It’s clearly illegal to harm or attempt to physically injure another person. However, were you aware that you could be arrested for groping or touching another person without their consent? In Texas, this crime is referred to as indecent assault and can lead to serious penalties.
If you or someone you know has been accused of indecent assault, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. The consequences surrounding indecent assault were recently enhanced thanks to a new bill passing in Texas’s senate. An indecent assault charge can now lead to a Class A misdemeanor, which involves jail time.
Defense Lawyer for Indecent Assault in Harris County, Texas
In the moment, an indecent assault charge may not seem like a big deal, but the statutory penalties say otherwise. In September 2019, Texas lawmakers enhanced the charge for indecent assault from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor. This means you could be sentenced to spend time in jail for touching someone in an offensive manner.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for indecent assault, it’s important you seek an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer for your case. Hiring an experienced attorney will significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your case such as Horak Law. Matthew Horak is an excellent defense lawyer with years of experience.
Call (713) 225-8000 now to set up your first consultation free. Horak Law represents people throughout the greater Montgomery County area including The Woodlands, Conroe and Magnolia.
Overview of Indecent Assault in Texas
- What Does Texas Consider to be Indecent Assault?
- Penalties for Indecent Assault in Texas
- Other Related Charges in Texas
- Additional Resources
What Does Texas Consider to be Indecent Assault?
Indecent assault is a lesser assaultive offense where the victim is touched without their consent. Under Texas Statute 22.012, you’re guilty of indecent assault if you touch another person without their consent with intent to gratify a sexual desire for yourself or another person by doing any of the following:
- Touching the breast, anus or any genital part of the person;
- Touching another person with the anus, breast or any genitals;
- Exposing or attempting to expose their genitals, breast, pubic area, buttocks or female areola; or
- Force them to encounter blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine or feces
Penalties for Indecent Assault in Texas
Before September 2019, indecent assault was charged as a class C misdemeanor with a penalty of a $500 fine. However, lawmakers in Texas drafted a bill to enhance these penalties to decrease the number of indecent assaults annually. It’s now a class A misdemeanor to commit indecent assault, which is punishable by:
- Up to one year in jail; and
- A fine of up to $4,000
Other Related Charges in Texas
Normally, an indecent assault charge is accompanied by another crime. One offense frequently tied to indecent assault is indecent exposure. According to Texas Statute 21.08, you are guilty of indecent exposure if you expose your anus or any part of your genitalia in public with the intent to gratify a sexual desire for yourself or someone else.
To be charged, you must have sexual intent and are reckless about whether another person is present and whether if they’re offended or alarmed by the act. In Texas, indecent exposure is a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to 180 days in county jail; and
- A fine of up to $2,000
Another crime commonly associated with indecent assault is public lewdness. Texas Penal Code 21.07 states you’re guilty of the crime if you knowingly engage in any of the following acts in a public place where someone could be offended or alarmed.
- Sexual intercourse;
- Deviate sexual intercourse; or
- Sexual contact
The terms used above can be a little vague but have specific definitions in the legal world. The Texas Statutes define “sexual intercourse” as any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. “Deviate sexual intercourse” is any contact with genitals and the mouth or anus of another person as well as the penetration of genitals or anus by another person with an object. The last term “sexual contact” refers to the touching of the anus, breast, or any genitals of another person for a sexual purpose.
Public lewdness is a class A misdemeanor and can result in:
- Up to one year in jail; and
- A fine of up to $4,000
RAINN – Visit the official website for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) to find more information about sexual abuse. Access the site to read survivors stories, read statistics and learn how to get involved.
Texas Sex Crime Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code to learn more about their state laws for sexual offenses. Access the site to learn more about sexual assault, invasive visual recording, revenge porn and sexual coercion.
Indecent Assault Lawyer in The Woodlands, TX
It’s important you have trusted legal representation if you’ve faced recent allegations of indecent assault. Although the charges aren’t as severe as standard assault, it can still lead to serious consequences including jail time. To fight back, we urge you to contact Horak Law.
Matthew Horak has been practicing in Texas’s court rooms for years and wants to put his knowledge to work for your case. Simply give us a quick call at (713) 225-8000 and we will set up your first consultation free. Horak Law represents people throughout Harris County and surrounding counties including Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County and Brazoria County.
This article was last updated on November 22, 2019.