Sexual Assault Attorney San Antonio TX

Few criminal accusations are as devastating to a client as being arrested or investigated for a sexual offense. An arrest can occur without corroborating or forensic evidence or even where reasonable doubt of the claimant’s motives exists. The impact on the client may be life-changing as family, friends and co-workers assume the worst about a person.

In Texas, sexual assault is any sexual contact that is forced, coerced, or is a direct result of intimidation. Although rape is the most reported form of sexual assault it is not by any means the only action that constitutes sexual assault.

You Have Been Accused of Sexual Assault. Now What?

Many sex crime cases are based on little or no physical evidence.  That is one reason why it is so important that you not make any statement to the police without first consulting a qualified sex crimes defense lawyer.  That means a lawyer with specific experience and success in the defense of sex offenses. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you will help yourself by speaking to the police.  More often than not speaking to the police when you are charged with a sex offense turns out to be the worst mistake you could make.  For example, people accused of a sex offense often think that they can talk the police out of issuing a sex crime charge or they think that they will convince the police that they are more believable than the person who accused them.  It may turn out that what you say during that interview with the police, even something that you consider innocent, ends up providing a critical piece of evidence to the state’s case against you.  The best course of action in a sex offense case is to politely inform the police that you want to speak to a lawyer first and contact a qualified sex offense defense lawyer immediately.  Let an experienced sex offense defense lawyer decide whether and when to speak with the police.

Another mistake that people make when confronted by police is to think that they look guilty if they do not answer questions.  Some police officers are good at giving that impression.  Do not fall into this trap.  A sex offense charge is too serious to try to wing it on your own with the police.  The best course of action is to politely decline to answer questions until you speak with an experienced sex offense defense lawyer.

Texas Federal Sex Crime Attorney

Some sex crimes are investigated by the FBI or other federal agencies and prosecuted in the United States District Courts, such as child pornography and internet sex crimes.

Building a defense in federal court is different from that in state court. The federal government brings fewer of these cases to trial, but they tend to be more serious and often easier to prosecute due to audio or videotape evidence or other strong evidence of guilt. Federal cases often involve multiple defendants further complicating the building of a strong defense.

Federal crimes carry very long prison sentences and are determined by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. An attorney with an understanding of the Sentencing Guidelines and extensive experience working in federal court is absolutely essential to defending a federal case. If you have been accused of a sex crime in federal court, you need to immediately contact an attorney with experience in the federal system.

Accused of UT Campus Sexual Assault?

YOUR FUTURE IS AT RISK

You are being investigated for a university disciplinary issue, campus sexual assault, or even date rape. Penalties can range up to expulsion, and you may even face criminal charges as well. Your academic career, your future career, and potentially even your freedom, are at stake if you don’t take care of this matter immediately and properly.

  • Do not go to any meetings with your EAD office or disciplinary office.
  • Do not speak to the police or campus investigators.
  • DO NOT tweet, text, Facebook or post anything about the matter or about your accuser on any social media, for any reason.
  • Get an attorney immediately. The earlier you involve an attorney, the more we can do to minimize the damage to your academic record and to your future.

THE SCHOOL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND

The system is now rigged against accused men. You are automatically a “predator,” or the “accused.” This is not a criminal court – YOU HAVE FEWER RIGHTS THAN YOU BELIEVE. You need skilled representation – right now.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Campus sexual assault defense attorneys David J. Fuller and Eric D. Ridley will investigate your accuser and your case, counsel you, represent you, and even sue the school and school officials if appropriate, to protect your rights, your academic career, and your future.

We Defend Students Charged With Criminal & Disciplinary Violations

Campus sex allegations are terrifying. Students, particularly male students, who are the majority of those accused, have few to no due process rights. You may face not only conduct code violation charges but also Title IX violation charges and criminal prosecution.

Many college students and even many defense lawyers don’t realize that campus sexual assaults can lead to separate charges for conduct code violations, Title IX violations, and criminal charges involving possible jail time.

You need a campus sexual assault defense lawyer who is experienced in not only college student defense but also experienced in university Title IX procedures and criminal prosecutions.

Texas Sex Crime FAQ

Q: Do I really need a Lawyer?

A: If you are charged with a crime it is extremely important that you speak to a lawyer. People often think their criminal problems will go away by themselves. Without proper counsel, people often make incriminating statements to the police. To protect your rights and your freedom you should call an experienced defense attorney.

Understanding your rights is the first step in protecting them. People often cooperate with police for fear of appearing guilty, but they may also make incriminating statements to people working with the police. These deceptive tactics used by police may be used against you.

Q. Should I provide the police with a statement if I have been contacted by a police agency about a possible sex crime investigation?

A. Not without first speaking to an attorney. If you are considered to be a possible criminal suspect, you should never provide a statement to the police without having a lawyer present. Even if the police detective tells you they just want to chat and are not requesting a formal statement. They may try to convince you that talking to them will help you and remaining silent will hurt you but this is not true. The police can say anything, even lie to you in order to get a statement.

Q: What will happen if a crime of sex is filed against me?

Once the District Attorney’s Office has filed charges, the first step is the arraignment. At the arraignment, we will receive a copy of the complaint and the discovery packet with the police report and relevant evidence such as witness statements, photos, and physical evidence. We will then review the reports and continue our own investigation. If there are any motions to file we will draft and file those with the court. At the next hearing, we will discuss the merits of your case with a deputy district attorney and present additional or new evidence.

A misdemeanor charge is often dismissed or negotiated for a favorable plea by our attorneys before going to court.

A felony charge can be dismissed, reduced to a misdemeanor, or negotiated for a favorable plea prior to trial. If the case continues a preliminary hearing will be set. In the preliminary hearing, the prosecution presents a summarized version of their case to a judge in an attempt to have the accused held over to answer at trial for the alleged crimes. The rules of evidence are more relaxed at a preliminary hearing than at trial as well as the standard used to determine whether someone should be held to answer.

The result of the preliminary hearing can be one of three things: (1) Not held to answer where there isn’t enough evidence and the case is dismissed (2) Reduction of charges against you down to a misdemeanor (3) Held to answer where we move to superior court and to trial.

Q: What are possible punishments for violating a sex crime law?

Punishments for sex crimes vary by type of crime and whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor sex crime conviction can be punished by up to 1 year in county jail, fines, mandatory counseling, AIDS testing, community service, and probation. A felony sex crime conviction can result in a sentence of probation with up to 1 year of the county jail, or various state prison sentences. Some sex crimes are considered strike offenses and a third strike can result in a state prison sentence of 25 years to life. A conviction for some sex crimes may also result in lifetime registration as a sex offender or sexual predator. The punishment can also be affected by other factors such as prior criminal history or whether you are in violation of previous probation or parole.

Q: What is sex offender registration?

The state of Texas requires violent and dangerous sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies where they are placed on a list. In 1996 with the passing of “Megan’s Law” law enforcement agencies are now required to notify and provide a warning to local communities about dangerous sex offenders in the area. A person required to register must do so yearly for the rest of their lives. Their name will be available to the public and they must report their location to law enforcement every time they move. Not all sex crimes require registration, but many do.

Q: Can a sex crime conviction be removed from my record?

Yes. Depending on the type of sex crime, it may be possible to get it expunged which results in your conviction being dismissed and/or having your guilty plea set aside. If you are a registered sex offender, you may be able to get out of the requirement with the help of our attorneys. If you have successfully completed the terms of your probation or parole and wish to know if you are eligible to get off the sex offender lists, contact us.