of sex crime charge in Texas can bring heavy consequences upon conviction. Most are high-level misdemeanors or felonies, and nearly all can include sex offender registration in sentencing requirements. Lewd conduct and public indecency charges are no exception. In order to better protect your rights from such a charge, it helps to know about the accusation itself.
Texas Penal Code Section 43.21 includes multiple important definitions when describing obscenity or lewd conduct, including:
- Obscenity: An action, presentation, or material that “the average person” would find offensive and lacking of any artistic value.
- Display: Making the observation of an obscene act possible through any means, such as personal presentation, sharing digital files, playing audio, etc.
- Promote: Attempting to make the audience of the performance enjoy or agree with the act being displayed. Distribution efforts, like emailing images of sexual acts, are also promotion.
When the law is looked at as a whole, it is apparent that the definitions have been kept vague for a reason. Lewd conduct has become somewhat of an umbrella term. Police officers can arrest people for lewd conduct for nearly any reason, as long as the suspect was acting in some way that could be interpreted as sexual. In turn, prosecutors are able to file more charges based on the vagueness of the crime. It creates a one-sided situation that disfavors the defendant.
Child Pornography Defense
Facing child pornography charges is never easy. Not only do you face serious penalties if convicted, but your reputation and personal relationships can also be deeply affected. Few crimes are more widely scrutinized in society than child pornography convictions, even though many people do not fully understand what may constitute for being charged under the broad statement in which “child pornography” is described. Because of this, individuals can be charged of child pornography without actually knowing that they possess pornographic material involving minors.
An individual can be charged with either possession or promotion of child pornography. These charges can be applied to any form of medium, including printed pictures, videos, digital files, etc. If an individual has pornographic material involving minors in their home or on their computer or phone, they can be charged with possession. Promotion of child pornography covers a larger range of activity or involvement.
“Promotion” of child pornography entails any of the following:
The penalties if convicted of either promotion or possession of are incredibly severe. Not only do convicted individuals face jail-time, but they also must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. Registering as a sex offender can affect your employment, where you can live, and your rights.
The legal consequences of your case depend on the specific charges you face:
- Possession charges are considered a third-degree felony and are given a prison sentence between 2-10 years and fines up to $10,000.
- Promotion charges are considered a second-degree felony and are given a prison sentence between 2-20 years and fines up to $10,000.
Unfortunately, many kids don’t realize that they can also be facing child pornography charges for sending sexually explicit pictures of themselves or pictures of fellow classmates. Even if the participants are all underage, willfully spreading nude or semi-nude pictures of a minor is punishable with child pornography charges, jail time and registry as a sex offender.
Prostitution & Solicitation Charges
Being accused of either prostitution or solicitation in Texas is a serious situation. In the best case scenario, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. Certain circumstances will elevate the charge to a first degree felony, however.
Prostitution and solicitation are similar criminal violations, but they are not identical. In order to defend yourself from your charges, you will want to know the key details of each crime:
- Prostitution: Offering to engage in a sexual act or conduct for some form of compensation, such as currency or a favor.
- Solicitation: Offering some form of compensation in exchange for sexual conduct.
The crime of solicitation can also sometimes be extended to people who attempt to market someone else as a prostitute. The law may call this activity pimping, pandering or “managing a prostitution enterprise” instead. Penalties for any of these violations, though, tend to be quite similar.
If you are convicted of prostitution, solicitation, or pandering, penalties could include:
- Extended jail or prison sentences
- High fines and fees
- Registration as a sex offender
It is not uncommon for law enforcement agencies to try to lure people into paying for prostitution, or into offering sexual favors for money. They call such operations “stings” but our Plano criminal defense attorneys see these efforts for what they really are: entrapment. It is illegal for the government to try to tempt you into committing a crime. If we can prove you were coerced by an officer of the law, even if they were undercover, then it might be possible to have your case dismissed outright.
Sex Offender Registration
Even though sex crimes in Texas can be penalized with high fines and prison time, arguably the worst penalty is actually being ordered to register as a sex offender. Nearly every sex crime on the legal books of the state, from child molestation to rape, can include mandatory sex crime registration in its sentencing upon conviction. If this happens to you, all facets of your private and public life will be jeopardized.
The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program was created to help the public become aware of potentially dangerous or deviant individuals in their area. The problem with the program is that it did not give any thought to how a public list could absolutely destroy the lives of those forced to register. This is all the more problematic when considering that people could be convicted of sex crimes based on false pretenses, exaggerations or misunderstandings.
Some key components of sex offender registration in Texas are:
- Duration: Sex offender registration may be mandatory for only a set duration, or it can be indefinite. If the duration of your sex offender registration is indefinite, you may be able to eventually petition to have yourself removed from the public list. Our Plano criminal defense lawyers can help you in this regard as well.
- Frequency: The sex offender registration list needs to be updated frequently. For most people, re-registration must be done only once a year, but some people might have to do it quarterly, such as those convicted of violent sex crimes.
- Notifications: Many people on the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program list are “put on display” for their neighbors and community members to see. Whenever they move somewhere or begin employment, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) may send a notification to all nearby members of the public about their presence or residence.
- Penalties: Failing to comply with registration requirements, such as re-registrations, can be considered a serious crime in Texas. With this said, you can be charged and convicted of a subsequent criminal violation with its own sentencing penalties.
To keep yourself off a sex offender registration that will ruin your good name and future opportunities, you will want work with our Plano sex crime attorneys of Rosenthal Barbieri.
Sex with a Minor Charges
Sex with a minor, or statutory rape, is strictly illegal in Texas. The crime is defined as someone aged 18 years or more engaging in sexual conduct with someone who is aged 17 years or younger. Consent is not a factor in sex with a minor charges.
Sex with a minor — someone who is not older than 17 years old — is always considered a felony in Texas. By definition, a felony can be penalized with at least one year in state prison. Fines up to $10,000 and mandatory sex offender registration also often accompany a statutory rape conviction. The intensity of the penalties will scale based on the severity of the charge, though.
Factors considered by prosecutors when filing statutory rape charges are:
- Indecency with child: Sexual activity between someone who is 17 or younger and someone who is 20 or older. The activity cannot include sexual penetration.
- Sexual assault against a minor: Sexual penetration involving someone who is 16 or younger and someone who is 19 or older.
- Aggravated sexual assault against a minor: Sexual penetration between someone who is 14 or younger and another person. This crime is a first-degree felony that can be penalized with a life sentence of 99 years.
Whenever someone is charged with sex with a minor, it is a delicate legal situation. The knowledge, experience and carefulness of our Plano sex crime attorneys play integral roles in creating a valid defense that considers all possible angles. Not only do we aim to secure a not guilty verdict or case dismissal, but we also want to be so thorough in your defense that your reputation is left fully intact.
Work With A Highly Rated Advocate Today
At Rosenthal Barbieri, our founders, Heather Barbieri and Jeremy Rosenthal, are Board Certified specialists in criminal law as certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a designation that allows her the opportunity to say they are experts in criminal law.
Boasting decades of experience, we have the skill and knowledge to handle a wide range of sex crime cases. Our Plano sex crimes lawyers are available to our clients so you can receive answers to your questions at any time, day or night. Due to our compassionate and aggressive defense, we have been able to build a track record of trial victories, and our goal is to help you find success, too.
Ready to begin? Call Rosenthal Barbieri, today at 972-424-1902.