Few types of criminal accusations are more immediately devastating to your personal and professional reputation than those involving the alleged sexual mistreatment of a child. However, the strong reaction that this kind of offense may provoke among the general public does not dismiss your legal right to a fair trial and to defend yourself in court.
With guidance from a sex crimes defense attorney experienced with handling charges of this complex and sensitive nature, you could substantially boost your chances of securing the most positive result possible for your specific case. No matter what particular charges you are facing, seeking help from a Frisco child molestation lawyer should be your top priority after learning of allegations against you.
How State Law Prosecutes Child Molestation
There is no blanket statute established in the Texas Penal Code that covers all forms of alleged child molestation. Instead, prosecutors may pursue charges against a person under one or more different statutes depending on what specific kind of unlawful behavior allegedly occurred.
For example, Texas Penal Code §21.11 defines “indecency with a child” as any of the following:
- Someone engaging in sexual contact with someone under 17 years old
- An individual causing a child under 17 to engage in sexual contact
- A person exposing their own intimate areas knowing a person under 17 is present or causes a child of such age to expose themselves in that manner
The first two actions are second-degree felonies, while the latter is considered a third-degree felony.
Conversely, someone who intentionally or knowingly engages in oral or penetrative sexual intercourse with a person under 17—regardless of whether they are aware of the child’s age—has committed sexual assault as defined by TX Pen. Code §22.011(a)(2), a second-degree felony. Finally, as a Frisco child molestation attorney could explain in more detail, any such intercourse with a child under 14 is classified as aggravated sexual assault and is a first-degree felony offense.
What Is Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child?
The most serious type of child molestation offense codified under state law is continuous sexual abuse of a child as defined under TX Pen. Code §21.02. This crime occurs if someone commits two or more sexual offenses against a child under 14 separated by at least 30 days.
Continuous sexual abuse of a child—and aggravated sexual assault of a child under 6, or of a child under 14 accompanied by the infliction or threat of serious injury—is classified as a first-degree felony, but it carries a harsher mandatory minimum prison term of 25 years with a possible lifetime sentence. Considering this, it is essential for anyone accused of molesting a child in Frisco on more than one occasion to seek immediate representation from a lawyer with a track record of successfully contesting charges of this nature.
Speak with a Frisco Child Molestation Attorney About Legal Options
Being accused of sexually molesting a child is a life-changing ordeal regardless of how any ensuing criminal case plays out. Working to mitigate the potential criminal sanctions an offense of this magnitude may result in, while also minimizing the effects this accusation has on your life outside of court, can be a virtually impossible task to manage alone.
Fortunately, help is available from start to finish of your legal proceedings when you retain a committed Frisco child molestation lawyer. Call Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. today to start building your defense.