Is there an effective defense strategy against a Texas sex offense charge?

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Answered by: R. Todd Bennett

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The importance of knowledgeable, experienced and assertive legal counsel in a sex offense case cannot be overstated. The penalties for sex offenses, even misdemeanors, can be daunting. Lengthy prison sentences are only one aspect of the harsh reality that comes with a conviction. In many instances, a person who is convicted of a sex crime must register annually as a sex offender with local law enforcement, often for life. 

Types Of Sex Crimes 

A main category that falls within sex offense charges is sexual assault of an adult or a child. This can either be a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony depending upon the age of the victim, whether injuries result or whether weapons are involved.

Another category of sexual offense is indecency with a child, which can be indecency by contact or indecency through exposure.

An area of sexual offense that is increasingly prosecuted is online solicitation of a minor. Police task forces are going undercover to entice people into engaging in sexually explicit dialog with someone who presents himself or herself to be a child. 

Keys To An Effective Defense 

Every sex crime case is different, but the core of a successful defense is the same: preparation and hard work. Your defense lawyer must be a master of the facts and understand the legal principles involved. Understanding witness motivation is vital.

A majority of sex offense charges involve people who know each other. Accusations can arise out of a divorce and a custody dispute or other conflict between two people who have a history together. It is vital for a defense lawyer to understand that history and the dynamics at play which may explain motivations of witnesses. When you dig deeper into these cases, cracks in the accusations often are revealed and you have fertile ground for a successful defense. 

Law Enforcement Errors 

Once an accusation of sexual assault or other sex offense is made, that allegation takes on a life of its own. Those who work in child protective services and on sexual assault task forces deal with these crimes regularly. It’s normal for humans to get jaded and start to see every case as the same.

Sometimes, well-meaning professionals can get sloppy. In an effort to do the right thing, they cast their net too wide. Often, the smallest details are the most important. A criminal defense attorney with experience in these cases who is willing to put in the time and effort to understand the entirety of the case can produce a successful defense.

The stigma associated with a sex offense charge is lifelong. Anybody who finds themselves looking at this type of situation needs to understand that. The charge alone can be a life-changer, and they need to treat it as such. Be careful and deliberate about who will stand between you and the government at this crucial time of your life.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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