Sex crimes in Texas and the rest of the United States are taken very seriously. Trials for sex crimes are not something to be taken lightly, so you don't want to hesitate to find an experienced sex crime defense attorney. If you fail to find a good attorney, you face serious charges that may affect you for the rest of your life.
What Factors Affect Sex Crime Sentencing?
Factors that affect the classification of the sex crime you are accused of are the nature of the offense, the age of the victim, and your criminal record. The nature of the offense can range from indecent exposure to sexual assault, and these crimes all carry different ranges of sentences. The victim's age is crucial when it comes to the age of consent. The sentence will often be far more severe when the victim is a minor, especially a young child. Lastly, first-time offenders are more likely to get lighter sentences than those with a previous record. A knowledgeable sex crime attorney can advise you of your potential options.
Different Sentences for Different Classes
If you are convicted of a felony sex crime in the state of Texas, you face fines up to $10,000, but the mandatory prison time dramatically varies. A first-degree felony carries a penalty of five years to life in prison, while a state jail felony can be 180 days to 2 years in state jail. For misdemeanors, you face fines up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail for class A, 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000 for class B, and up to a $500 fine for class C.
Additionally, based on factors that aren't just classification, the penalty may involve more than a fine or jail time. You may also be required to register as a sex offender, either temporarily or permanently. An experienced sex crime attorney can help fight against unjust convictions of harsher classifications that lead to penalties that are more severe than deserved.
How Sex Crime Attorneys Can Help First Time vs. Repeat Offenders
If you're facing a first-time conviction for a sex crime in Texas, you have a higher probability of receiving a lighter sentence. However, offenders with a prior record are much more likely to receive maximum sentences. A San Antonio sex crime lawyer can help you obtain a lighter sentence for your convictions if you're a first-time offender. This includes helping you appeal for a diversionary program, which may require things like community service and sobriety from drugs and alcohol in exchange for a lighter sentence and possibly having the offense struck from your record.
Sex crime accusations and convictions carry serious weight. Whether you've been wrongly convicted or you're looking to turn your life around, you deserve competent legal defense. Contact us at Cabanas Law Firm today to find a qualified sex crime lawyer and get the help you deserve.