Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer
When sexual offense accusations are made or charges are filed against you anywhere in Harris County, contact a Houston sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Rumors damage your reputation. But a Texas sex crime conviction will devestate your future.
Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer – Sex Crimes Defense
Harris County, Texas takes sex crimes seriously, and you need to deal with them fast with help from an experienced attorney. With over thirty years of legal experience, Houston criminal defense lawyer Ned Barnett knows what to do and how to help.
When you’re facing sexual allegations in Southeast Texas, you need to hire a highly-skilled attorney to guide you through the legal process. By enlisting Ned Barnett, you get someone with decades of experience and a track record of success in cases like yours. Attorney Barnett regularly helps people facing sexual allegations across greater Houston, from Baytown, Friendswood, and Pearland to League City, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, and Webster.
He is a board-certified criminal defense attorney by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has decades of experience defending clients against sex crime charges. Attorney Barnett prides himself on knowing how Texas law enforcement agencies approach sex crime investigations, and offers personal service, honest communication, and aggressive representation. Schedule a free and confidential consultation by calling (713) 222-6767 today.
See our list of resources if you have been charged with a sex crime: Resources For Dealing With A Sex Crime Accusation.
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a Harris County grand jury has handed down a felony indictment, it means facing harsh consequences and penalties. Not least among them include losing your job, expulsion from school, embarrassing your family, and possible jail time.
How to Choose Your Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer – The Law Offices of Ned Barnett
Choosing an attorney for a sex crimes case is one of the most important things you can do for a successful outcome. For such serious charges, you will need an attorney with considerabe experience in similar cases who has a proven track record of helping clients. Attorney Ned Barnett focuses a large part of his practice on sex crimes defense and has been in practice for nearly thirty years.
Harris County Sex Crimes
Texas law prohibits various non-consensual or inappropriate sex acts, including:
- Indecent Exposure & Public Lewdness – Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 21, Section 21.08 defines indecent exposure as exposing your genitals or anus for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification with the reckless disregard for whether other people will be alarmed or offended. This covers actions such as “flashing” or “mooning” others, though it may also include women being topless in public or anyone urinating in public. This is typically charged as a class B misdemeanor.
If you engage in indecent activity in public, such as having sex in a park, you can also be charged with public lewdness with elevated penalties as a class A misdemeanor.
- Prostitution & Solicitation – Under Tex. Pen. Code § 43.02, exchanging sexual activity for money or something else of value, or soliciting another person for this purpose, is considered a crime in Texas. If there is evidence you sold or purchased a sex act, you could be charged with prostitution, which may be a misdemeanor or felony. If you knowingly offer or agree to engage in prostitution, this is known as solicitation and is a misdemeanor.
- Sexual Assault – Under Sec 22.01, sexual assault in Texas covers almost every form of non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual battery and rape. This is charged as a felony, and comes with harsh penalties upon conviction. To learn more about sexual assault charges in Houston and potential punishments, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away.
- Spousal Rape – You can be charged with spousal rape according to Texas Penal Code Section 22.011 if you commit any sex offense against your husband or wife. This is a serious charge that carries devastating consequences, so if you find yourself facing an accusation of spousal rape in Harris County, TX, call Ned Barnett right away.
- Military Sex Crimes – If you’re a military member who has been accused of sexual assault or another sex offense, you may face criminal charges under state or federal law in addition to consequences within the military. Call an experienced defense lawyer for help.
- Revenge Porn – Under Texas Penal Code Section 21.16 if you share a sexually explicit photo or video without the consent of the individual(s) in the material, you face a felony and the subsequent consequences. Even sending unsolicited nude photographs is now a crime in Texas.
Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction
The consequences of a sex crimes conviction are harsh and include:
- Class C misdemeanor – A fine up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in jail, and fines reaching $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail, and a fine up to $4,000
- State jail felony – 180 days to 2 years in state jail, and fines up to $10,000
- Third-degree felony – 2 to 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony – 2 to 20 years in prison, fines up to $10,000
- First-degree felony – Between 5 and 99 years or life in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
These punishments are indeed severe, but the true consequences of a Houston sex crime extend farther than prison and fines.
You may also experience:
- Registering as a sex offender
- Forfeiture of cash, personal property, and real estate
- Limitations on where you can live
- Limited or no access to the Internet or social media
- Challenges obtaining a job
- Trouble getting into college or a graduate program
- Restrictions on obtaining certain professional licenses
- A reduction or loss of custody or visitation with your children
Effects of a Sex Crime on Immigration
If you are not a citizen of the U.S., a conviction for a sex crime could have a profound effect on your right to live and work in the country. If you currently have a visa, you could lose it or have your renewal denied. You can also be deported based on being convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, which includes child pornography, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, and rape. If you manage to avoid deportation, you may still have a difficult time obtaining citizenship.
To learn more about the potential effects of a sex crime on immigration, contact Houston sex crimes lawyer Ned Barnett immediately.
Sex Crimes Sentencing Alternatives
When facing any type of sex crime charge in Texas, one of the first steps you need to take is speaking with an attorney. Not only can a Houston sex crimes lawyer explain your defense options, they can also walk you through sex crimes sentencing alternatives. Learn more about sentencing: What’s considered in Texas sex crime sentencing.
Depending on your situation, you may have other options than a lengthy Texas prison sentence. Both deferred adjudication and community supervision can help you stay out of prison. These alternatives keep you closer to your family and allow you to continue your education and career. But they can also drastically impact your life.
Ned Barnett is the Attorney You Need
If you or a loved one are accused of a sex crime in Harris County, The Law Offices of Ned Barnett can review the facts and build the strongest defense possible. Attorney Ned Barnett will begin by negotiating with the Harrris Couty District Attorney or other prosecoturs to have your charges dropped or reduced. If prosecutors insist on moving forward, then the next step is to review your options. This includes evaluating the strength of the evidence, considering all the available defenses, and preparing you to testify against false allegations in court.
To learn more about your options when facing sexual offense charges, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett by calling (713) 222-6767 and scheduling your free consultation.
* Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service, 2015-2018
** American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, part of American Institute of Legal Counsel, 2016, 2015
*** Board Certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 1994
Sex Offender Registration
One of the harshest punishments associated with sex crimes is sex offender registration. Most sex offenses require some level of sex offender registration, including:
- Indecency with a child by exposure
- Indecency with a child by contact (a violent offense)
- Prohibited sexual conduct/incest
- A second conviction for indecent exposure
- Compelling prostitution
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Sexual assault (a violent offense)
- Aggravated sexual assault (a violent offense)
- Sexual performance by a child (a violent offense)
- Aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit a sex offense (a violent offense)
- Burglary with intent to commit a sex offense (a violent offense)
Certain offenses require initial registration in addition to re-verification once per year. However, those that are deemed violent offenses require offenders to verify their residency and information with the police every 90 days. Depending on your case, you may also be required to register for 10 years or for your entire life.
Registering as a Sex offender in Harris County
If you are required to register as a sex offender, it is absolutely necessary that you do so correctly. You need to register in the correct place within the required period of time. You will need to go to your local law enforcement agency, fill out a sex offender registration form, and provide your fingerprints and a recent photo.
The main registering agencies in Harris County are Houston Police Department (juvenile victims) 713-731-5890, HPD (adult victims) 713-308-1190, Harris County Sheriff Department 713-967-5703, Pasadena Police Department at 713-475-7807. If you live in an unincorporated area of the county, like Cypress, Highlands, or Aldine you are to register with the sheriff’s department.
Failure to Register & Removal
If you travel to a new location for at least one week, move, or take a job in another county, you may need to register in a new or second place, as well. Failure to register in the new location right away (or within seven days after moving) could lead to additional criminal charges and additional prison time.
Additionally, if you do not verify your information when and where you are supposed to – even if you are only a little bit late – you can get in trouble for failing to register. You could face significant consequences for a minor slip up like a day-late registration.
Sex offender deregistration is possible, but it can be a complicated and lengthy process, so make sure to contact a sex crimes attorney as soon as possible if you wish to pursue this action.
Contact Ned Barnett today
To learn more about sex offender registration, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett immediately. There are ways to fight the sex charges against you in order to avoid the registration requirement. You may also have an opportunity to have yourself removed from this list in the future. Call attorney Ned Barnett to learn more about this option.
Sex Crime Defense Options
There are many potential defenses to sex crimes charges, including:
Consent is not a defense to every sex offense. For instance, minors cannot consent to sexual contact, therefore you cannot use permission as a defense for a sex crime that victimized a child. However, if you were accused of a sex offense by another adult, you will have the opportunity in court to establish that you had permission to perform the acts.
Proving the Allegations are False
False allegations can arise in many ways. There are situations in which men or women knowingly level false accusations against one another. There are cases of adults coaching children to say things that are not true. There are also situations in which the interviewer makes a mistake or misinterprets another’s testimony.
And while organization like the Innocence Project and Save our Sons work to highlight these issues and provide resources for the falsely accused, it’s always best to fight to prove your innocence with a skilled attorney.
Establishing your Innocence
Even when it feels like the things are not going your way, there are ways to prove that you are truly innocent of the crime you’re being accused of. DNA is often used to prove that you are innocent. A skilled lawyer may be able to utilize DNA evidence to establish that you were not the culprit.
Proving a Mistake of Identity
Another way to prove you are factually innocent is to prove that this has been a case of mistaken identity. You are not arguing the crime did not occur. Instead, you are proving that you have been mistaken for the offender.