What Types Of Sex Crime Cases Does Your Firm Handle In Texas?
- Attorney Renforth deals with a number of different times of sex crime charges. The most common sex crime charge that he tends to see are allegations of sexual assault involving children.
- Recently, solicitation of prostitution was made into a felony charge in the state of Texas, and federal funds have gone into dedicated stings aimed at the clients of adult sex workers. Attorney Renforth also handles these cases.
- There is a wide range of potential punishments for sex crimes in Texas, but sentencing for convictions tends to be severe. It is possible to be sentenced with a mandatory life or 25-year sentence for sex crimes in Texas.
- Due to the severity of the crimes and the difficulty removing charges from your record (even if you are never convicted), it is essential to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you think you may be under investigation for a sex crime.
The most common types of sex crimes I tend to see include:
- Aggravated sexual assault involving children
- Fondling (inappropriate touching, oftentimes involving family members, most often stepchildren)
- Possession of child pornography
In addition, the DA’s office here in Tarrant County has recently started to step up its prosecution of prostitution cases. As a result, I’ve seen more cases in the last 6 months involving some sort of solicitation, allegedly involving the solicitation of the services of a prostitute. Even though the prosecution of those crimes should probably be on the downslope, it seems to be being enforced more regularly than it used to be in the Fort Worth area.
There is a reason for this uptick. Recently, prostitution charges were changed from misdemeanor charges to felony charges in the state of Texas. There has been more police funding dedicated to arresting people for solicitation of prostitution.
Ostensibly, the idea behind this increase in punishment of solicitation of prostitution and the uptick in prosecution of those crimes has to do with combatting sex trafficking. Indeed, sex trafficking is a big problem. However, I don’t think that the crimes they are prosecuting in the prostitution realm often have much to do with trafficking, so they are misguided to some degree.
Still, there is a good deal of federal funding that has gone into prosecuting prostitution solicitation. The Fort Worth Police Department have these newly resurrected task forces that are basically using the same sting operation techniques that have been used to bust people for solicitation for 50 years. These do not even involve allegedly underage people: it is simply for solicitation of adult prostitution. The people being caught in these stings are meeting who they believe to be consenting, adult sex workers. Still, because solicitation is now a felony, being caught in this sort of sting is a much more dangerous situation for clients. I deal with many more of those cases now than I did, say, a year ago.
However, in general, I think that allegations of sexual assault involving children is the most common form of sex crime I deal with.
Should I Hire An Attorney Right Away If I Suspect I’m Being Investigated For A Sex Crime, Or Should I Wait For An Arrest To Occur?
The minute you are contacted by anyone about potential sex crime charges—whether it be a police agency, Child Protective Services, or even a relative or ex-spouse saying they know that someone is thinking of going to the police (or that they themselves are thinking of going to the police), you need to immediately get in contact with a lawyer.
As I mentioned earlier, as a lawyer, I can reach out to the police detective involved with your case, and can set things up for you to potentially vindicate yourself or make a case for yourself—whether that be taking a polygraph test or coming in for an in-person interview.
These steps may help you avoid having a warrant issued for your arrest. This is important for several reasons. Number one, you simply do not want an arrest for a sexual crime on your record at all if you can avoid it—whether or not you are ultimately found guilty. So, if you wait until after you’re arrested, you’re already behind the 8 ball.
In any situation involving criminal charges—and certainly in situations involving criminal sex crime charges—if you hear any inkling of a potential investigation and you have information to share, you need to share it with a lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer can help you get ahead of the game. It’s vitally important to take this step, and may make all the difference in your case.
If I Am Being Investigated For A Sex Crime In Fort Worth, Texas, Is It Likely That I Will Be Arrested Soon?
It’s not necessarily likely that you will be arrested imminently just because you are being investigated for a sex crime in Fort Worth. However, it’s more likely that you may be arrested if you don’t get ahead of the charges once you find out you’re being investigated.
A lot of times, these sex crime allegations are just the words of an individual and nothing else. There’s frequently no DNA evidence that they can collect, and sometimes the allegations are years old. It’s actually pretty shocking how easy it is to be arrested based on someone’s word alone. So, while you may not be arrested immediately, it is not impossible.
The question of whether you’re going to be arrested soon or not is often determined by how quickly you get in front of the game and try to have your lawyer talk to the police. An attorney can explain to the officers why their case may not be as strong as they thought it was initially, which can help you avoid arrest altogether.
Generally, when a sex crime is involved, you always want to get a lawyer involved as quickly as you can. Once you are arrested, it becomes much more difficult to get the whole ordeal off of your record, whether or not you are actually proven guilty at any point.
What Are The Penalties For A Sex Crime Conviction In Texas?
In Texas, the punishment for sex crimes is pretty severe. In fact, in some cases, certain sex crime charges can be more severe than certain murder charges.
The most severe sex crime charges tend to involve the continuing sexual abuse of a child. If you are convicted of a crime of that sort, you could be facing a minimum of 25 calendar years in prison, all the way up to life. Notably, in these cases, sentencing does not allow for “good time” or time served. Rather, you will serve at least 25 calendar years in prison before parole is even considered. If you get involved in a trial on charges like these and you lose, the penalties are very severe.
However, the right attorney can make all the difference—often by keeping you out of trial altogether. You can certainly get probation if you have a lawyer that investigates the case quickly and efficiently, and if there’s evidence of guilt, your attorney can negotiate the best possible deal to avoid trial. If there is very little physical evidence, an attorney such as myself skilled in cross examination of complaining witnesses and law enforcement can result in an acquittal.
In terms of sex crime sentencing, there are also certain less severe charges with less extreme penalties. For example, charges of what’s known as “indecency” or “fondling” are counted as a 3rd-degree felonies in Texas, and come with anywhere from 2 to 10 years of prison time if convicted. These charges are obviously still very severe, but not nearly as harsh as the more severe sex crime charges.
The context of your sex crime charges may also affect the potential sentencing for those crimes. For example, if you’ve been convicted or been on probation for a sex crime before and you end up getting charged with another one, you may potentially be facing a mandatory life sentence.
The bottom line here is that these punishments can be very severe, so it is absolutely essential to get an experienced Texas sex crime defense attorney on your case as soon as possible.
For more information on Sex Crimes Handled In The State Of Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 877-0401 today.
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