Statutory Rape: Sex with a Minor
Sex with a minor, or statutory rape, is a sex crime in which someone engages in a sexual act with a person under the legal age of consent. Section 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code states that it is an offense for one to engage in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact if that child is younger than 17 years old. Penalites for statutory rape can be severe. At Chernoff Law, our experience has shown us that being convicted of such a crime can have devastating effects on a person’s life, including having to register as a sex offender.
Defenses for Statutory Rape
One possible legal defense exists. Although it is no defense that the adult was unaware that the child was under the age of 17, if the person being charged was no more than 3 years older than the minor, a charge might be avoided. This defense, however, depends on the age of the child. It is important to contact a sex crime lawyer at Chernoff Law so that you can understand and correctly defend charges brought against you.
Statutory Rape Penalties
Being charged and convicted of sex with a minor can greatly damage your reputation and adversely affect your life in the future. You may have to register as a sex offender. This means that anytime you apply for a loan, want to purchase a home or want to be employed, it will show up on your record. Large fines, prison sentences and other penalties are the possible results in sex crime cases.
Being charged with statutory rape does not mean you will be convicted. Sometimes, actions can be taken in the Grand Jury that will stop the prosecution. False accusations can be made and these should not be allowed to ruin a person’s life. A lot depends on the circumstances of your case and how it is defended. Our firm’s founding attorney, Ed Chernoff, is board certified in criminal law, and is a former assistant district attorney. Let him put his experience to work for you. Call us today!