Accused of Indecent Assault in Texas?
If someone has accused you of “groping” them, this could be considered an indecent assault, which is now a sexual offense punishable with jail time. Despite the classification of this offense as a misdemeanor, you may be unaware that the false allegations of illegal conduct against you may also fall under another, more serious, sex offense in Texas law.
It is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your available options and defend yourself against these criminal charges and, hopefully, only possible charges of indecent assault.
What is Indecent Assault in Texas?
Indecent Assault is a relatively new criminal offense, added to the Texas Penal Code during the 86th Legislative Session in 2019. Until then, Texas had no law (other than a citation) that prohibited groping or inappropriate “sexual contact” of an adult. However, S.B No. 194 successfully codified these types of conduct as “assaultive,” added to existing statutes on sexual assault. This charge typically arises in cases of alleged sexual misconduct or unwanted sexual touching between two individuals.
Texas Penal Code § 22.012(a) contains two elements of a person’s conduct that, if committed, constitute an (indecent assault violation) offense of Indecent Assault, which include 1) lack of consent AND 2) intentional sexual arousal or gratification of any person committed by touch or exposure of any part of the genitals or anus of a person.
What happens if someone is convicted of Indecent Assault in Collin, Denton, Dallas, or Tarrant County?
Prior to 2019, a person could be ticketed for groping, but the classification amounted to the same level of punishment as a traffic ticket. Instead, Indecent Assault is now categorized as a Class A Misdemeanor, and with a conviction carrying the possibility of up to a year in county jail and a $4,000 fine.
Indecent assault is also one of the few sex crimes that DOES NOT require a person convicted of this offense to register as a sex offender with the state of Texas.
Aggressively Fight False Accusation of Indecent Assault
Our Plano attorneys handle a wide range of complex cases and have earned a reputation for aggressively defending falsely accused citizens in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, and Tarrant County.
Whether you’re dealing with intense public scrutiny because of these accusations, or simply navigating the complicated legal process, we are here to help you every step of the way. With a proven track record of success, the criminal defense lawyers at Barbieri Law Firm are dedicated to providing personalized attention and top-quality representation to each client we serve.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.