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Are Sexual Assault & Rape the Same in Texas?

While you may have the impression that sexual assault and rape are different kinds of sex crimes in Texas, the reality is that they’re one and the same. Although rape is considered sexual assault in Texas, it’s not the only type of offense that may be considered sexual assault.

When you’re facing criminal charges for sexual assault or another sex crime in Texas, it’s important to have an understanding of the underlying offense. Keep reading to gain clarity on the nature and elements of sexual assault and reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney for legal assistance.

What Is Sexual Assault in Texas?

In Texas, sexual assault can refer to a sex act that allegedly occurred under several different circumstances.

These circumstances include the following:

  • Penetrative intercourse without consent
  • Sexual abuse of someone who couldn’t consent because of a disability or diminished mental capacity
  • Consensual or nonconsensual sex acts performed forcibly or violently
  • Sexual contact of any kind with a minor
  • Sexual acts performed while the victim was under duress

Some states have a separate or narrow definition of rape, but in Texas, what most people would consider rape – penetrative intercourse without consent – would likely result in a sexual assault charge.

What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in Texas?

Sexual assault is a second-degree felony in Texas, which means a conviction may be punished with a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.

Sex Offender Registration

In addition to these penalties, anyone convicted of sexual assault in Texas must register as a sex offender. This means providing local law enforcement with accurate biographical information such as a name, any aliases used, address, sex, age, address, occupation, place of work, tattoos, piercings, and more. Law enforcement makes this information, along with a photo and a description of one’s conviction, available to the public through an online database.

Regardless of its circumstances, sexual assault is one of several crimes that require lifetime sex offender registration upon conviction.

Do You Need Help Building Your Defense?

When you are facing sexual assault charges in Texas, your freedom and reputation are on the line. The consequences of a conviction can affect your privacy and peace of mind for the rest of your life.

If you know the accusations against you are unfair, our attorneys at Alband, Lane & Balderrama. Let us build you a legal defense that can help you avoid a conviction for sexual assault or mitigate your charges. Learn more about what we can do for your specific legal situation during an initial consultation.

Contact us online today to request a meeting with our legal team.

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