Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Assisting Clients Charged with Rape
Rape is one of the most serious allegations that can be made against a Collin County resident. The social stigma of the accusation may remain forever, even if the accused is tried and acquitted by a jury or no formal charges are filed. If the accused is convicted, he or she faces decades behind bars. There will also be a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender. This is why the first thing you should do if you have been accused of rape is to contact a qualified Collin County sex crimes attorney.
How Texas Law Defines Rape
The word “rape” does not actually appear in the Texas Penal Code. Rape usually refers to one of two distinct categories of criminal offenses: sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault.
Sexual assault refers to crimes where a person is accused of compelling someone else to engage in sexual penetration without their consent. This includes the following scenarios:
- The accused penetrates the anus or sexual organ of the accuser;
- The accused uses his or her sexual organ to penetrate the mouth of the accuser; or
- The accused causes the accuser to penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of anyone else (including the accuser) with their sexual organ.
All of the acts listed are illegal, regardless of purported consent, if the accuser was a child–i.e., anyone under the age of 17–at the time they occurred. This is what is commonly known as statutory rape.
Aggravated sexual assault includes all of the elements of sexual assault described above. But in addition, a Collin County prosecutor must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused caused “serious bodily injury” or attempted to kill the accuser in the course of the rape. Aggravated sexual assault also includes cases where:
- The accused made threats that placed the victim “in fear” of death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping;
- The accused used or exhibited a “deadly weapon” while committing the rape;
- The accused acted in concert with one or more others, i.e. a “gang rape”; or
- The accused used a “date rape drug” such as gamma hydroxybutyrate to incapacitate the victim.
What Are the Penalties for Rape Charges in Texas?
Texas normally charges sexual assault as a second-degree felony. This means that if convicted, the accused faces a prison term of no less than 2 and no more than 20 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony, which is subject to a minimum prison term of between 5 and 99 years and a maximum term of life. However, if the victim is a child, the minimum prison term can be increased to 25 years.
Get Help From a Collin County Lawyer Today
A rape charge is never a simple matter. You will quickly be overwhelmed if you have not dealt with the criminal justice system before. This is why you need to work with an experienced Collin County criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the process and make sure the courts respect your rights. Contact Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, today at 972-200-9395, to schedule a free consultation with one of our Collin County rape defense lawyers today.