What does improper relations between a student and educator mean in Texas?
Sex offenses are criminal acts that involve unlawful sexual behavior, ranging from indecent exposure to rape and prostitution. In Texas, sex crimes are taken very seriously, with harsh penalties for those convicted of these serious criminal offenses.
If you have been accused of improper relations between an educator and a student, it is important to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer right away. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the criminal justice process, working to protect your interests and obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Understanding Sex Offenses in Texas: Improper Relations Between Student & Educator
One of the most common sex offenses in Texas is improper relations between an educator and a student. Under state law, it is considered criminal behavior (“Improper Relations”) for any educator to “engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse,” or other activity with a student who is younger than 18 years old. This includes everything from touching to intercourse and can result in severe criminal penalties for offenders.
Section 21.12 of the Texas Penal Code states that an educator who engages in “improper” relations with a student includes an employee of a private or public school where the student is enrolled, or employee of the school district they are in. If an employee is convicted of this type of sexual offense, he or she will be punished for committing a second-degree felony – Texas law requires a sentence of anywhere from 2 to 20 years in prison.
Under Subsection 21.12(c), the employee may also be charged with the sexual assault of a child:
(c) If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both sections.
It is up to the judge or jury to determine, if convicted of multiple charges, how the penalties will run. While a defendant’s information is public in sex cases like this, the victim, enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school, may not be released to the public. Your best chance to protect your reputation and fight the false charges you face is retaining the best sex crimes defense in Collin County.
ARE ANY AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE?
Under Texas statute for this offense, the defense may present facts to support its affirmative defense that (1) the actor was the spouse of the enrolled person at the time of the offense OR (2) the actor was not more than three years older than the enrolled person and, at the time of the offense, the actor and the enrolled person were in a relationship that began before the actor’s employment at a public or private primary or secondary school.
AGGRESSIVE SEX OFFENSE CRIMINAL DEFENSE IN COLLIN COUNTY
If you are falsely accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child, it is important to take the accusations seriously and immediately seek out help from an experienced lawyer. This crime is taken very seriously by the justice system and carries harsh punishments if you are convicted, so it is crucial to put up a strong defense.
You can learn more about our criminal defense lawyers in Plano who can help you face accusations or charges of an improper relationship with a student, and how Barbieri Law Firm has successfully helped clients fight false allegations in North Texas for decades.
Contact our attorneys today to share your story and hear defensive strategies available to you now.