December 22, 2023
Texas Penal Code, Section 21.11 defines Indecency with a Child as either sexual molestation or an inappropriate relationship.
Charges may include indecent sexual contact or indecent exposure in front of a child, both of which carry serious penalties and require an experienced defense attorney.
An act of indecent contact against a child under 17 years old who is not married to the offender is defined as sexual contact by touching a body part or genitalia (even through clothing) for sexual gratification.
This offense does not involve penetration of orifices; otherwise, it would constitute sexual assault. Fondling, although seemingly less serious than other types of sexual activity, may still result in criminal charges.
“Indecency with a child by exposure” occurs when someone exposes his/her anus or any part of the genitalia in front of a known child or causes a child to expose himself/herself with the intent to sexually arouse and satisfy sexual needs or desires.
Texas has rigorous penalties for those found guilty of indecency against children, with all charges of this nature considered felonies and registration required in the sex offender registry.
For example, sexual misconduct against children constitutes a second-degree felony crime that is punished with imprisonment:
The maximum imprisonment sentence is 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,000 may apply.
A guilty charge for child pornography is subject to 20 years behind bars, while aggravated sexual assault against a minor may carry a prison sentence of up to 99 years. Continuous sexual abuse applies to victims under 14 years old.
Indecency with minors constitutes a third-degree felony, and the crime may result in penalties that lead to two to 10 years behind bars and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Sexting is considered a crime in Texas as well, even when no adults are involved. Under the state Penal Code, Section 43.26(1), it’s a crime for minors to intentionally and knowingly send another person under age an obscene video or photo of a minor engaging in sex if they know the actor is a minor.
If you are found guilty of indecency with a child in Texas, you can lose your voting rights and the right to bear firearms or serve on juries. After fulfilling your sentence, you may also have trouble finding work or face the possible revocation of a professional license.
Finding housing can also be difficult, as you’ll have to register as a sex offender in Texas within seven days of your release. Sex offenders are prohibited from living near parks, schools, or places where children congregate.
To successfully defend yourself in court against allegations of indecency towards a child or children, you may be able to raise an affirmative defense if certain criteria are met. For example –
Even if you do not qualify for one of the above affirmative defenses, there may still be ways of contesting the charges against you, depending on your circumstances. These defenses may include but are not limited to:
Protecting your constitutional rights doesn’t need to be accomplished alone. A qualified attorney can help you in defending your rights and making sure they are met.
Anyone charged with indecency toward a child requires legal advice from an attorney who understands their client’s constitutional rights and what it takes to realize a successful defense. In Texas, contact R. Scott Magee, Attorney at Law today. Schedule an appointment without delay.
Contact R. Scott Magee, Attorney at Law, to receive expert guidance and dedicated representation for your criminal defense case.
Categories: Criminal Defense