Continuous Sex Abuse of Child
Based on Texas law, a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child is one of the most serious offenses a person can commit; if found guilty, sentencing for this sex crime is second only to capital murder in seriousness. If you or someone you know has been charged with this offense, it is vital to secure experienced legal defense immediately. Sadly, we have seen firsthand how quickly any accusation of child sex abuse can impact your life and potentially destroy your future.
Your best chance against these allegations is to find an experienced and accomplished team of sex crimes lawyers, familiar with the unique challenges that come with false accusations or charges of continuous sexual abuse. Having represented numerous clients falsely accused of these crimes, our team of certified, experienced lawyers at Barbieri Law Firm understand what you are going through.
With over 20 years of experience as a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist, Attorney Heather Barbieri is recognized as an expert in Texas sex crime defense. She and her carefully selected team of defense lawyers are dedicating to helping you throughout the entire legal process, and assure you – at Barbieri Law Firm, you are in good hands.
What is Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in Texas?
In Texas law, the term sexual abuse is used to describe a wide range of offenses with varying degrees of associated penalties. The definition of sexual abuse under the penal code includes any kind of sexual contact between an adult and a child under the age of 17 – touching or groping, as well as any penetrative acts.
The Texas Penal Code § 21.02 makes it illegal for a person to engage in forcibly or threateningly “two or more acts of sexual abuse during a period of 30 days” with a child under 14 years of age. In addition, the actor commits continuous sexual abuse of a child, regardless of whether the abuse is committed against one or more victims.
Recently, the Texas legislature expanded the law defining the offense of continuous sexual abuse to apply to acts committed against a “child” or a “disabled” individual. Under H.B. No. 375, a disabled individual is assigned the same meaning as that given under Subsection 22.021(b): “a person older than 13 years of age who by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect the person’s self from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for the person’s self.”
What are the punishments of a Continuous Sex Abuse of a Child Conviction?
Since this type of child sex crime is also considered a “violent” offense, a person charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child (under 14) faces the most serious penalties for a person charged with a sex crime in Texas. The potential punishments include the following:
- A first-time offender (a person with NO PRIOR sex offense convictions on their record) faces first-degree felony sentencing, which ranges from 25 years to life
- A repeat offender (a person who has a prior sex offense conviction on their record) is automatically sentenced to life imprisonment
In addition to mandatory state prison time, a first-time offender is required to register as a sex offender and may face up to $10,000 in fines. Unlike other sex offenses, there is no early release option for a person convicted of continuous abuse against a child, nor is probation available under the law, if convicted.
Hire a Plano Defense Firm That is Committed to Winning Cases
If you have been accused of any child sex offense, it is crucial that you find experienced criminal defense lawyers in Plano who are familiar with the unique challenges posed by these complex cases, to protect your rights and freedom.
Award-winning defense Attorney Heather Barbieri is a 10-time Super Lawyer who has earned an AVVO rating of 10 out of 10 and is widely regarded as one of the best sex lawyers in Texas. She and her team of experienced Plano defense lawyers have a proven track record of getting successful results for clients falsely accused of crimes, and they will fight aggressively to ensure you receive a fair chance of clearing your name.
Contact our team now to discuss your case and start strategizing your defense.