Austin Sex Crimes & The Texas Criminal Justice System

Society has put pressure on lawmakers, judges and prosecutors to be cruel and unforgiving to sex offenders. And in many countries, the criminal justice system is aggressive on people found guilty of this crime. The city of Austin in Texas is no different.

Austin criminal defense lawyer & Law firm conceptSex crime laws in this country are strict especially if the offense involved a minor. If one is accused of sex crime, he or she faces severe punishment such as many years in prison, or you may be forced to register as a lifetime sex offender. In situations like these, you’ll need to hire an Austin criminal defense lawyer to give you the best chance to avoid prison. His contact information is below.

How Texas Laws Define Sexual Crimes

According to the Texas laws, a sexual crime is an offense that involves sexual misconduct. If found guilty, you will face harsh punishments including you will need to permanently register yourself as a sex offender on the online registry. The Texas Penal Code outlines the following acts as sex crimes in the state of Texas:

  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Illegal possession and distribution of child pornography
  • Unlawful selling of intimate videos
  • Promotion and encouragement of prostitution
  • Voyeurism and Obscenity
  • Sexual indecency with a child either by contact or exposure or both
  • Aggravated kidnapping, if the kidnapper had the intention of sexually violating the victim

Sex Offender Registration in Texas

A criminal defense lawyer can help you with sex offender registration problems. The sex offender registration program is designed to keep track of sex offenders and notify the public that a particular person is a sexual offender. Whether an adult or a juvenile, the law will require one to register if they are convicted of these crimes. For adults, they should remain registered for the rest of their lives, but for the juvenile offenders, the registration extends for ten years after the conviction. Failure of registration is considered a felony.

Offenders register with local law enforcement agencies. Upon registration a person is required to provide:

  • Biological information, i.e. name, date of birth, race, sex, home address etc.
  • A recent colored photograph
  • Type of offense convicted of
  • Employment information
  • Information on online aliases that were used
  • A set of fingerprints

Sealing Your Criminal Records

The process of getting the offender’s criminal records sealed is called expungement. It can be granted if one meets the necessary criteria. Different states have set different expungement rules for convicts to get their records sealed. But if for instance, the offender committed a minor sex offense many years ago, they may be able to get their records expunged. Getting your records sealed prevents every other person, other than the law enforcement from seeing your past criminal history. For more information about the potential for expungement, contact an Austin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Texas laws are also lenient to some offenders and may be excused from registering online as sex offenders. Juveniles can seek a court order exempting them from registering without any conditions. But for adult sex offenders they are limited and may request the court to be exempted only if:

  • The offense was consensual
  • The victim was 15 years of age or above, and the offender was not more than four years older than the victim at that time of the offense.
  • The sex crime was minor such that it did not involve violence
  • If upon the individual risk assessment, the offender passes it and requests the court for early termination.

If you are convicted of a sex crime in Texas, you face the possibility of having to spend your entire life in prison or steep fines or registering as a sexual offender. Not to mention you will lose your job, your reputation and your freedom. For those accused of this crime, it is best that you have the best Austin criminal defense lawyer for sex crime-related cases on your side.

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