Juvenile Sex Offenders Law in Texas
Having a child who is accused of a sex offense can be a traumatic experience. These are serious charges that have the potential to follow a young person for the rest of his or her life. When your child is facing prosecution, you need an experienced advocate to guide you through each step of the legal process. At Stuckle & Associates, our skilled juvenile sex offense lawyers have served the Dallas area as well as other Texas communities for over 25 years. We are committed to protecting the rights of children who are accused of committing a crime.Facing Prosecution as a Juvenile Sex Offender in Texas
In Texas, if you are under the age of 17 and accused of committing any type of crime, your case will likely be handled in juvenile court. Children can be accused of committing many of the same crimes as adults, including sex offenses. However, if a juvenile admits to committing the offense, or a judge or jury finds that he or she committed the offense, the young person is “adjudicated delinquent” instead of being found guilty, as an adult would be. However, in more severe cases, an older juvenile may be treated as an adult and face adult sentencing.
If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent, he or she may be required to register as a sex offender in the state of Texas. However, juvenile court judges have more leeway and can rule that a juvenile offender does not have to register, or the judge can order the youth to counseling, and after the counseling is completed, make a decision as to whether the youth must register as a sex offender. This judicial discretion is not allowed in adult sex offense cases, and it is one significant way that juvenile sex offenses differ from those of adults. Also, if a juvenile offender is ordered to register, it is usually only for a 10-year period, and not for a lifetime like many adult offenders.
However, most types of sex offenses are generally the same for juveniles and adults. For instance, a juvenile can be charged with the crime of “indecency with a child,” although many would consider the accused person to also be a child. The prosecution would have to prove that the defendant engaged in sexual contact with a person younger than 17, or that he or she caused the alleged victim to engage in sexual contact. A knowledgeable attorney can be critical in navigating the defense of charges such as these. Factors such as the age difference between the accused and the alleged victim, or the absence of any force or threat on the part of the defendant, can lead to having such charges possibly reduced or even dismissed.Enlist a Tenacious Plano Lawyer to Fight Your Charges
Having handled numerous juvenile sex offenses cases in Plano and the surrounding cities, criminal defense attorney Paul Stuckle understands the nuances of the law in this area and the high stakes for anyone accused of a crime. Before he practiced law, Mr. Stuckle was a police officer and served as a municipal court judge for the City of the Colony. His varied experience gives him valuable perspectives and insights when it comes to representing his clients. We proudly serve residents of communities throughout Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Tarrant Counties, including Fort Worth, Arlington, and McKinney. Call us at (972)423-4405 or complete our contact form to arrange a free consultation.