This is the next post in my series on defending against sexual assault charges in Austin, Texas. My previous article explained what to expect when taking a sexual assault case to trial. It is important for defendants to understand that trial is a formal process and the rules of evidence will be enforced by the Court. By retaining an attorney with extensive trial experience, one can improve the chances that their case is handled correctly. In this article I will discuss the potential penalties for a conviction. If you or a loved one have been arrested then it is vital that you seek immediate representation. I am an Austin criminal defense lawyer. I am Board Certified in criminal defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Contact us online or by telephone for assistance.
Texas’ penalties for a sexual assault conviction can be severe. Generally speaking, the offense will be charged as a second-degree felony. The offense will carry a sentence of two to twenty years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. This sentence may run “concurrently” or “consecutively” with any other offenses for which the defendant is convicted. This means, for example, that if a defendant is convicted of burglary, in addition to the assault, then they may have to serve the sentences back to back if they are run consecutively. If the sentences are run concurrently then time served will simultaneously be counted against each. Whether sentences run consecutively or concurrently will depend on the specific facts of the case.
An individual may face charges for an “aggravated” offense if they commit sexual assault and any of the following facts occur in the process:
- The accused individual caused serious harm to the victim
- The victim was afraid they would lose their life
- The use of a deadly weapon was involved
- More than one person was involved committing in the sexual assault
- Date rape drugs were used
- The victim was under the age of fourteen
- The victim was disabled or a senior citizen
If a defendant is charged with aggravated sexual assault then they face a first-degree felony. This carries a potential prison sentence ranging from five to ninety-nine years. They may also receive fines of up to $10,000. Again, this sentence may be run concurrently or consecutively with those other charges. If, for example, the defendant used a gun to threaten the victim then they would be charged with aggravated sexual assault. If the defendant were already a felon, then they would also likely be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If the sentences for these respective charges are run consecutively, then the defendant would have to serve the assault conviction before any time begins to count towards the illegal firearm conviction. Again, how a sentence will be levied will depend on the specifics of the situation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with sexual assault then it is crucial that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. It goes without saying both judges and prosecutors tend to take a harsh approach in such cases. I am an Austin criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing law since 1995. I understand that you are facing a serious situation and I will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact my office online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. My firm also serves the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.