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Sex Crimes Sentencing Alternatives

Facing a sex crime charge is terrifying, particularly if the accused believe their only future is a prison cell. While fines and imprisonment are the most common forms of punishment, there are other options defendants and their attorneys can fight for. Sex crime sentencing alternatives include deferred adjudication and community supervision, both of which enable defendants to return to their communities and receive treatment instead of spending their entire punishment in prison.

Houston sex crimes lawyer Ned Barnett understands that being charged with a sex crime is complex and overwhelming. That is why defendants should work with a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer who can guide them through the process, build them a strong defense, and fight for alternative sentences, rather that years in prison, if necessary.

To learn more, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 and schedule a confidential consultation as soon as possible.

Deferred Adjudication

Deferred adjudication is allowed in some situations in regard to sexual offenses. This process enables a defendant to plead guilty or nolo contendere and then have the final adjudication delayed while the defendant is placed on community supervision. The terms of community supervision for many sexual offenses are at least five years, yet can last up to 10 years. If the defendant successfully completes all of the aspects of community supervision without any violations, the defendant will not have a conviction on his or her record.

Deferred adjudication can be complex, and it is important to work with a knowledgeable sex crimes lawyer to understand how this process truly works. While a deferred adjudication is not a conviction under criminal law and does require the defendant to register as a sexual offender, it is not without risk.

For instance, one small mistake during the process may be enough to send the defendant back to court. If a judge determines by the preponderance of the evidence that a person violates any term of the community supervision, the guilty plea will automatically be entered and the defendant convicted. The defendant can then be sentenced to the maximum punishment for the offense under the law. (Learn more – what is deferred adjudication?)

Community Supervision

Community supervision, better known as probation, is also an option for an individual convicted of a sex offense; however, it is unlikely to be available for someone convicted of a violent sexual offense. This option is granted in place of all or some of a prison sentence and must last as long as the statutory minimum term of imprisonment for the offense. For many sexual offenses, the minimum period of community supervision is five years.

When community supervision is requested, the judge is required to complete an evaluate of the defendant after conviction, but prior to sentencing to determine whether community supervision is appropriate and what course of conduct would be necessary during this period. While a typical investigation report can include information regarding the offense, an offender’s criminal history, and appropriate restitution to the victim(s), a sex offender’s report should also include appropriate treatment or rehabilitation and whether specialized supervision is recommended.

Community supervision for a sex offense will include a number of requirements such as:

  • Registration as a sex offender
  • Submitting a DNA sample to law enforcement
  • Abide by child safety zones
  • Electronic or GPS monitoring
  • Refrain from any contact with minors
  • Additional education
  • Alcohol or drug abuse education or treatment
  • Alcohol and drug testing
  • Sex offense-specific psychological treatment
  • Maintaining or attempting to obtain appropriate employment
  • Not being able to use the internet to access pornography, use social networking sites, or communicate with individuals 17 years old or younger
  • Community service
  • Paying the offender’s victim(s) restitution
  • Pay supervision and other administrative fees
  • Reporting to a probation office

A Houston Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Help

People facing sex crime charges should immediately contact the Law Offices of Ned Barnett to determine their rights and potential defenses. Ned Barnett takes protecting his clients’ Constitutional rights seriously and is ready to aggressively defend them in court, if necessary. Attorney Barnett will investigate the situation, analyze the case, and build the strongest possible defense. His comprehensive defense strategy will include seeking an acquittal in addition to positioning his client for leniency upon conviction and sentencing.

Attorney Ned Barnett has more than 30 years of experience as a federal and state prosecutor and criminal lawyer, including more than 20 years as a board certified criminal lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He understands the sentencing alternatives available to individuals charged with or convicted of certain sex crimes and fights for his clients to receive appropriate punishments if convicted.

To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a risk-free, confidential consultation.