Texas Sex Offenses – Potential Penalties
Potential penalties for these offenses are lengthy. Listed here are a few examples of the sentence you could face if convicted of one of these crimes.
Child Molestation (Indecency with a child)
There are several acts that could fall under the umbrella of this crime. Depending on the specifics of the case, you could face 2nd degree felony charges and up to 20 years in prison.
This is the crime we commonly think of when we think of a “rape”. It can occur between two people in a relationship or two strangers. The offense doesn’t always include intercourse and can be charged even when “sexual contact” has been made.
Some child molestation occurrences are charged under the Sexual Assault law.
In most cases, sexual assault is a 2nd degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
An aggravated sexual assault is one that occurs under particularly violent circumstances. It may involve a weapon, the threat of death, or an elderly or particularly young victim.
Aggravated sexual assault is a 1st degree felony and carries a potential 5 to 99 years in prison
Child Pornography can be charged as up to a 2nd degree felony which carries a 2 to 20 year prison term.
Prostitution can result in a prison sentence of up to 2 years in prison depending on prior offenses.
Texas “Sexting” Laws
Sending (or receiving) explicit sexual or nude images can be a crime. And if the images are of a minor child, the charges can be child pornography.
Even if a teen boy receives suggestive images sent to him voluntarily from his teen girlfriend, under Texas law, he could be charged with possession and distribution of, or trafficking in child pornography, a felony sex offense. The penalty could be years in prison, and a lifetime as a registered sex offender.
Efforts to reform these laws in a more sensible way that reflect the reality of teen behavior and ever-present cell phone cameras have been proposed, but still haven’t passed the Texas Legislature.
Texas Sex Offender Registration
In addition to the prison terms and fines one can face when convicted of any of these offenses, you may be required to register as a sex offender. This means you will be tracked for the rest of your life.