Juvenile Sex Crimes
Sex crimes against juveniles are prosecuted harshly in the State of Texas. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, offenders who are accused of sexual crimes may face lengthy prison sentences and significant fines.
If you have been convicted of any juvenile sex crime, it’s important to preserve your freedom. To ensure your rights are protected, it is important to retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Jackson F. Gorski at The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski can develop a defense strategy for your situation.
Travis County Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney, TX
Jackson F. Gorski is an experienced Austin sex crimes defense lawyer that has handled all forms of sex crime offenses that are set for hearing at the Travis County criminal court. If you have been charged with any juvenile sex crime, retaining legal counsel is crucial. Attorney Gorski can aggressively advocate on your behalf and stop at nothing to clear your name.
The sooner you contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski, the better. Call 512-960-4646 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin, TX, and Georgetown TX, but also serves clients in Jollyville, Lockhart, Round Rock, Kyle, Lakeway, Cedar Park, Anderson Mill, Taylor, Canyon Lake, and Seguin.
- Common Juvenile Sex Crimes in TX
- Differences Between Being Tried As A Juvenile And Adult
- Penalties for Juvenile Sex Crimes in Texas
- Juvenile Sentencing Options
- Defenses to Juvenile Sex Crimes in TX
- Additional Resources
Common Juvenile Sex Crimes in TX
Juvenile sex crimes are crimes of a sexual nature that an individual under eighteen commits. For most crimes, the law regards an individual as a minor in Texas if the individual is seventeen or younger. However, sex-related crimes define “child” or “minor” as someone who is fourteen or younger. Whatever the age, the individual can expect a juvenile court judge to preside over their case if they are not yet eighteen years old. The individual should not take juvenile sex crimes less seriously because they occur outside of adult criminal court. The crimes are still significant, and so are the definitions of their offenses. Below are common sex crimes a prosecutor may file against an individual.
- Date rape
- Sexual assault
- Child molestation
Differences Between Being Tried As A Juvenile And Adult
The prosecutor may request that the judge hold an individual’s case in adult court instead of a juvenile court in some circumstances. If the nature of the individual’s alleged offense is quite severe, a judge will likely agree to try the individual as an adult. Otherwise, a jury may find the individual as an adjudicated delinquent rather than finding the individual guilty. Even as an adjudicated delinquent, the penal system may order the individual to register as a sex offender. But the individual’s sex offender registration will likely be lighter than if the individual were tried as an adult. For example, many adult sex offenders must register for a mandatory minimum of twenty years to life in Texas. As a minor, the individual may only have to register for ten years.
There are similarities between the court trying an individual as a juvenile and as an adult. A juvenile is still entitled to an attorney, to attorney-client privilege, to cross-examination of the prosecutor’s witnesses, and to request a speedy trial by a jury of the individual’s peers.
Penalties for Juvenile Sex Crimes in TX
There is a range of penalties based on the crime. If the prosecutor charged an individual with a 1st-degree sex-related felony and tried the individual as a juvenile, a judge may sentence the individual to up to forty years in prison and order the individual to pay a fine of up to $10,000. On the other hand, a 2nd-degree felony, a lesser offense, is punishable by up to twenty years behind bars with a fine of up to $10,000. A 3rd-degree felony is punishable by up to ten years. Other sentences include hefty fines and probation. A judge may also order a combination.
Juvenile Sentencing Options
Penalties vary slightly when the state tries an individual as a juvenile delinquent. A judge may order a juvenile offender to a determinate or indeterminate sentence or probation in Texas. Let’s start with the lightest of sentencing possibilities: probation.
If a judge grants the individual probation, this may mean the individual will have to serve it from home or a Texas Juvenile Justice Department center. The judge will likely mandate the individual to attend certain therapeutic and rehabilitative courses because the individual is a minor, and the penal system firmly believes in offering minors a second chance to clean up their acts. However, do not assume that probation is a cakewalk. There will be a court-ordered curfew and community service for the individual to complete. Community service may include cleaning the streets, spending time with the elderly at nursing homes, participating in building repair, or recycling. Depending on the nature of the individual’s crime, the individual could have to wear a restrictive and embarrassing ankle monitor.
But what if the judge finds that a determinate sentence is in the individual’s best interest? In a determinate sentence, the judge restricts the individual to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for a specific number of years corresponding with the severity of the individual’s sexual offense. The judge can, and more than likely will, transfer the individual to an adult prison facility once the individual turns nineteen.
Suppose a judge sentences the individual to an indeterminate sentence. In that case, the individual will spend nine to twenty-four months minimum at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department until the judge finds that the individual has learned their lesson, has progressed beyond their delinquency, and is rehabilitated. However long the individual’s indeterminate sentencing is, it cannot last beyond the individual’s nineteenth birthday. Thus, if the court adjudicated the individual at fourteen, a judge can constrict the individual to this detention center for five years if it’s deemed necessary.
Defenses to Juvenile Sex Crimes in TX
There are defenses to every crime. However, the penal systems base applicable defenses on the elements and factors of a crime. Therefore, the particulars of the crime the police charge an individual with will impact which defenses the individual’s attorney may use. Without knowing the specifics of what the police charged the individual with, here are general defenses common to most sex crimes:
- False accusation (e.g., a spurned lover wants revenge, or a partner wants to cover up her pregnancy)
- Mistaken identity
- Insufficient evidence (e.g., medical reports or witness statements don’t corroborate what allegedly happened)
- Lack of intent
Sexual Health Program – The Brookhaven Youth Ranch website is a nonprofit that explains respecting healthy sexual boundaries, maneuvering issues of sexual identity, and discussing maladaptive sexual acting out behaviors. Furthermore, it provides licensed sexual offender treatment educators in Texas.
Juvenile Programs – The State of Texas Nueces County’s website provides a juvenile sex offender program to correct maladaptive sexual behaviors and rehabilitation.
TX Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney, Austin
Defendants often find that allegations of juvenile sex crimes have personal implications to go alongside the judicial ones. With Austin criminal defense attorney Jackson F. Gorski on your side, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having a seasoned sex crimes lawyer in your corner who can help you to navigate through the difficulties associated with sexual assault allegations.
The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski understands that a thorough and detailed investigation will be an important part of providing an effective defense for you. No stone will be left unturned when it comes to finding a way out for you. Defending you starts with a detailed analysis of the accusations, which will reveal instances of interest and guide our investigation.
If you’re ready to secure legal representation for your case, contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski at 512-960-4646 as soon as possible. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in both Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients in other counties including Blanco County, Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Bastrop County, and Milam County.