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denton county criminal defense lawyerIn Texas, sexual assault is a grave offense. Furthermore, to be convicted of such an act can be altogether life-shattering. The public view sexual assault as a crime where the accused must be swiftly and aggressively brought to justice. It is the type of crime where, even if the accused is found not guilty, their life may still be ruined for having been associated with such a crime. If you were charged with sexual assault, hiring a criminal defense attorney to defend your rights is imperative.

What Constitutes Sexual Assault?

According to RAINN, every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. An individual can be charged with sexual assault when accused of sexual activity with another person without that person's consent. There are many variables at play in the case of sexual assault. These variables can have a significant impact on the severity of the charge. For example, some variables include the alleged victim's age and whether the accused allegedly used or threatened to use force.

What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Texas?

The penalties for sexual assault in Texas are incredibly severe and, in an instant, can completely ruin your life. Penalties include:

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Denton County criminal defense lawyerCriminal charges should always be taken seriously. Even a "minor" offense can result in multiple types of penalties, and it may leave a person with a criminal record that will follow them for years or even the rest of their life. However, certain types of offenses are especially serious, and a conviction could result in significant jail time, as well as massive fines and permanent damage to a person's reputation.

Violent crimes, which involve causing bodily harm to another person, are often a top priority for law enforcement, and they include assault and robbery. Anyone accused of these offenses will want to work with a criminal defense attorney to determine their best options.

Criminal Convictions for Violent Offenses Resulting in Injury

Because violent crimes involve harm to others, those who are accused of these offenses will often face felony charges, which typically carry a minimum prison sentence of one year. The different types of violent crimes that may be charged when a person injures or harms someone else include:

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Denton County sex crimes attorneyThere are a variety of situations where a person may be accused of committing sex crimes. One of the most common offenses that falls under this category is sexual assault. This charge may apply if a person is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent. However, consent is not always easy to understand, and situations may arise in which a person accused of sexual assault may have believed that consent had been given, but the alleged victim may disagree. By understanding how the laws in Texas address consent, people accused of sexual assault or other sexual offenses can determine their legal options.

When Is Sexual Activity Considered to Be Non-Consensual?

The Texas Penal Code outlines a number of different instances in which sexual activity may be considered to be without consent and constitute sexual assault. Most people would recognize that when physical force is used, this involves a clear lack of consent and constitutes sexual assault. However, other methods of compelling a person to engage in sexual intercourse may also be used, such as threats to injure the victim or someone else or other forms of coercion.

Other situations involving a lack of consent may include cases where a person is physically unable to resist or is unaware that sexual activity is occurring. These cases often involve intoxication due to the use of alcohol or drugs. In some cases, a person may be accused of intentionally causing the alleged victim to become intoxicated, such as through the use of “date rape” drugs. If the alleged victim did not explicitly consent to engage in sexual activity, any sexual acts performed while they were unconscious or intoxicated may be considered sexual assault.

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Denton County criminal defense attorneyUnder Texas law, assault is defined in Texas law as intentionally or recklessly causing or threatening harm to or offensive contact with another person. The terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably. In some states, the offense of “battery” refers to conduct that results in actual bodily injury, but Texas does not recognize battery as an offense separate from assault. Instead, the offense of assault encompasses most behaviors that constitute battery in other jurisdictions.

A person can be charged with assault even if they do not hurt the other person. Verbal threats, threatening gestures, or contact that is offensive, such as poking someone in the chest or shoving him or her backward, may lead to assault charges. As such, many people find themselves facing assault charges because they got into a heated argument with a family member or friend. Bar fights or altercations in public can also lead to assault charges. If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you build a strong defense to fight the charges.

Acting in Self Defense in Texas

People have the right to defend themselves against those who mean them harm. Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves in handcuffs for simply trying to protect themselves. According to the Texas Penal Code, an individual is justified in using force against another if he or she reasonably believes that the force is needed for protection. However, the force must be reasonable considering the circumstances.

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Denton criminal defense attorneyIt has been a fun night out enjoying some drinks with friends at a local bar. You make the right decision and decide not to drive home, fearing you would be driving while intoxicated. But can you still be arrested for public intoxication when you are walking down the street? It is important to know your rights and when you may be committing an offense. If you have been arrested for public intoxication, an experienced defense attorney can fight this permanent mark on your record.

When Is Being Drunk in Public a Crime?

Under Texas’ public intoxication laws, it is illegal to be intoxicated in public when you may be a danger to yourself or the people around you. If you are walking home, not falling over, and not trying to pick a fight with passersby, then you are not breaking the law. This includes your actions in places considered to be public, such as bars, parks, restaurants, and hospitals.

If you do cross the line and your drunken behavior attracts the attention of law enforcement, you may be charged with public intoxication, which is a Class C misdemeanor. The penalty is a fine of up to $500, but it does not carry any jail time. However, this is still not a charge that anyone wants on their criminal record for the rest of their life. Also, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if you have more than two public intoxication convictions, risking a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

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