There are a number of crimes that could be described as indecency with a child. However, this isn’t just a descriptive phrase but is a type of crime in and of itself. It is also a multifaceted crime, in that you could be charged with it in multiple circumstances.

Being charged with a crime against a child is a serious deal. The charge alone can have a grave impact on your quality of life or on how the people around you view you. It’s important to understand how indecency with a child works so that you can properly defend yourself against such a charge by working with an experienced attorney.

What Constitutes as Indecency With a Child?

You could find yourself charged with indecency with a child for two reasons, each of which implies untoward sexual advances. However, there does not have to be an explicit sexual goal. For example, cleaning a child’s genitals is a part of parenting when you have a small child but this same action could be seen as indecency with a child depending on the observer.

Indecency with a child constitutes:

  • Engaging in Non-Penetrative Sexual Contact: This occurs when an adult engages with somebody under the age of 17 by touching their genitals, breasts, or anus. It doesn’t matter if the touching was above or below the clothes. It does need to be shown that the touching was sexual in nature, so defense is often predicated on the nature of the touching in general. The example listed above is one way in which an individual could be charged in this manner despite not being guilty of the crime itself.
  • Exposing Sexual Body Parts: The other way of being charged with indecency with a child is to expose the genitals, breasts, or anus of a child or to expose those parts of yourself to a child. This is again with the goal of sexual arousal; this means, for example, that parents bathing with their children wouldn’t be guilty of this but that action could still lead to an accusation and a charge of indecency with a child.

Texas places harsh penalties on sexual crimes committed against children. Indecency with children through sexual contact is a second-degree felony offense that could see you fined up to $10,000 and facing up to 20 years in prison. Exposure is a third-degree felony; the fine is the same but you only face up to 10 years in prison. Either would require you to register as a sex offender.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged With Indecency With a Child?

The best thing to do is to reach out to Wilder Law Firm to learn more about how one of our experienced attorneys can help defend you against these charges. It’s always best to act fast so you can maximize the time available for investigation and evidence gathering so your attorney has a chance to craft the best defense possible. Reach out to us today to learn more.