Sex crimes, especially those involving violence, are amongst the most serious offenses in the State of Texas. Such crimes are prosecuted swiftly, and a conviction can result in heavy punishment that will completely alter your life. If you are facing charges for any type of sex crime, or are simply under investigation with regard to a suspected sex crime, it is absolutely crucial that you contact a trusted attorney right away. Your freedom and future depend on the outcome of your case.
Attorney Ned Barnett has represented many individuals facing sex crime charges in Houston and the State of Texas. With over 25 years of experience—including time serving as a federal prosecutor—Mr. Barnett possesses the experience and education in criminal defense that is necessary to effectively defend his clients against these serious charges. He is available to provide representation in sex crime cases that involve, but are not limited to, the following:
Aggravated Sexual Assault
According to §22.021 of the Texas Penal Code, it is a criminal offense to use or threaten to use force, fear, violence to sexually penetrate a child younger than 14 years of age, regardless of whether it is penetration of a sexual organ, mouth or anus. Penalties include a minimum of 25 years of incarceration. Read more about aggravated sexual assault.
A crime defined by the physical, sexual, mental or emotional abuse of a minor, child abuse is a similar criminal offense. Those who are convicted face criminal penalties that include incarceration, monetary fines, court-ordered counseling and community service. Beyond that, many are required to register as a sex offender for life. Read more about child abuse.
While pornography charges are serious enough, they are even more serious if the charges occur as a result of the depiction of a minor. No matter if you were criminally charged for the possession, production, promotion or distribution of child pornography, the State of Texas will aggressively prosecute these charges. Read more about child pornography.
Continuous Sexual Abuse
According to §21.02 of the Texas Penal Code, continuous sexual abuse of a child occurs when an individual 17 years of age or older sexually abuses singular or multiple victims under the age of 14 on two or more occasions for over a month. Crimes of this nature are serious and could result in penalties that involve imprisonment for life. Read more about continuous sexual abuse.
Have you been charged with a sex-related crime? Unfortunately, even if you are completely presumed innocent, the mere accusation can be damaging to your reputation and can greatly effect your personal and professional life. If you have fallen victim to a false accusation of a sex crime, it is imperative that you contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately. Defense attorney Ned Barnett recognizes the delicate nature of these cases, and will do everything he can to help you protect your rights. Read more about false accusations.
Indecency with a Child
Per §21.11 of the Texas Penal Code, a crime of indecency with a child occurs anytime an individual commits a sexual offense, engages in sexual conduct, initiates sexual contact or causes a minor to expose a private area such as genitals, breasts or anus. Read more about indecency with a child.
The criminal act of exposing your private areas in public— either for sexual gratification or just to shock another— is a class B misdemeanor that can carry with it punishments that include up to 180 days of incarceration, a $2,000 fine, counseling, community service and even the possibility of sex offender registration. Read more about indecent exposure.
Internet Sex Crime
Sex crimes that are committed on the internet are taken extremely seriously by prosecutors in the State of Texas who take extensive measures to find and prosecute offenders. From the online solicitation of a minor to crimes involving child pornography, these serious charges can have serious outcomes—including life-altering criminal penalties. Read more about internet sex crimes.
Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
One of the most difficult penalties to deal with in regards to sex-related crimes is the possibility of mandatory sex offender registration. This means that private information such as your criminal history, professional licenses and even probation terms will all be made public, which can make it nearly impossible to move forward into the next chapter of your life. Read more about mandatory sex offender registration.
As the crime of molestation has received increased media coverage in recent years, so has the social stigma surrounding the crime. Not only are the penalties for molestation extremely strict, even an accusation of the charge can be enough to cause widespread damage in your personal and professional life if not handled correctly by a qualified and dedicated attorney. Read more about molestation.
Online Solicitation of a Minor
Solicitation is a sexual invitation, request or command. Under Texas law, there is not a requirement of follow through action. On the internet, soliciting a minor has become a hot topic for many and is taken extremely seriously by the State of Texas. In recent years, this has led to many sting operations by police posing as minors to catch alleged predators online. Read more about the online solicitation of a minor.
Engaging in a sexual act of any kind in a public place is an act of public lewdness. This could mean any sexual contact between consenting adults in a public restroom, a theater, park, bar or any other public area. It can even be as little as something that is deemed to be sexual touching. Read more about public lewdness.
It is a criminal act to perform sexual favors in return for personal gain. In Texas, it is a crime to both be the person committing the sexual act or the person who is paying. This also includes several other crimes that are often charged together, including trespassing, pandering and loitering. Typically, police will set up sting operations in an attempt to persecute alleged criminals, which can result in immediate arrests. Read more about prostitution.
One of the most serious types of crimes involves forced sexual acts. No matter whether it is classified as date rape, spousal rape or statutory rape, the law looks harshly upon all of these charges. For those who are facing charges of rape, it is important to keep in mind that while presumed innocent until proven guilty, that you will be facing an uphill battle and a heavy social stigma. Read more about rape.
Sex with a Minor
Often referred to as statutory rape, having sex with a minor under the legal consenting age of 17 is considered to be a serious criminal offense. There is, however, the three-year rule which means that should the two individuals be consenting and within three years of one another (the youngest older than 14), the older cannot be criminally charged. If, however, the younger individual is younger than 14, it is considered to be a first degree felony. Read more about sex with a minor.
With serious criminal penalties, criminal charges relating to the sexual abuse of a child bring with them relentless prosecution and life-altering consequences. Unfortunately, there have been many false accusations of sexual abuse during a divorce in an attempt to get the upper hand in child custody proceedings. Read more about sexual abuse.
The criminal act of sexual assault involves the use of violence, or even the threat of violence in order to commit a sexual act against a non-consenting individual. A sexual assault conviction may result in a prison charge of five years to life, a fine of up to $10,000, psychological treatment and sex offender registration. Read more about sexual assault.
Should you be criminally charged for attempting to exchange money or property for sexual favors, you will be charged with solicitation. Solicitation is commonly tied in with prostitution and is often arrested in conjunction with a sting operation when law enforcement officers pose as prostitutes. Although technically a victimless crime, the stigma and penalties for this crime are extremely harsh. Read more about solicitation.
Solicitation of a Minor
While solicitation on its own is a serious crime, it is never more serious than when it involves a minor. Typically, this happens online through email, chat rooms or other social networking sites; however, it can happen in person or over the phone. False accusations may happen if someone misconstrues a conversation or should you approach a child at school, a mall or another public area, such as a park. Read more about the solicitation of a minor.
Many people assume that an accusation of rape can only occur if both the aggressor and the victim were strangers. However, a marital partner, ex-spouse or long-term partner can be charged with spousal rape. A conviction of spousal rape can result in imprisonment, fines, restitution and mandatory sex offender registry. Spousal rape can cause serious personal and professional damage, and may be used against you in divorce proceedings. Read more about spousal rape.
Super Aggravated Sexual Assault
Super aggravated sexual assault occurs when sexual assault is committed against a minor under the age of six, or when committed against someone younger than fourteen years of age who has been administered drugs, seriously injured or made to fear their life during the commission of the crime. This serious offense carries with it a penalty of 25 years to life without the possibility of parole. Read more about super aggravated sexual assault.
Being connected to a sex crime in any way can have life-long consequences for an individual, even if that connection comes only in the form of a preliminary investigation. One can see their personal and professional severely impacted, to the extent that the damage cannot be reversed. If you are to have a strong chance of avoiding such consequences, it is imperative that you seek professional legal help from a qualified attorney, who can strive to possibly clear your name of any and all wrongdoing.
If you have been charged with any of the above crimes or another sex-related offense, you should seek the involvement of an aggressive lawyer you can trust to fully protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett if you have been linked with a sex crime, whether through an investigation or a formal charging, and we will devise a legal strategy that will increase the likelihood of a positive resolution.
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