Texas sex crimes charges can turn your life upside down. Although every criminal suspect must be considered innocent until proven guilty, you may find that this is not the case when you’ve been charged with committing a sex crime. The police, the prosecutor, and even the judge may treat you like a convict even before you’ve had the chance to defend yourself against the allegations.
This is why you need a good sex crime attorney by your side, who can ensure that your rights are respected and that you receive a fair trial. No matter how helpless you may feel, Houston sex crimes attorney Ned Barnett will stand by you and fight for your freedom and reputation. The consequences of a conviction for Texas sex crimes are harsh, so you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chances possible when passing through the criminal justice system.
A Texas Sex Crimes Conviction Could Mean Years in Jail and Harsh Collateral Consequences
Most sex crimes are felonies, which involve possible fines reaching $10,000 and jail or prison sentences anywhere from 2 years to life. A sex crimes conviction also involves collateral consequences. These are not penalties that the judge includes in the sentence, but indirect consequences from having a felony or sex crimes conviction on your record.
First of all, you will also have to register as a sex offender if and when you get released from jail or prison. Depending on the severity of the crime of which you were convicted, you’ll either have to register for 10 years following your release or for life. If you fail to meet the yearly sex offender registration requirement, the Department of Public Safety may suspend your driver’s license until you comply.
Although there is a way to apply for deregistration from the sex offender’s list, the process is long, complicated, and almost always denied. This means that the best way to avoid having to register as a sex offender—and any other collateral consequences of a conviction—is to fight for a verdict of not guilty at your trial for sex crimes.
A Conviction for Sex Crimes Could End Your Career
You may find it next to impossible to keep or find employment with any employer who conducts background checks. Sex crimes have such a bad stigma that almost no one would want to employ or hire a sex offender to work in their company.
Further, some professions may be off limits to you by law. For example, Texas Occupations Code section 53.021 allows licensing authorities to revoke or refuse to issue your professional license if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony that relates to the profession.
Most sex crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which means a crime that goes against the moral norms of the community. This means that a conviction for a sex crime gives employers and licensing bodies a legal basis for denying you employment or professional privileges.
Convicted Felons Can’t Own Guns, Vote, or Run for or Hold Public Office
Section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits a convicted felon from possessing a firearm. And according to 18 USC 922 (g) and (n), it’s against federal law to own a firearm if you’ve been convicted of a crime involving a prison sentence of 1 year or greater. Thus, if you get convicted of virtually any sex crime, it’s almost certain that your right to own a firearm will be revoked.
Texas law also bars convicted felons from ever serving on a jury or running for or holding public office. You will not be able to vote in an election if you are convicted of a felony.
A Sex Crimes Conviction Could Affect Your Education
Federal and state educational grants are unavailable to anyone who has been jailed in a state or federal penitentiary. Not only will you face difficulties in paying for school, you may not even be able to gain admission. Colleges accept or deny applicants based on internal criteria, and the vast majority of colleges do not admit convicted felons or people charged with crimes such as sexual assault or child abuse.
Your Texas Sex Crimes Conviction Could Affect Your Child’s Custody
A conviction for a sex crime will not have an automatic effect on the custody of your children. But if you and the other parent are seeking a court-ordered decision of custody of your children, your conviction could come back to haunt you. If you committed family violence, assaulted your spouse, or committed indecency with any child, the court may consider that evidence.
The Police May Confiscate Your Property if You’re Suspected of Sex Crimes
The police can confiscate property when they think it was used as an instrument of a crime. The most well known example of asset forfeiture is when the police take cash and cars from suspected drug dealers they arrest. These confiscations occur before a criminal trial takes place, so they essentially amount to punishing suspects before they are proven guilty.
In the context of sex crimes, your home or vehicle may be confiscated if the police suspect that either was used to facilitate the commission of any of the following crimes:
- Solicitation of a minor
- Public indecency
- Sexual performance by a child
- Indecency with a child
- Trafficking of a person
- Any second-degree felony
Fight Your Texas Sex Crimes Charges at All Costs
When you’re accused of a sex crime, your community may consider you guilty before you ever step foot in a courtroom, and your friends, family, and colleagues may turn their backs on you. You may find that in these times, your sexual assault attorney in Houston is the only person you can count on. Ned Barnett has the compassion, experience, and skills to fight for your rights from the opening stages of the investigation all the way through your trial.
Barnett began his legal career more than 30 years ago when he worked as a state and subsequently a federal prosecutor. Now he puts this experience to use in defending the rights of the accused.
Recently nominated to the Super Lawyers list of the best Houston criminal defense attorneys, Ned Barnett has established himself as one of the leading legal professionals in the community.
If you want to face your sex crimes charges head on, call Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767 for a confidential consultation about your case.