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Legal Defenses for Sexual Assault Charges

Posted in Criminal Defense on February 17, 2024

Accusations of sexual assault are an intensely personal matter for the accused and their families. Beyond the stress associated with a trial, and the embarrassment and stress of conviction, the possibility of a prolonged prison sentence, and the ongoing challenge of being a registered sex offender, individuals experience a profound loss of freedom and control in their lives. 

If you’re facing criminal charges related to sexual assault, you likely have numerous questions regarding Texas’s sex registry laws and the potential repercussions of mandatory registration on your life. At Mary E. Conn & Associates, our experienced legal team is dedicated to providing robust defense strategies for individuals accused of sexual assault in Texas and avoiding or limiting registration if possible. Give us a call today for help with your case.

Understanding Sexual Assault Charges Under Texas Law

Facing an accusation of sexual assault or rape, as outlined in Texas Penal Code Section 22.011, is a profoundly serious matter. In simple terms, Texas law describes sexual assault as any unwanted sexual contact involving penetration where consent is absent. This “lack of consent” may include various scenarios, such as:

  • Coercion
  • Manipulation
  • Physical Force
  • Threats
  • Lack of consent

The charges for sexual assault can range from a first to a second-degree felony, depending on the case’s specific details. While it’s critical to be aware of the complexities involved, you can rest assured knowing there are legal avenues and support systems available to help you understand and address the individual aspects of your case. 

What Are Legal Defenses Against Sexual Assault Charges in Texas?

At Mary E. Conn & Associates, our team of sexual assault defense attorneys can discuss various legal defense strategies adapted to the circumstances of your case. In general, possible defenses to consider include: 

  • Consent: If you can establish that the alleged victim willingly consented to the sexual activities, it forms a solid defense against the accusations. 
  • Evidencing Your Alibi: If you can prove you weren’t present at the time the alleged assault was committed, the charges against you may be dropped.
  • Involuntary Intoxication: If you were misled into consuming or were unaware of being given alcohol or substances without your knowledge at the time of the offense, it could negate criminal intent, similar to an insanity defense. 
  • Mental Incapacity: Demonstrating that you had a mental defect at the time of the alleged crime may relieve you of criminal responsibility for your actions.
  • Mistaken Consent: If you can show that you did not recklessly overlook evidence of the victim’s incapacity to consent, you might be able to assert an honest belief that consent was given.

Your situation is unique, and understanding your potential legal defenses is crucial. Our experienced team of lawyers is here to walk you through the process, address your concerns, and work toward a personalized defense strategy that safeguards your rights. 

Affirmative Defense Approach Against Sexual Assault Allegations

An alternative legal approach to consider is employing an affirmative defense strategy when facing a sex crime charge. With this strategy, your Texas sex crime lawyer advises you to acknowledge the alleged offense but contends that it should not be classified as a criminal act given the specific circumstances.

This approach allows the defendant to avoid outright admission of guilt for a sex crime. Instead, it guides the court to delve into the genuine nature of the sexual act. Working together, the defendant and their sex crime defense lawyer present an explanation or evidence to demonstrate why the act should not be deemed a crime.

Among the scenarios where an affirmative defense may be applicable are:

  • The defendant was legally married to the alleged victim when the incident occurred.
  • The alleged victim provided consent for the sexual act.
  • The defendant did not employ force, threaten, or coerce the alleged victim during the alleged offense.

If you’re facing charges or anticipate potential charges for a sex crime that may lead to registration as a sex offender in Texas, reach out to Mary E. Conn & Associates as soon as possible to get started on building a solid defense for your case. 

Talk to Seasoned Attorneys Who Can Provide Strong Defense Against Sexual Assault Charges

Facing accusations of sexual assault doesn’t imply automatic guilt or a conviction. Nevertheless, it’s crucial not to postpone contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Talk to an experienced sexual assault defense attorney immediately to understand your legal rights better and defend them effectively.

Since 1985, our criminal defense attorneys have advocated for our clients’ rights throughout Texas. Don’t let a sex crime conviction impact the rest of your life. Call a criminal defense attorney at Mary E. Conn & Associates as soon as possible. Our legal team will protect your rights and fight to get criminal charges dismissed or reduced. To speak with a seasoned sexual assault defense lawyer, schedule a consultation by calling (713) 357-4190 or completing a contact form.

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