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Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse Defense Attorney in Sugarland and Katy, Texas

It is critical to consult a professional sexual abuse defense attorney if you or a loved one faces sexual abuse accusations in Texas. A sexual abuse conviction can result in, not just heavy jail terms, community service, rehabilitation, and fines, but also long-term consequences on your life. Those convicted of sexual abuse or child sexual abuse will be obligated to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. The sex offender registry is freely accessible to the general public. Being registered as a sexual offender can lead to exclusion from the community and trouble finding work.

Even a false charge of sexual abuse can result in convictions and lengthy court battles. We, at the Law Office of Annie Scott, can intervene, walk you through your rights, and help you get through this tough time.

What is the Difference Between Sexual Abuse and a Sexual Assault?

The fundamental distinctions between sexual assault and sexual abuse usually revolve around the victim’s age and the circumstances of the abuser-victim relationship.

Sexual Abuse

When the abuser is in guardianship or responsible for the victim, sexual abuse happens. In this situation, the abuser takes advantage of the victim’s trust by pressuring or forcing them to engage in sexual behavior. When it comes to adult victims, this is particularly frequent at medical centers and nursing homes where the patient is abused.

The elderly are the most vulnerable to this sort of abuse since they are dependent on others for their daily care. While for child sexual abuse, the perpetrator is frequently a family member, guardian, teacher, or another adult who provides some care for the child.

It should be mentioned that having sex after drinking a couple of beers is lawful in Texas as long as the person is aware and consenting. In sex cases, this is a tricky problem because the state nearly always claims that the supposed victim did not know what she (or he) was doing. To put it another way, the state argues that the alleged victim was in the midst of a drug-induced sleep.

Some important factors that need to be looked at in determining whether the person was “unconscious” are whether the person was:

  • Walking
  • Talking coherently
  • Still drinking on their own

Who started the intercourse is another significant component that is often disregarded. Sometimes the alleged victim will claim rape even though they initiated the sexual encounter. These considerations are critical in assessing if anything was done “against the will of another.”

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is when a victim is subjected to unwanted sexual conduct or acts typically aggressive, coercive, or threatening. Violence and trauma are common characteristics of sexual assaults. These assaults can even be life-threatening in extreme cases.

What Are the Degrees of Sexual Abuse?

There are three “levels” or degrees of sexual abuse.

First Degree

When substantial harm occurs due to the abuse, it is classified as first-degree sexual abuse. It is a class A crime, and the penalty is life in jail without the possibility of release. If a person is convicted of first-degree sexual abuse, there are no exceptions to the penalty.

Second Degree

Second-degree sexual abuse, a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, occurs when any of the following conditions are present throughout the sexual assault:

  • The person displays a weapon in a threatening manner or threatens serious physical injury
  • The other person is under the age of 12
  • The person is aided or abetted by one or more persons, and the sex act is committed by force or against the will of the other person against whom the sex act is committed

Third Degree

When a sex act happens under any of the following circumstances, it is considered third-degree sexual abuse, which is a class C felony punishable by up to ten years in prison:

  • The act is done against the will of the other person, whether or not the person is the spouse or is cohabiting with the offender.
  • The act is between persons who are not cohabiting as husband and wife
  • The other person is suffering a mental defect.
  • The other person is 12 or 13 years old.
  • The other person is 14 or 15 years old, and the persons are members of the same household or related by blood affinity to the fourth degree or if the offender is four or more years older than the victim.
  • The act is performed while the other person is under the influence of a controlled substance and the controlled substance prevents the person from consenting.
  • The person performing the act reasonably should know that the person is under the influence of the controlled substance.The act is performed while the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.

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What is Forcible Sexual Abuse?

When an abuser takes indecent liberties with a victim above 14, this is known as forcible sexual abuse. It might include stroking or touching the victim’s breasts, buttocks, or genitalia without their consent to excite, arouse, or sexually please them. The victim might also be subjected to bodily or mental harm due to the abuse.

Forcible sexual abuse is punishable by prison time, which varies based on the circumstances of the abuse. Apart from specific cases, forced sexual abuse is a 2nd-degree crime punishable by one to 15 years in jail.

If the abuser causes bodily harm to a victim during the sexual abuse, the act can be classified as a first-degree felony, carrying a penalty of 15 years to life in most cases. If there is bodily harm and the court considers that a lighter punishment is appropriate, the abuser might be sentenced to six or ten years in prison.

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

When a child is sexually abused, the abuser improperly touches the victim on the genitals, breasts, or buttocks, intending to cause emotional or physical harm or to arouse or gratify. When a child is sexually abused, state law might treat it as a statutory crime, allowing the prosecution to push charges even if the child, who is under the age of consent, willingly engaged.

What is Aggravated Sexual Abuse?

Aggravated sexual abuse is considered a more severe offense. A defendant can be prosecuted with aggravated child sexual abuse if the following conditions are met:

  • They used a weapon at any time during the commission of the crime
  • They were a stranger who made friends with the victim to commit the offense
  • They engaged the child in viewing or producing pornography
  • The abuse was executed on two or more victims at the same time
  • The abuse occurred more than five times with the same victim
  • The abuser was in a position of special trust
  • The act involved penetration, no matter how slight
  • The bodily injury occurred during the offense
  • The act involved elements of prostitution or human trafficking

While child sexual abuse is a second-degree crime, aggravated sexual child abuse is a first-degree felony that carries substantially stringent penalties, including:

  • A prison sentence of 15 years to life
  • A sentence of life without parole if it was found that bodily harm was caused
  • A sentence of life without parole if the defendant has been previously convicted of a sexual offense

What is the Impact of a Sex Crime Conviction?

If you are guilty of any of the offenses listed above, you will be placed on the sex offender registry. It will have a massive impact on your job search. You might also be sentenced to a 10-year or lifetime term, which means the court can hold you in custody at any moment after a hearing.

You may also be required to go through a chemical castration process should the crime be a “serious” sex offense. A sex offense conviction will shatter relationships, destroy your image, and place a burden on your financial resources on top of these penalties.

Acquiring a Defense Attorney for Sexual Abuse Allegations

Allegations of sexual abuse are handled extremely seriously. Your first contact should be to a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with sexual abuse. A sexual abuse conviction will almost certainly have a long-term impact on your life. It is critical to have legal representation from the beginning. A sexual abuse defense attorney can represent you throughout questioning and prepare you for trial if your case goes to trial.

Being accused of sexual abuse can have a negative connotation. You’re probably worried about how this will affect you in the long run, especially if you’ve been wrongly accused of committing such an infraction. A sexual abuse defense attorney can explain the implications of the charge and guarantee that your rights are protected throughout the judicial procedure.

The prospect of going through the judicial system after being wrongly accused of sexual abuse may be daunting. Unfortunately, your life may be adversely affected in a number of ways. You may be able to tackle the claims front-on with the help of a sexual abuse defense attorney if you reply swiftly and properly. You may guarantee that you proceed through the legal procedure as soon as possible by taking the following steps ahead of time:

  • Engage the services of a sexual abuse defense attorney who has handled cases similar to yours.
  • A polygraph or psychological examination may be recommended by your attorney.
  • Write down your version of events, using as much information as you can.
  • Make a list of witnesses who can attest to what happened during the alleged abuse.
  • Provide no information to police enforcement that might be used against you.

If you have been wrongfully accused of sexual abuse, you should consult with a qualified sexual abuse defense attorney to ensure that your case is taken seriously. If you don’t, you risk getting charged with a crime you didn’t commit. If you are convicted of sexual abuse, the penalties might be severe, including jail, difficulties finding work in the future, becoming a registered sex offender, limits on where you can reside, and much more.

If you’ve been accused of sexual abuse, it’s probably time to speak with an attorney. Having legal representation can help you deal with the charges you’re facing head-on.

The Law Office of Annie Scott Can Protect Your Freedom and Your Future

Even if you have a good reputation in the community, have proof to establish your innocence, or feel the claims are unfounded and will be dropped shortly, it is critical to obtain legal assistance as quickly as possible if you have been accused of sexual abuse. Even people who have been wrongfully charged should have legal counsel to guarantee that their rights are preserved throughout the court process. Get the services of a competent sexual abuse defense attorney in Texas. Call the Law Office of Annie Scott  in Sugar Land and Katy. 

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