Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in San Antonio, Texas, it may be the most terrifying moment of your life. Even a mere rumor can cause you to lose everything: your job, reputation, professional license, and even your family. Penalties upon conviction are equally damaging: high fines, years of incarceration, and registration in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry database.
Don’t face sex crime allegations alone. The San Antonio sex crimes lawyers at Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC will review your case and aggressively defend you against the charges. We have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with crimes like sexual assault, statutory rape, child pornography, and online solicitation of a minor. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.
Protecting Your Rights When Accused of a Sex Crime
If you are facing sex crime charges, Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC is here to defend your constitutional rights. Such matters are sensitive, and defending a client against them is not easy. However, our San Antonio sex crimes lawyers have decades of combined experience and are widely recognized as leaders in Texas criminal law. We have the resources, dedication, and determination to see your case through to the best possible result—no matter the circumstances or odds.
A sexual assault occurs when a person engages in sexual contact or sexual intercourse without their consent. Although it is often associated with rape, this offense category can include several different forms of crime. Among them are:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault: Under Texas Penal Code 22.021, you can be charged with this crime if you commit a sexual assault offense that involves physical violence, threats of bodily injury, coercion, and/or a victim who is elderly, disabled, or under the age of 14.
- Date Rape: Texas law defines date rape as non-consensual sexual contact with a friend or acquaintance, which is why it is also sometimes referred to as acquaintance rape.
- Campus Sexual Assault: Campus sexual assault, including rape, occurs at higher learning institutions, such as colleges and universities.
A person facing these types of allegations needs aggressive legal representation from a San Antonio sex crimes attorney.
Solicitation of a Minor
Solicitation of a minor occurs when someone knowingly encourages or tries to induce a minor under 17 to commit or participate in what is known as a ‘3g offense.’ These crimes are so named because they were previously listed in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12(3)(g). Crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault fall under this category.
You can still be charged with this offense even if the minor you allegedly solicited was found not criminally responsible or acquitted at trial, so get a confidential consultation from a criminal defense attorney who knows how to protect your rights during sex crime investigations.
Online Solicitation of a Minor
The crime of online solicitation of a minor makes it illegal to knowingly and deliberately communicate sexual content to minors online, or try to induce or “solicit” a minor to perform a sexual act. Both federal and state laws prohibit the online solicitation of minors. Police personnel often impersonate minors in chat rooms and on social networking sites in order to find and engage sexual predators.
Sexually explicit online communication, whether by chat room, email, or instant messaging, could lead to a solicitation charge. If you have been arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor, it is vital that you engage in an aggressive and thorough criminal defense.
Internet Sex Crimes
In essence, Internet sex crimes refer to any type of behavior defined as a crime under state or federal law involving sexual behavior or conduct online. Common examples include online solicitation of a minor, child pornography offenses, and sexual exploitation of minors.
Since many of these crimes are prosecuted at the federal level, the outcome can be life-changing. You could face a minimum of 15 – 30 years in federal prison. When you suspect that you are the subject of an Internet sex crimes investigation, it is vital to learn about your legal rights and remedies as soon as possible.
Teacher Sex Crimes
Are you a teacher, counselor, or administrator facing accusations of sexual misconduct with a student? In certain professional relationships, especially those in an educational setting, such conduct is illegal, even if both parties consent.
Teacher sex crimes can destroy a career. Let the San Antonio sex crimes defense lawyers at Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC help you defend yourself against these allegations and protect your career as an educator from being destroyed.
The sexual assault of a child (defined in Texas law as anyone under the age of 17) is considered a horrific crime. Although many people agree that mere allegations do not establish guilt, the stigma of a statutory rape charge, even if unfounded, can destroy a person’s life, so if you are being charged with child sexual assault, you must act quickly and find an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.
Being charged with an offense involving child pornography is not something to be taken lightly. If convicted, you could be imprisoned, fined heavily, and face a lifetime of stigma and limited opportunities. If you have been charged with possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography, a sex crime defense lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options during this difficult time.
Human trafficking has attracted public attention in recent years, especially when it involved the sexual exploitation of children, and the Texas criminal justice system has moved aggressively to punish suspected offenders. When child trafficking crosses state lines, Texas investigators work closely with the federal government to pursue and punish traffickers. If you are suspected of child trafficking, it is essential that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer: it could mean the difference between freedom and imprisonment.
We can also defend you against the following sex crimes:
- Solicitation for Prostitution: Patronizing a prostitute is a Class B misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 180 days in jail. However, the act of soliciting sex with an underage prostitute between the ages of 14 and 18 is a third-degree felony, regardless of whether or not you were aware she (or he) was underage. The goal of our firm is to help you avoid conviction, including felony charges, prison time, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
- Compelling Prostitution: Compelling prostitution involves forcing someone else to commit the offense and/or using a child younger than 18 years old as a prostitute. Both crimes are felonies that involve significant jail time. If you were charged with compelling prostitution under Texas Penal Code Section 43.05, call us immediately for a competent and strong defense.
- Improper Visual Photography: Taking photos or videos for sexual purposes without the consent of the person or people being recorded is illegal. As a sex crime accusation with far-reaching consequences, improper visual photography charges must be addressed immediately with help from an attorney.
When Should I Hire a San Antonio Sex Crime Defense Lawyer?
If you’ve been arrested or believe you are about to be, get criminal defense representation before you talk to law enforcement officers or the prosecution. The consequences of going without legal advice when facing sex crime charges can go well beyond the courtroom because being convicted of a sex offense has so many hidden repercussions. For example:
- Most jurisdictions require a sex offender registration even for the most minor sex-related offenses.
- The typical plea deal includes probation or parole for a long period of time, and the prosecution usually seeks years of jail time even for first-time offenders.
- Should you get divorced, your chances of receiving child custody can be greatly reduced.
Our attorneys at Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC will fight to protect your future from the devastating effects of a state or federal sex crime conviction.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes in Texas?
With some crimes, a criminal and civil statute of limitations will apply.
Sex Crimes Against Adults
In Texas, the criminal statute of limitations for rape and other sexual assault offenses involving victims who are 18 or older is 10 years from the date the offense occurred. The civil statute of limitations is five years after the date the offense occurred.
There are exceptions, however. Texas does not have a criminal statute of limitations for cases involving:
- Rape or aggravated rape cases when no suspect has been identified or;
- Serial rapist.
Sex Crimes Against Children
For molestation and other sex offenses against children, Texas law recognizes a longer statute of limitations. When a victim was under 17 at the time an offense took place, the criminal statute of limitations is 20 years after the victim turns 18. Civil court statutes of limitations for cases involving minors range from 10 to 20 years after the victim reaches the age of 18. The statute of limitations for the following offenses is 20 years after the victim turns 18:
- Aggravated kidnapping committed with the intent to sexually abuse the victim
- Burglary committed with the intent to sexually assault a child or commit aggravated kidnapping
- Sexual performance by a child
In some cases, the state does not have a statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes against children. Sexual assault and indecency against children are among these crimes.
Are There Defenses to Sex Crimes in Texas?
Yes. They vary depending on what sex crime you’ve been charged with, but potential defenses include:
- Innocence: You have a solid alibi, the victim misidentified you, or they falsely accused you out of anger or a desire to ‘get even.’ In Internet sex crimes cases, someone else may have used your computer or WiFi without your consent.
- Consent: The alleged victim was over 17 and consented to the sexual activity.
- Motive: A nasty breakup or child custody battle may motivate the alleged victim or another party to falsely accuse you.
- Illegally Obtained Evidence: Evidence may be suppressed if the police violated your constitutional rights in obtaining it, such as through an illegal search or continuing to question you after you requested an attorney.
- Marriage: If you are accused of an offense like online solicitation of a minor, you have a statutory defense if the minor is your spouse and was married to you at the time the sexual activity took place. Marriage is also a defense for educators accused of improper relationships with students.
- Age: If you have consensual sex with a minor who is over 14 and less than three years younger than yourself, it is a statutory defense. In Texas, this is known as the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ law. Age may also be a defense in a child pornography charge if it turns out that the ‘children’ in the images are over 18.
- Lack of Intent: At the time of the alleged offense, you did not act knowingly or intentionally. This could happen if you actually believed that the victim was consenting to sexual activity.
Your criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly review your case to determine whether any of these defenses may apply. If they do, we will use that information to argue that the charges should be dropped or dismissed, letting you put this difficult situation behind you.
Our San Antonio Sex Crime Lawyers Are Here to Help
Public opinion is justifiably harsh when it comes to crimes involving sexual violence. However, many alleged victims have been caught making false allegations for financial or personal gain. By the time the truth is discovered, irreparable damage has already been done to the real victim: the falsely accused ‘sex offender’ who now has a criminal record despite being innocent.
If you have been charged or are facing a sex offense charge, reach out to the skilled attorneys at Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC by calling (210) 202-1076 or using our contact form to schedule an initial consultation. Let us put the combined experience of our criminal defense team to work for you.