Sex Crimes Penalties
Law enforcement, prosecutors and courts in Texas consider sex crimes as serious violations of the law. The criminal laws authorize judges to impose long periods of prison confinement and high fines when sentencing individuals who are convicted or plead guilty. Another consequence of a conviction that can negatively affect a person’s life long after the sentence has been served is the Texas sex offender registration law.
Houston Sex Offender Consequences
Houston defense attorneys must be acquainted with a number of different crimes that fall into the broad category of sex offenses for which a person can be punished. Sex offenses under the Texas Penal Code include:
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Online solicitation of a child
- Child molestation
- Prostitution or solicitation
The mere accusation of sexual assault or of a sex offense where the alleged victim is a child can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. Conviction can restrict where an offender can live, work or with whom the person can associate.
Sex Offender Penalties in Texas
Sexual assault includes rape and sexual contact without intercourse. Sexual assault is felony of the second degree punishable by a minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum of 20 years. The use of a weapon, threats of death or if the victim is elderly or a child can elevate the crime to aggravated sexual assault as a felony of the first degree with a sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years in prison.
Crimes involving children as victims involve harsher penalties than do other crimes. For example, child molestation is a felony of the second degree punishable by incarceration in state prison for up to 20 years. Sexual assault involving a child less than six years of age is an aggravated sexual assault punishable by a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 99 years or life without the right to an early release on parole.
Additional Sex Offender Penalties
Conviction of a sex crime can result in a requirement that the offender register as a sex offender. This information is added to a state operated data base that is available to the public. Sex offenders are restricted from living within specified distances of schools, parks and playgrounds.