Charged with a Sex Crime in Austin?
Sex crime convictions carry lifelong consequences. Sexual
assault, for example, is charged as a second-degree
felony and can lead to 20 years in
prison. Even more devastating, perhaps, is the lasting stigma that comes with
a sex crime conviction. Many people assume that someone charged with a
sex crime is automatically a rapist or a molester, when that is just not
true. A recent study by Human Rights Watch found that 13 states (including
Texas) required people charged with urinating in public to register as
sex offenders. It also found that 32 states registered streakers and flashers
as sex offenders. Even in 29 states, consensual sex between two teenagers
can lead to required registration as a sex offender. You can see why the
number of registered sex offenders in the US has exploded over recent
years. Even so, unfavorable social opinions about sex offenders can make
it very difficult to find and maintain stable work or housing due to social
stigma. Convicted sex offenders are often harassed by the community in
which they live, despite the fact that while some are dangerous, many are not.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the age of consent in Texas?
You can be charged with a crime if you have sex with someone under 17 years
of age, unless:
The defendant or perpetrator isn't a registered sex offender, is of
the opposite sex AND
There is 3 years or less of an age difference between the two
The victim is 14 years or older
Will my name show up in a database if I'm charged or convicted?
Yes, if you are convicted of a sex crime in the state of Texas (or any
other state, territory, or native tribe in the US for that matter) your
name, photo, address, and charge will be publicly available for all to
see in an online database. The Texas Department of Public Safety has a
sex offender registry which collects information from the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice, the Texas Youth Commission, and other Texas criminal
justice agencies. ' Removing your name and information from the database
has proven to be difficult, as the DPS and state of Texas takes no responsibility
for any errors or omissions.
What should I do if I'm charged with a sex crime in Texas?
Each case is different, but there are a few general things to keep in mind
if you are charged for a sex crime:
In sex crime cases, a lot of the evidence comes from statements made during
interviews with both the alleged defendant and the alleged victim. More
often than not, DNA evidence isnât available to be analyzed, which
gives more weight to interview statements which can be twisted and manipulated
to implicate your guilt. Even though youâll want to clear your
name in an interview with Child Protective Services or Austin law enforcement,
itâs a good idea to refrain from speaking to them because they
are never going to be on your side.
Look into the alleged victim's background and the background of their
family. Have they made similar accusations in the past? If the person
is a child or minor, do they have a difficult home life? Are their parents
divorced? Do they have a previous criminal record or juvenile record?
Does the alleged victim have an ulterior motive, and if so, what is it?
The purpose of these questions is to help find cracks in their credibility.
What are some common defenses against a sex crime charge?
Because criminal charges are often based on claims made by the accuser,
it can be a strategic move to attack the credibility of the accuser. For
example, some alleged victims lie about the consensual aspect of sex in
order to protect their reputation or to cover up from family and friends.
False claims are also made by opposing parents in custody battles to discredit
one another, another ulterior motive. Accusations of sex crimes can even
be the result of extortion. If you can uncover the motivation of the accuser,
you can reveal their tainted credibility.
Another defense lies in how evidence was collected. if computer files,
photos, or other belongings were taken from you in an illegal manner that
violated search and seizure laws, they can become inadmissible in court.
Testimonies from children can be easily tainted due to leading and suggestive
questioning by therapists, teachers, law enforcement, and other adults.
Children are more prone to please adults and answer 'yes'
to a question that they really don't know the answer to. Their memories
and responses can be manipulated easily in the absence of an experienced
Do I need a lawyer if I'm charged with a sex crime?
Criminal charges that allege sex crimes are very serious indeed. They carry
unparalleled social stigma with them that can follow you for the rest
of your life, so if you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime,
it's imperative to protect you. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney
can guide you through the extensive and complicated legal process toward
Protect Your Rights
When you are charged with a sex crime, public opinion immediately swings
against you. Prosecutors, judges, friends and even family may automatically
assume you're guilty. At Carroll Troberman,
PLLC, however, we don't assume the worst and believe that everyone is entitled
to a fair trial. We care about our clients and will aggressively defend
your case no matter what others think.
Meredith "Shelly" Troberman has experience working for both the prosecution and defense in criminal
proceedings. She knows exactly whatâs needed to get a conviction
and how to protect you against it.
Blair Carroll has been practicing Texas
criminal defense since he graduated from St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio.
He is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and works
diligently to protect his clients' rights.
Call Carroll Troberman, PLLC
When you call Carroll Troberman, PLLC, you've reached out to a friend
and ally. We promise to listen to your concerns and fight tirelessly for
Contact us today to set up a free, confidential consultation.