Dallas Indecency with a Child Lawyer, Serving Dallas and North Texas
If you or a loved one has been accused of indecency with a child in Dallas or the surrounding area, the most important thing you can do is contact an experienced Dallas indecency with a child lawyer. This accusation can have devastating consequences on every facet of your life, including your job, family, and reputation.
In this article, we will discuss the offense, the punishment, and possible defenses. But first, please watch the video by Board Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer Benson Varghese.
What is Indecency with a Child by Contact (fondling) in Texas?
Under Section 21.11 (a) (1) of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits indecency with a child by contact – also referred to as fondling – if he or she engages in sexual contact with a child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact with them with the intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire.
Sexual contact means touching a child’s anus, breast or any part of the genitals – or causing the child to touch their anus, breast, or any part of the genitals. This includes over the clothing; It does not involve penetration.
What is Indecency with a Child by Exposure in Texas?
Under Section 21.11 (a) (2) of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits indecency with a child by exposure if he or she exposes their anus or any part of their genitals with a child present – or causes a child to expose their anus or genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
What is child molestation in Texas?
When people use the term “child molestation” in Texas, they are actually referring to the offense of indecency with a child. Indecency with a child is a very serious charge in Texas that can be committed in two ways: by sexual contact or by exposure.
Who is considered a child for the purposes of this offense?
Any person under the age of 17 is considered a minor and would be a victim for the purposes of this offense.
What is the punishment for Indecency with a Child in Texas?
The punishment for indecency with a child depends on how you are charged.
- Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Indecency with a child by exposure is a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Do you have to register as a sex offender if convicted of Indecency with a Child in Dallas?
Yes, a conviction for indecency with a child will require sex offender registration. How long depends on the charge for which you were convicted.
- If you are convicted of indecency with a child by contact, you will have to register as sex offender for life.
- If you are convicted of indecency with a child by exposure, you will have to register for 10 years. However, if you are convicted again of indecency with a child by exposure, you will have to register for life.
How will a Dallas Indecency with a Child lawyer defend my case?
An experienced Dallas indecency with a child lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and develop the strongest defense possible. The attorney will first determine whether there is an affirmative defense to indecency with a child – which means you can avoid legal responsibility if either of these applies to your specific situation. The two affirmative defenses are:
- The defendant was not more than three years older (in most cases) than the alleged victim, did not use force or duress, and at the time of the offense, was not required to register for life as a sex offender and had no prior convictions or adjudication for a sex offense. This is commonly referred to as the Romeo and Juliet defense. Texas law recognizes young adults and teenagers often get into consensual sexual relationships and this affirmative defense protects them from prosecution.
- The defendant and the alleged victim were married.
If neither of these affirmative defenses apply, there are still other ways to defend against indecency with a child charge in Dallas. Some of these defenses include, but are not limited to:
- Innocent: the allegation is false;
- Insufficient evidence: the prosecution cannot prove the elements of the case;
- Motive: accuser has a motive to lie, such as divorce or revenge;
- Lack of opportunity: the accused was never alone with the child
Again, it’s important to work with an experienced defense attorney with vast experience handling child sex cases. The attorney will listen to the facts and circumstances of the allegations and tailor the strongest defense possible.
Speak to a Dallas Indecency with a Child Lawyer Today.
If you have been accused of indecency with a child, your life has probably been turned upside down. In addition to facing jail time, fines, and sex offender registration, you may also have to deal with the stigma of being accused of a sex crime.
You may have lost your job, and your family may be struggling to deal with the accusations. An experienced Dallas indecency with a child lawyer can help you navigate this difficult time and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 214-903-4000 today for a free consultation. Find out why the attorneys at Varghese Summersett are the ones people turn to when facing the most challenging time of their lives.