The Texas Penal Code differentiates between unlawful sexual intercourse and unlawful sexual contact by defining the former as sexual assault and the latter as indecent assault—or more commonly known as sexual battery. While the latter offense is substantially less severe than the former in terms of criminal sanctions that may be imposed after a conviction, it is still a very serious charge that can have negative effects on your future if you are found guilty.
Working with a knowledgeable Frisco sexual battery lawyer could be crucial to understanding and effectively fighting back against an allegation of this nature. In addition to advocating for your rights and representing your best interests in court, a dedicated defense attorney at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. could help you manage the impact an accusation like this might have on your public and private life outside of court.
How State Courts Prosecute Sexual Battery
The term “sexual battery” does not appear verbatim anywhere in the Texas Penal Code, but it is generally understood to mean sexual activity that does not involve penetrative or oral intercourse with a person who does not consent to the interaction. For someone to be convicted for an offense that qualifies as sexual battery, the perpetrator must have intended to engage in and complete a sexual act despite the lack of consent from the other involved party. Even if the sexual act is not completed, a person can still be convicted upon the mere attempt.
This type of offense is generally prosecuted under Texas Penal Code §22.012, which defines indecent assault as any of the following actions performed with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify any person and without the targeted individual’s consent:
- Touching the non-consenting party’s genitals, breasts, or anus
- Touching the non-consenting party with someone else’s genitals, breasts, or anus
- Exposing or attempting to expose the non-consenting party’s intimate areas
- Causing the non-consenting party to come into physical contact with another person’s bodily fluids or feces
Any penetrative or oral intercourse occurring under the circumstances noted above would constitute felony sexual assault. Furthermore, any offense that would otherwise constitute indecent assault that is committed against someone under 17 may be prosecuted as indecency with a child, as a Frisco sexual battery attorney could further explain.
Possible Sanctions for Sexual Battery in Frisco
Violating TX Pen. Code §22.012 is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which means sanctions upon conviction could include up to one year of jail time as well as $4,000 maximum in fines. Notably, indecent assault is not presently listed as a sex offense requiring registration with the state of Texas as a sex offender.
However, multiple convictions for the same offense could result in progressively more severe criminal sanctions, and any conduct that meets the criteria for indecent assault and any other offense under the Texas Penal Code simultaneously may be prosecuted under either or both applicable statutes at once. Working with a seasoned sexual battery lawyer in Frisco could be even more crucial to defending your rights in this kind of scenario.
Get in Touch with a Frisco Sexual Battery Attorney Today
Sexual battery is a serious criminal offense that can carry substantial legal and personal repercussions in Texas. If you are facing accusations of this type of conduct, retaining private legal counsel quickly may give you the best chance of defending your future prospects and freedom.
A well-practiced Frisco sexual battery lawyer at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. could discuss defense options and explain ensuing legal procedures during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.