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Sexual Performance by Child

Sexual Performance Child

Understanding Sexual Performance by a Child in Texas

If you have been accused of this sex crime against a child, it is important to understand the gravity of the situation and take aggressive action to defend yourself. When it comes to offenses of “sex abuse,” those involving children are some of the most difficult crimes to defend, which is especially true if you are facing accusations or charges of sexual performance by a child.

The Sexual Performance of a Child, unlike most other types of “child sex abuse” in Texas law, is considered an “Offenses Against Public Order and Decency” and defined under Texas Penal Code § 43.25. It is illegal for anyone to “engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance” with a child, including anyone who participates in the act, as well as any person who films, photographs, or records the act. The law in Texas distinguishes between two types of sexual performance that are prohibited under Subsections 43.25 (b) and (d):

(b) A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content thereof, he employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance. A parent or legal guardian or custodian of a child younger than 18 years of age commits an offense if he consents to the participation by the child in a sexual performance.

(d) A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content of the material, he produces, directs, or promotes a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age.

For someone to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must show that the defendant committed an act defined by the law as “sexual conduct.” This can be done by showing that the defendant had sexual contact with the child, exposed themselves to the child, or caused the child to view their genitals.

Penalties for Sexual Performance by a Child

Penalties for sexual performance by a child vary depending on the age of the child involved. If the child is under 14 years old, the penalty is a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. If the child is 14 years old or older, but younger than 18 years old, the penalty is a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

It is important to note that these penalties are maximum sentences. The court has discretion to impose a less severe sentence. And your best chance of securing a “reduced” sentence or best possible outcomes depends on the criminal sex lawyers you retain to fight for you in court. 

Retaining Counsel – The Benefits of Criminal Defense Specialists

There are several possible defenses to charges of sexual performance by a child. One common defense is that the defendant did not know that the person involved was underage. Another common defense is that the defendant was not the one who engaged in sexual contact with the child – they may have been merely present when it happened, or they may have been falsely accused.

Any Texas attorney can attempt to become a “certified specialist” in an area of Texas law. However, due to exceptionally high standards for certification in criminal law, the Texas State Board of Legal Specialization currently counts only 771 lawyers who have demonstrated the expert knowledge needed to become certified. In addition to being a board-certified criminal lawyer for over 20 years, Plano defense Attorney Heather Barbieri is a 10-time Super Lawyer, as voted by her peers, and recipient of the prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2015, awarded by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association for an impressive number of consecutive Not Guilty verdicts in complex sex offense cases. 

The Most Experienced Attorney for Your Case

Led by a widely recognized expert sex offense lawyer, Barbieri Law Firm focuses exclusively on criminal defense – and has proven track record of securing dismissals, acquittals, or reduced charges for clients facing all types of serious sex crimes in North Texas. 

If you are facing charges of sexual performance by a child, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Our team of Plano lawyers are prepared to help you explore your options and build a strong defense against these serious charges.

 

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