Arrested For Indecency With A Child?
Is there any other crime other than indecency with a child, or exposure to a child, that produces such immediate public anger? When I ask potential jurors if they believe children never lie about these types of allegations, why am I not surprised when most of them answer that children never make these accusations up. Overcoming the biases and prejudices people have toward these accusations is extremely challenging and getting a fair trial, despite the presumption of innocence has been a battle every time I have tried one of these cases.
Under the Texas Penal Code a person commits the offense of indecency with a child if the person engages in sexual contact (any touching of the anus, breasts, or genitals, with intent to gratify or arouse one’s sexual desire) with a child younger than 17 years of age. It is an affirmative defense to both indecency with a child and sexual assault of a child if the conduct was consensual and no more than three years in age separated the two. A second way of committing indecency with a child is by exposing one’s anus or genitals knowing the child is present and having the intent to arouse one’s self sexually, or causes the child to expose the child’s anus or genitals, again, with the intent to arouse one’s sexual desire.
Penalties For Indecency With A Child In Texas
Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony with a range of 2 to 20 years in a Texas prison, and indecency with a child by exposure is a third degree felony with a range of 2 to 10 years, plus fines. A person convicted or placed on probation for indecency by contact has the additional burden of having to register for life as a sex offender. A person convicted or placed on probation for indecency by exposure has a duty to register as a sex offender for a maximum of 10 years in Texas.
Posting Bond After an Arrest for Indecency with a Child
If you have been arrested for indecency with a child, or need to understand your options ahead of an impending arrest, it’s important to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer at your first opportunity.
There is a very strong chance that the bond for a charge of indecency with a child will be set well above normal bond recommendations. This is possibly because of the nature of the alleged offense and the public attitude towards convicted or offenders or even those merely accused of the crime of indecency with a child.
In order to have your bond set at a reasonable level, you will need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer, such as myself. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to petition the judge via a writ of habeas corpus to set your bond amount at a reasonable level. This will allow you to post bail and sort out your affairs sensibly, provided you act inside of the limits of your bond conditions.
Depending on the position of your judge and the nature of the charges levied against you, you may have overtly restrictive bond conditions placed upon you. These bond conditions can make it extremely difficult to adequately prepare a future defense and may affect your employment. Further, if the conditions are overly restrictive and you breach them, you may have your bond revoked and be taken into custody. Therefore, it is extremely important that you obtain the counsel of a good criminal defense lawyer prior to applying for bond.
Do you have to Register as a Sex Offender if you are convicted of Indecency with a Child?
Texas law, and in some cases Federal law, require those convicted of indecency with a child to register as a sex offender. This applies not only to those convicted, but also to those who are placed into deferred adjudication.
The severity of your charges will impact the term that you are required to register. In Texas, a conviction of indecency with a child by exposure may lead to a person with no criminal history being required to register for 10 years after their sentence has been completed. However, a person who is convicted of indecency with a child by contact, even with no prior criminal history, will likely be required to register for life.
Once convicted, you will be required to register, no matter which state in the United States you live in. All states have penalties for failing to register a sex offender, and this can be a separate charge on your record if you are convicted. Registering as sex offender for indecency with a child can have significant impacts on your wellbeing. A wide range of employment will be unavailable to you, the areas in which you live may be restricted and the social impact can be considerable.
There is no going back once the conviction is recorded. As such, it is absolutely critical that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer at the earliest point in the process that is possible. You have the right to a competent defense, and you should seek it out the first chance you get.
Your Best Defense – Call Me Today
Over a 40-year career as a Texas trial attorney, both prosecuting and defending these indecency with a child, and exposure to a child cases I have found that investigation and intensive preparation are the keys to a successful resolution. Jurors want to know what the child’s reason to fabricate might be. Is there a nasty divorce? Are the child custody issues? Is there anger, defiance, vindictiveness? Has the child’s memory been tampered with by suggestion or false memory? The prosecution only hears one side when they decide to file charges. But, there are two sides to a story and it is with the help of an experienced, aggressive, and dedicated sex crimes defense attorney that the actual truth can be exposed. This, many times, has resulted in Grand Juries not indicting, dismissals, reduction of charges, or acquittals by trial juries.
Call me today at 713-521-0059 for a free and confidential case evaluation.