Dallas County Aggravated Sexual Assault
Aggressive Criminal Attorney Serving Dallas County
Sexual assault, also known as rape, is a criminal act that occurs when one individual intentionally engages in sexual contact with another individual without the second party’s consent. Aggravated sexual assault is the act of engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact through the threat or use of violence. In certain cases, the victim or offender’s status can also elevate an incidence of sexual assault to one of aggravated sexual assault.
Legally, sexual contact is defined as contact with or penetration of a victim’s genitals, anus, or mouth.
In Texas, the following circumstances are defined as aggravated sexual assault:
- Cases where the violence used to engage in sexual contact with the victim caused the victim to suffer severe bodily harm or death;
- The victim feared for his or her physical safety, his or her life, or the physical safety of another in his or her transmission of consent to sex with the offender;
- A deadly weapon was used to commit the sexual assault;
- Two or more people conspired to sexually assault the victim; and
- A date rape drug, such as ketamine, was used to commit the offense.
Additionally, an instance of sexual assault is upgraded to aggravated sexual assault when the victim is unable to consent to sex with the offender. This includes cases where the victim was 14 or younger, the victim was elderly or disabled, and cases where the offender was in a position of authority, such as a public servant or an employee of the facility where the victim lived.
Sometimes, instances of consensual sex are reframed as sexual assaults to support sexual assault charges. This can happen when an individual engages in sex after drinking or using drugs, then regrets having sex and claims he or she was date raped. Drugs and alcohol do not even have to be involved for an individual to claim he or she faced aggravated sexual assault — an individual who wakes up the next day and regrets his or her choice for any reason may file this type of charge, subjecting the partner to a criminal case and potentially steep penalties.
Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony in Texas. The penalties for an aggravated sexual assault conviction are:
- A prison term of at least five years up to 99 years of life; and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
These penalties can be steeper depending on the circumstances of the case. In cases of continuous sexual assualt of a child, the minimum prison term is 25 years. In some situations where the child is younger than 6 or a deadly weapon is involved, the minimum sentence can be increased as well.
In any circumstance, a defendant can fight the charge he or she faces. The right defense strategy depends on the circumstances of the case and the evidence both the defendant and the prosecution have to support their positions.
When you are facing a criminal charge, invest in your future liberty and social reputation by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. Do not wait to get started on your defense strategy – the longer you wait to start developing your defense, the better your chance of being convicted and ending up in prison. If you engaged in consensual, rough sex and it is now being framed as aggravated sexual assault, you have the right to tell the truth. Similarly, if you are facing this type of charge after engaging in consensual sex with a younger partner or after drinking, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop an effective defense strategy. Contact J. Michael Price II today to set up your initial consultation in our office to start working on your case.