Sexual Assault Defense Attorney Protects Your Good Name in Kerrville and the Texas Hill Country
Formidable defense representation for serious felony charges
Of all the criminal cases we defend at the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C., the ones most damaging to the accused are cases of sexual assault. These charges immediately strain the defendant’s relationship with friends, families, co-workers and the community at large. Potential penalties include a lengthy sentence, a heavy fine, and the requirement to register as a sex offender for life. The accused can suffer long-term consequences to reputation and career even if charges are disproved. When you are accused of sexual assault, you need the highest level of defense representation. That’s exactly what I offer. I am one of the very few attorneys in Texas who are board-certified for criminal defense. I have more than 40 years of experience protecting the rights of criminal defendants, and I’m determined to help you get the best result possible in your sexual assault case.
Texas sexual assault charges and penalties
Sexual assault is a particularly scandalous category of crime, and state authorities prosecute it very aggressively. Texas sexual assault crimes include:
- Sexual assault — Nonconsensual intercourse is a felony of the second degree, calling for a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a possible fine of $10,000.
- Aggravated sexual assault — The most serious forms of rape are felonies in the first degree, allowing for a prison term of five years to life.
- Statutory rape — Consensual sex with a person under the age of 17 is sexual assault. Texas has a “Romeo and Juliet law” to protect close-in-age offenders, when the victim is at least 15 and the offender is no more than four years older.
- Prohibited sexual conduct — This charge covers various forms of sexual contact between persons who are not supposed to be sexually involved, such as stepparents and their stepchildren. This is a felony of the third degree, calling for two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Indecency with a child — This form of battery is most often a felony of the second degree, leading to two to 20 years of prison time and a possible fine of $10,000.
- Improper relationship between educator and student — This offense is a felony of the second degree, calling for two to 20 years of prison time and a possible fine of $10,000.
- Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children — This type of abuse is a felony of the first degree, punishable by a prison term of five years to life.
Despite the severe penalties, many accused individuals think they can get a good outcome by cooperating with authorities in a “search for the truth.” Unfortunately, even though a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, authorities are often unwilling to give accused persons the benefit of the doubt, especially when alleged victims appear sympathetic. In the face of this bias, I use my expertise to strongly assert and protect your rights. I can help you understand the charges against you and give you the confidence to stand up to a grueling legal process as I work diligently for a positive outcome.
Viable defenses to a charge of sexual assault.
Depending on the facts of your case, there are a number of ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can address the charges against you:
- Alibi — Having an alibi means being able to prove you were somewhere else at the time the offense was committed. Asserting an alibi requires solid physical evidence or reliable testimony from a witness.
- Mistaken identity — If you don’t have an alibi, you could challenge the alleged victim’s ability to identify you with certainty.
- Consent — If you did have sexual relations with the accuser, you can assert the activity was consensual, provided the accuser is an adult, had the capacity to consent at the time, and is not someone with whom you are prohibited by law from engaging in sexual activity.
- False accusation — An accuser may make a false accusation to hurt the accused. False accusations of this kind are difficult to fight, especially when the accuser is credible and sympathetic, because mounting a strong defense can look as if the defendant is attacking the character of a victim.
- Mental incapacity — If the accused was incapacitated at the time due to drugs or alcohol, it is possible to make an argument for diminished capacity based on your inability to recognize the accuser’s failure to consent.
- Tainted testimony — In cases of sexual assault against a child, there may be a basis for asserting that prosecutors have tainted the process by urging the alleged victim to make an accusation. In the past, tainted testimony has been the impetus for unfortunate witch hunts in debunked child daycare abuse cases.
- Illegal search and seizure — If evidence of the alleged assault resulted from unlawful police procedure, an attorney can move to have the evidence suppressed. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution; if evidence is unavailable, the case must be dropped.
There are also many other considerations in these cases. News coverage of sexual assault cases can take on a life of its own, causing irreparable damage to the accused’s reputation even if the case ends in an acquittal. I have the experience to manage every aspect of your case, inside the courtroom and out. I protect your rights and work to deliver the best outcome possible under the facts of the case.
Contact a board-certified criminal defense lawyer for sexual assault charges in Kerrville
Accusations of sexual assault can destroy your reputation and rob you of your future. If you have been arrested or are under investigation, trust the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. to provide a formidable defense that protects your rights. To schedule an appointment, call 830-955-8168 or contact my Kerrville office online.