Along with a possible criminal record, allegations of sexual misconduct come with a social stigma that one cannot easily erase. If you are the focus of an investigation or are already charged, you might require the help of a criminal defense attorney who has years of experience defending these claims. Retaining a tenacious Frisco sex crimes lawyer may be your best bet to preserve your rights, freedom, and reputation.
What Qualifies as Sexual Misconduct?
Unlawful conduct that amounts to sexual offenses is described in Texas Penal Code Annotated §21.01. Such transgressions range from indecent exposure to sexual assault. Behaviors commonly charged as sex crimes include:
- Public lewdness
- Child pornography
- Inappropriate contact with minors
- Sexual abuse
Such allegations—proven or not—can significantly alter a person’s life. Fortunately, dedicated attorneys in Frisco familiar with sex crime law have the skillset to represent defendants at all stages of the process, from police investigations through trial, if necessary.
Penalties Associated with Sex Crimes in Frisco
Sex crimes can be considered misdemeanors or felonies. The statutory sections discussing each discrete offense assigns a classification depending on the behavior and parties involved in the act.
Tex. Penal Code Ann. §§ 12.21 through 12.23 breaks misdemeanors down into three classes, assigning each with differing punishments:
- Class A: fines not to exceed $4000 and a maximum of one year in jail
- Class B: fines not to exceed $2000 and jail time up to 180 days
- Class C: fines not to exceed $500
Similarly, there are four levels to felony charges. The maximum fine for any felony sex crime is $10,000, but §§ 12.32 through 12.35 vary the incarceration times by level:
- First-degree: five years to life
- Second-degree: two to 20 years
- Third-degree: two to 10 years
- State jail felony:180 days to two years
Given the severity of possible penalties, it is wise to work with practiced counsel. Frisco attorneys understand the magnitude of sexual misconduct accusations and have the fortitude to devise comprehensive defense strategies addressing the adverse consequences of such charges.
The Long-term Consequences of a Sex Offense Record
Criminal records often interfere with a individuals’ abilities to move on with their life after completing their sentence. However, sexual misconduct convictions bring an added layer of complexity because perpetrators must register as sex offenders with the state. Depending on the crime, individuals can remain on the list anywhere from 10 years after completing their sentence to life.
Publicly available information contained in the registry includes an individual’s photo and their current address. The law requires former offenders to keep their address and whereabouts up to date and imposes stiff penalties for noncompliance.
If ten-year registrants fail to comply, they face new state jail felony charges, which exposes them to jail terms of 180 days to two years and fines of $10,000 or less. Additionally, those with life sentences who ignore requirements expose themselves to second or third-degree felony charges punishable by imprisonment of two to 20 years and maximum fines of $10,000.
Protect Your Future by Retaining a Frisco Sex Crimes Attorney
Accusations of sexual misconduct can affect every aspect of your life, including professional and personal relationships. A committed Frisco sex crimes lawyer understands the gravity of your situation and your need for assistance. Take the first step in vigorously defending yourself by calling today for a private consultation.