Super-Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

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Super-Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child2018-09-03T19:55:27+00:00

If you or a loved one has been accused of super-aggravated sexual assault of a child, you need a lawyer who will fight for you and defend your good name. Sexual crimes against children are serious offenses that the State of Texas aggressively pursues. You can’t fight these charges alone, nor should you have to.

When you contact the Law Office of Paul Schiffer, you don’t just get an experienced attorney who has tried cases like this before, you get a compassionate and understanding team that will stand by you from beginning to end. When you work with us, we will never judge you because of the charges against you. Instead, we will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve.

 

What is Super-Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child?

According to the Texas Penal Code, super-aggravated sexual assault of a child is an extension of aggravated sexual assault of a child that has been enhanced because of certain additional factors. An aggravated sexual assault of a child becomes super-aggravated when the alleged victim is under the age of six, or if the accused is convicted of a violent sexual assault against someone under the age of 14. This enhanced crime carries enhanced penalties and has far reaching consequences.

Super aggravated sexual assault of a child is relatively new to the Texas Penal Code. It was designed to deter offenders from repeating the same crime after they have been released. It is one of the most serious felonies in the state.

 

The Definition of the Crime

Super-aggravated sexual assault of a child involves sexual contact between the alleged victim and the accused’s sex organs, anus, or mouth. In order for the crime to be established, aggravated sexual assault of a child must have also occurred.

 

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Under Section 22.021, aggravated sexual assault of a child includes two basic elements. The first is an intentional sexual assault (penetration) without consent. The second element is one or more of the following:  

  • serious bodily injury to the alleged victim;
  • attempt to kill the alleged victim;
  • that the alleged victim feared they or someone else would die;
  • that the alleged victim feared they or someone else would be harmed;
  • that the alleged victim feared they or someone else would be kidnapped;
  • the use of a deadly weapon or the showing a deadly weapon;
  • that the accused acted in concert with another in the initial act;
  • that the accused used a drug like Rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate or ketamine to facilitate the sexual assault; or
  • that the victim is under the age of 14, or is disabled or elderly.

Aggravated sexual assault of a child is committed when the two above elements are present against any victim under the age of 17. If the alleged victim is under the age of 14, there doesn’t need to be another factor like violent force, or the use of threats, weapons, or drugs. While those elements need not be present, the charge can be more serious if they are.

Again, the crime becomes super-aggravated when the alleged victim is under the age of six, or if the sexual assault is of a child younger than 14 and caused serious bodily injury or attempted to cause death.

Note that, even if the alleged victim gave his or her consent to the sexual contact, a crime would still have been committed, because a child can’t legally give consent to a sexual act because of their age. Since consent isn’t a defense, having an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney on your side is incredibly important. Similarly, ignorance of the child’s age in any of these cases can’t be used as a defense.

 

Proving Super-Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Because of the serious nature of these cases, prosecutors aggressively pursue them. However, the necessary elements of these cases are not always easy to prove. During the trial, the prosecution must prove that each element of the crime has occurred, and that the accused is the person who actually committed it.

Besides that, the prosecution has to prove the age of the alleged victim at the time of the offense. In super-aggravated sexual assault of a child, this means proving that they were under the age of six at that time, or that the child was younger than 14 and was the victim of serious bodily injury or there was an attempt to kill the child. “Serious” is a legal term that requires both a factual and legal analysis by an experienced lawyer like Paul Schiffer.

The prosecution will also have to prove that the other factors outlined in the definition of the crime were present. Everything that the prosecution presents needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a verdict of guilty.   

That can leave some room for a good defense attorney to attack the prosecution’s case. Having a quality defense attorney can be the difference between your freedom and a lengthy prison sentence.

 

Possible Penalties

Super-aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony in Texas. It carries a prison sentence ranging from 25 years to life, fines up to $10,000, and the defendant’s ineligibility for parole. Since it’s an enhanced extension of an already serious crime, the punishment is enhanced under the Texas Penal Code, in an effort to deter convicted offenders from repeating the same crime.

Here is a breakdown of related sexual assault crimes and their penalties so you can see the difference:

 

CrimeClassificationPunishment
Super aggravated sexual assault of a childFirst-degree felony 25 years to life in state prison, maximum fines of $10,000, lifetime sex offender registration, ineligible for parole
Aggravated sexual assault of an adult or childFirst-degree felony5-99 years in state prison, maximum fines of $10,000, lifetime sex offender registration
Sexual assault of an adult or childSecond-degree felony2-20 years in state prison, maximum fines of $10,000, lifetime sex offender registration

 

Further Ramifications

If you’re found guilty of this crime, your punishment doesn’t necessarily end when you complete your sentence. There are consequences that can affect your life from the moment you are released from prison. Some of these consequences are:

  • restrictions on where you can live and work;
  • difficulty finding or keeping a job;
  • the inability to volunteer with certain organizations;
  • the inability to obtain or the revocation of certain professional licenses;
  • difficulties running for public office;
  • loss of custody or visitation rights of biological children;
  • difficulty fostering or adopting a child;
  • the inability to possess firearms;
  • negative impact to immigration status, and denial of citizenship;
  • public stigma in your community;
  • strained personal relationships;
  • difficulty gaining admission to college or similar schools;
  • the denial of financial aid for school; and
  • the denial of government aid or difficulty applying for government aid.

 

Sex Offender Registration

Since super-aggravated sexual assault of a child is a reportable offense in Texas, you’ll be required to register as a sex offender. Due to the nature of this crime, this is a lifetime registration once you’re released from prison. Registration will affect where you live and where you’re able to work, and may damage your personal relationships.

As a registered sex offender, your name and address will appear in a public database that can be accessed by anyone. This national registry can also disclose things like your employer’s name and address, the name and address of the school you’re attending, and your vehicle’s description and license plate number. You will also need special permission to travel in some cases, and you might have your passport revoked.

As a sex offender, you may be required to enroll in a local treatment or management program like the Sex Offender Treatment Program or the Sex Offender Management Program, both run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Note that failure to complete this registration, failing to update your status, or entering wrong information is considered a felony under federal law that can result an additional prison sentence for up to 10 years, as well as additional fines. The State of Texas will also prosecute you for failing to register.

 

Possible Defenses Against a Charge of Super-Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Super-aggravated sexual assault of a child is a tough case for both sides of the courtroom. The prosecution has a lot to prove, but the defense doesn’t have some of the reliable defenses that it can employ for other, similar, crimes. For example, the alleged victim’s consent is not a defense in this case, because of the youth of the alleged victim.

That being said, however, a good, high-quality defense attorney like Paul Schiffer and his team knows what to look for to craft your best possible defense against these charges. An experienced defense attorney knows that proving the elements of this crime isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

 

Why You Need a Defense Attorney

The prosecution faces a high hurdle to prove the elements of this crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That leaves room for a qualified defense attorney like Paul Schiffer and his team to come in and fight for you.

Sex crimes like super-aggravated sexual assault of a child are highly technical. It’s important that your defense attorney has experience with this specific type of cases. Only then can you be sure that your defense attorney knows how to properly defend you in a trial, if a trial becomes necessary. Your defense attorney must have experience in building your defense from the start, cross-examining witnesses, consulting and using expert witnesses to rebut the charges, and presenting the facts to a jury in a way that will convince the fact finders that you are not guilty of the charges against you.

At the Law Office of Paul Schiffer, we understand how serious the charges against you are. We’ll explain everything to you completely so you understand what you’re dealing with. We’ll listen to your case, analyze it, and tell you what you can expect based on the facts presented. There will be no surprises and we’ll keep you informed of everything every step of the way.

If you or a loved one has been charged with super-aggravated sexual assault of a child, don’t face this difficult time alone. Contact our office today for help. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin building your defense. You can contact the Law Office of Paul Schiffer by phone, email, through our website, or by stopping by our office. We’re ready to help.

 

How has Paul Schiffer Successfully Defended Cases of this Kind?

That’s a great question, but you won’t find the answer here. While there is nothing inherently secret about a great defense, some attorneys are simply better prepared, more creative, and more experienced than others. It’s that combination that makes Paul Schiffer successful in defending these cases. A professional sports team, or an army preparing for battle, doesn’t disclose its strategy to the opposition. It is only through a confidential, in-person, meeting with Paul Schiffer, where your information is protected by the attorney-client privilege, that he will discuss potential strategies that are tailored to your circumstances. Call today to set up a meeting with Paul in his office. Be sure to bring any paperwork or other information you have about your case or an investigation.   

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Serious problems require serious lawyers.

Call Houston Child Sex Crimes attorney Paul Schiffer today at (713)-521-0059 to start strategically building your defense.