Fighting your Sexual Assault Allegation

Facing a sexual assault accusation is a life-altering ordeal. It is natural to feel scared, confused, and overwhelmed. If convicted, you could end up in prison and be forced to register as a sex offender for life. Now is the time to be proactive and ensure your freedom and reputation are protected. Do not talk to anyone about these allegations, especially the police or your accuser. Trying to “explain” what happened will only make your situation worse. Anyone other than your lawyer could end up being a potential witness against you.

When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience to work for you so that we can develop the most effective defense specific to your allegations. We will investigate all facets of your case, gather all the evidence, make sure you fully understand what you are facing, and together we will establish the strongest defense for you. Call us at 214-741-4000 for immediate help.

What is Sexual Assault?

The Texas Penal Code contains three main statutes that apply to sexual assault charges. These statutes are Sexual Assault of an Adult or Child (22.011), Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child (21.02), and Aggravated Sexual Assault of an Adult or Child (22.021). The penalties differ given the offense a person is charged with coupled with the underlying allegations. Regardless of the charge or allegation, reaching out to my office puts you in the best position to fight the charge.

According to the statute, sexual assault of an adult or child happens when a person intentionally or knowingly and without consent:

  • Penetrates another person’s anus/sexual organ;
  • Penetrates  another’s mouth by their sexual organ;
  • Causes another person’s sexual organ to contact/penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person. This could include the actor.

The same definitions apply to children, although consent does not apply to these situations. 

Continuous sexual assault of a child is another sexual assault crime that a person might face. Sexual contact with a minor under 17 years of age could result in a charge for this crime. Continuous sexual assault of a child occurs if:

  • A person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse in a 30 day period. This is the case regardless of how many victims there are, and;
  • At the time of the acts, the actor is 17 years of age or older and the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age. This is the case whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense or not.

Finally, there is aggravated sexual assault of an adult or child. This happens:

A. If the person intentionally or knowingly, and without consent:

  • Penetrates another person’s anus or sexual organ;
  • Penetrates another person’s mouth with their sexual organ; or
  • Causes a person’s sexual organ to come into contact with or be penetrated by the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or

B. Regardless of if the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, intentionally or knowingly:

  • Penetrates a child’s anus/sexual organ by any means;
  • Penetrates a child’s mouth with their sexual organ;
  • Causes a child’s sexual organ to contact/penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
  • Causes a child’s anus to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
  • Causes a child’s mouth to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; and if the person:
  • Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of committing this crime;
  • Places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will happen to any person;
  • Threatens to cause any person to become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
  • Uses or shows a deadly weapon in the course of committing the crime;
  • Acts with another person who engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the crime; or
  • Administers/provides any substance capable of impairing the victim’s ability to resist the act;

C. The victim is younger than 14 years of age. This is the case whether the person knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense or not; or

D. The victim is an elderly individual or a disabled individual.

How a Plano Sexual Assault Attorney Will Defend You

We will explore all of the defense options available to establish the right one for your case. Here are a few common defense options that we can begin investigating: 

  • Consent
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Lying/False Allegations
  • Reasonable Doubt

Consent

Consent is always an issue when adults are accused of sexual assault. What starts out as a consensual encounter ends up with one person having regrets the next day. Instead of being an adult about the decision they made (and regret) they will allege foul play and that they were sexually assaulted. Regretting a decision is different then being compelled to participate in a sexual act.

When consent is an issue, you must understand how the law views consent. Sexual acts that take place under threat, through physical force, through violence, or through coercion are nonconsensual acts. In addition, if a person is unable to resist, unconscious, or has a mental condition that prevents them from understanding or resisting what is happening, they cannot consent to sex. This is oftentimes the case in the event that someone was drugged. If a person is in an impaired state, they cannot consent to sexual acts. A person who has “drunk sex” and has regrets the next day could claim they did not consent, when the night before they were a willing participant to the sexual encounter.

Depending on the relationship between the parties involved in the sexual act, consent may not be possible. This is the case if:

  • The actor is a clergyman and the other party is seeking spiritual guidance.
  • The actor is a mental health service provider and the other party is a patient or former patient. 
  • The actor works at a facility where the other party is a resident, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center.

Mistaken Identity

It is common for people to say, “I didn’t do it.” If you factually did not, what else can you say? People have been wrongly accused for decades. There is a consistent narrative by the news media that people are being freed from jail for crimes they were convicted of but did not commit. At times it is easier for people to just blame someone versus trying to identify the actual offender.

Lying/False Allegations

It is well documented that unfortunately, people do lie about being sexually assaulted. It is baffling at times to learn how devious accusers can be. We have seen girls lie about being assaulted when their father finds out they had sex out of fear of punishment. A recent example of this is the woman who accused the Duke lacrosse team of rape. The accusations impacted the lives of so many young men only to come out later to declare that she lied. 

Reasonable Doubt

When the evidence just does not add up or match what the person is claiming – at times the accusations just don’t make sense or are coupled with evidence that raises doubt about your guilt or innocence. Doubt is what will set you free.

Consequences of Sexual Assault

There are many consequences when charged with a sexual assault crime. Keep in mind that the consequences you face will depend on the charge against you. If the charges are sexual assault of an adult or child charge, you could face:

  • A prison sentence of 2-20 years.
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
  • Probation for 2-10 years.
  • Registration as a sex offender.

Continuous sexual abuse of a child carries the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of life without parole. 
  • Registration on the sex offender list for life if released from prison.

Aggravated sexual assault of an adult or child penalties include:

  • A  prison sentence of 5-99 years.
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
  • Registration as a sex offender.

Additional penalties and inconveniences include:

  • Restrictions on where you can live. 
  • Restrictions on where you can work.
  • Ineligibility for financial aid. 
  • Difficulty keeping or obtaining certain professional licenses. You can potentially be barred altogether from obtaining certain licenses. 
  • Your right to own firearms may be stripped.
  • Loss of visitation or custody of your children. 
  • Ineligibility for citizenship. 

Our Main Goal Is Protecting Your Freedom

When you are charged with sexual assault, you need my firm on your side. There are many things we see clients do wrong because they waited too long to hire us. From the onset, we will make sure you do not do anything that could jeopardize your case. When you put The Wilder Law Firm in your corner, we will make sure you know what needs to be done so we can develop the most effective defense to protect you and your future. Call us now at 214-741-4000 so we can start defending you today.

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We are passionate and determined about what we do, and we fight for our clients. If you’ve found yourself or a loved one in trouble, don’t give up hope. We have a criminal defense attorney who can help.

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