Indecency with a child is a crime whose name alone carries immediate consequences because the offense clearly implies a person did something criminal with a minor. Harsh judgments from others are common even when a person has only been accused of this crime.
Some alleged offenders can feel as though they are immediately presumed guilty and struggling to prove their innocence before going into court. In truth, every person is entitled to a presumption of innocence and it is the prosecutor who bears the burden of proving an alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Denton Indecency with a Child Lawyer
Were you or your loved one arrested for indecency with a child in the Denton area? It is important for you to exercise your right to remain silent until you have the chance to call an attorney.
Indecency with a Child Charges in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 21.11(a) establishes that a person commits indecency with a child if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex and regardless of whether the alleged offender knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the alleged offender:
- engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or
- with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, exposes the alleged offender’s anus or any part of their genitals, knowing the child is present or causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.
Under Texas Penal Code § 21.11(c), “sexual contact” is defined as the following acts if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
- any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or
- any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person.
Engaging in sexual contact with the child or causing a child to engage in sexual contact is a second-degree felony, and exposing the anus or genitals or causing the child to expose their anus or genitals is a third-degree felony.
Indecency with a Child Penalties in Denton
An alleged offender convicted of indecency with a child offense involving exposure of their genitals when a child was present or causing a child’s genitals faces third-degree felony penalties punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or up-to 10 years in prison.
An alleged offender convicted of indecency with a child offense where they caused the child to engage in sexual contact or engaged in sexual contact with the child faces second-degree felony penalties punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or up-to 20 years in prison.
Indecency with a Child Defenses in Denton
Texas Penal Code § 21.11(b) establishes that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution for indecency with a child that the alleged offender:
- was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex;
- did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and
- at the time of the offense, was not required to register for life as a sex offender or was not a person who had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section.
Under Texas Penal Code § 21.11(b-1), it is also an affirmative defense that the alleged offender was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense.
Denton Indecency with a Child Resources
Texas Youth Hotline | Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) — The Texas Youth Hotline website is a service of the Texas Youth Hotline which provides prevention services to youths, parents, siblings, and other family members who are in need of a caring voice and sympathetic ear. Trained volunteers are on call to provide guidance on youth-related concerns, referral information, or simply listen. While the telephone hotline has been in operation since 1973, text and chat services were added in 2014. The website also has answers to frequently asked questions.
Evans v. State, 299 S.W.3d 138 (Tex.Crim.App. 2009) — Timothy K. Evans was charged in a two-count indictment with aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by contact, committed against the same victim on the same date. A jury found Evans guilty on both counts and sentenced him to confinement for 60 years for aggravated sexual assault and 20 years for indecency with a child, with the sentences to run concurrently. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas wrote that the State agreed that the Court held in Cunningham v. State, 726 S.W.2d 151 (Tex.Crim.App.1987) that all of the elements of indecency with a child are included in aggravated sexual assault of a child, and that indecency with a child is, therefore, a lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Evans’ sole issue on direct appeal was that his convictions for aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child violated his federal and state constitutional rights to be free from double jeopardy because both convictions were based on the same incident. The court of appeals agreed, and reversed, and rendered a judgment of acquittal on Count II (indecency with a child) while affirming the judgment on Count I (aggravated sexual assault of a child). The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas unanimously affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, concluding that it reached the correct result by holding that indecency with a child is a lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child when both offenses are predicated on the same act.
Find a Defense Attorney for Indecency with a Child Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you or your loved one has been arrested for alleged indecency with a child in Denton, you must act quickly to protect your rights. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most desirable outcome to your case that carries the fewest penalties. Let us explore all of your legal options when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.