Houston Sex Crime Attorney

Statue holding the scales of justice

Being accused of, or arrested for, a sex crime in Texas is a serious matter. The consequences of a conviction are enormous, especially in a state which has strict law enforcement and prosecution of such crimes. A conviction for a sex offense in Texas may threaten your employment, your relationships, your reputation, and your freedom. If you are arrested for a sex crime or suspect you may be arrested in the near future, don’t waste time worrying. Get yourself a strong, skilled criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible – one who has a history of successful legal outcomes.

Ceja Law Firm, serving clients in Houston and surrounding areas, is a very highly regarded criminal defense practice. Lead attorney, Jose Ceja, is a former prosecutor with exception credentials, including a perfect 10 rating from AVVO and recognitions from publications such as Super Lawyers, H-Texas Magazine and Houstonia Magazine. If you need a skilled criminal defense attorney to defend you from sex crime charges, contact Ceja Law Firm.

Sex Crime Categories

In Texas, as elsewhere, sex crimes vary in severity from misdemeanor offenses like indecent exposure to serious felonies, such as rape (known in Texas as sexual assault) or sexual assault of a child. Whatever type of sex crime you have been accused of, you can count on Ceja Law to treat you with concern and respect. We are always on your side, presuming you innocent until proven guilty. 

The following offenses are considered “sex crimes” in Texas:

You should be aware that the majority of sex offenses in Texas are considered felonies and can have severe consequences. These may include incarceration, sex offender registration, loss of employment (depending on your occupation), loss of certain professional licenses, and personal consequences, such as a damaged reputation and the loss of valued relationships. If you are convicted of a sex crime, you may be denied custody or visitation rights after a divorce or only be able to see your child on supervised visits.

Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction

The reality is that simply being charged with a sex crime can have disastrous consequences for a person’s reputation, personal life, and livelihood. A conviction for a sex crime also carries a strong possibility of prison time. Under Texas law, many serious sex crimes are not eligible for probation. Additionally, sex offender registration may also apply to a conviction. This is why it is critical to build a strong team and strong defense to fight the charges and clear your name. 

Texas Sex Offender Registry — Another Reason to Avoid a Conviction

As if all the potential punishments weren’t bad enough, a conviction can mean that you must register as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Texas Penal Code if you are convicted of any of the offenses listed in the next section. Such registration may restrict where you live and requires that you keep law enforcement informed of your whereabouts and your employment. You must also provide law enforcement with a great deal of personal information, including your fingerprints. If your sex conviction was child-related, you may be forbidden to enter playgrounds, schools, or other child-oriented recreational places. You may also be prevented from having a computer with access to the internet. Depending on the offense that a person is convicted of, registration can be for either 10 years or lifetime. 

Texas Sex Offender Registration Categories 2024

The following sex offenses in Texas are subject to sex offender registration upon conviction under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 62.001. In Texas, there are two types of sex offender registration – lifetime and 10-year, depending on the type of offense, the age of the alleged victim, and the criminal history of the defendant. 

Texas Sex Offenses Subject to Lifetime Registration

  • Possession of promotion of child pornography
  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Continuous Sexual Abuse
  • Indecency with a Child by Contact
  • Indecency with a Child by Exposure if the person previously had to register
  • Prohibited Sexual Conduct
  • Sexual Performance by a Child 
  • Compelling Prostitution if the victim is under 18

Additionally, certain other offenses such as burglary can subject a defendant to lifetime sex offender registration if committed with the intent to commit certain sexual offenses, such as sexual assault. 

Texas Sex Offenses Subject to 10-year Registration

  • Indecency with a Child by Exposure
  • Online Solicitation of a Minor
  • Solicitation of Prostitution if the prostitute was or was believed to be under 18
  • Indecent Exposure if the defendant has a prior conviction for indecent exposure
  • Compelling Prostitution if the victim is 18 or older
  • Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
  • Bestiality

In Texas, the sex offender registration period begins after the sentence is served. If a person is convicted of any of the above crimes and placed on probation, they would have to comply with the terms of sex offender registration while on probation and then complete a 10-year period of sex offender registration at the conclusion of probation. Also, under Texas law, a person subject to sex offender registration may not receive early termination of their probation. 

Effect of a Sex Crime on Immigration Status

Under immigration law, most sex crimes are considered laws of “moral turpitude” or aggravated felonies, which are punished harshly. If a person charged with a sex crime is not a United States citizen, a conviction for a sex crime could have disastrous consequences on the person’s immigration status. These consequences can include deportation, loss of naturalization, or preventing a person from gaining legal status. At Ceja Law Firm, we closely work with some of Houston’s top immigration attorneys to ensure that everything is done to protect the immigration status of any clients charged with a sex crime.

How Are Sex Crimes Defended in Houston?

Sex crimes are highly specialized cases, and the best defense will depend on the nature of the allegation. However, no matter what the facts of a particular case are, it is critical that a sex crimes defense attorney take a proactive approach to investigating and fighting the charges. A sex crimes defense attorney should always conduct a thorough investigation of the case, including speaking with witnesses, obtaining records and evidence, and working with investigators and experts, such as psychologists or medical experts. Where a sex case is alleged to involve a victim, this can include uncovering evidence relating to a motive to lie or fabricate.

Mr. Ceja is a former prosecutor who understands that law enforcement who investigate sex crimes in the Houston area are frequently overzealous and make arrests with weak evidence. Mr. Ceja knows how to uncover lies, investigate discrepancies and fight vigorously to make certain you receive the best defense possible. The goal in a sex crimes case is a dismissal, acquittal or reduction of charges. However, in some cases, the goal may also be to develop facts that support a client obtaining the lowest sentence possible. 

Due to the severe punishments associated with many sex crimes, it is common for plea offers to include prison time and sex offender registration. This is particularly true for offenses like sexual assault or online solicitation. As a result, going to trial is often necessary, as that may be the only way to protect a person’s freedom and reputation. This is why when choosing an attorney for a sex crimes case, it is critical to choose an experienced trial attorney.

Defending individuals from sex crime charges, particularly if they have any criminal record, can be difficult, but criminal defense attorney Jose Ceja has defended many clients against such charges as sexual assault, indecent exposure, and child pornography. Many of his clients have had their cases dismissed, come away from trial with a not guilty verdict, had their charges substantially reduced, or received “no bills” from a grand jury.

Sex Crime Defense Options 

The best defense to in a sex case will depend on the exact charge and the nature of the allegation. A defense in a sex crimes case must be tailored to the facts and be supported by the evidence. But the most common defenses in sex crimes cases include:

  • Consent: In a case where it is alleged that an adult committed a sexual assault against another adult, consent may be a defense. Consent is commonly a defense in a “date rape” scenario where alcohol may have been involved. Consent is never a defense to a sex crime against a child, even where the child misrepresented her age.  
  • Fabrication by the victim: It is frequently argued that the defendant is innocent and the victim of a fabrication. In many cases, the alleged victim of a sexual offense will have a reason to fabricate the charges against the defendant. The reasons for fabrication can vary greatly and can include financial reasons, obtaining immigration status, revenge, or obtaining an advantage in a divorce or child custody agreement. In these cases, the challenge for the sex crimes attorney is uncovering the reason for the fabrication and presenting it to a jury. 
  • Mistaken identify: Depending on the facts, it may be possible to argue that the wrong person has been arrested and the defendant is not responsible for the crime.
  • Romeo and Juliet Defense: The Romeo and Juliet law protects some teens against consensual sex with younger teens. Under Texas Penal Code 22.011(e)(2), it is a defense that the defendant was not more than three years older than the underage victim. 

Contact Our Houston Sex Crime Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a sex crime, you need the guidance and support of a highly qualified criminal defense attorney. Having aggressive, experienced representation is necessary at every stage of a sex crimes case. At Ceja Law firm, we understand the seriousness of sex crimes cases and that a highly proactive and specialized approach must be taken to achieve the best possible result. Call Ceja Law Firm today for a free consultation. 

Mr. Ceja and his staff are dedicated to obtaining the best possible result in sex crimes cases. Ceja Law Firm handles sex crime cases throughout Texas including Houston, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Harris County, Liberty County, Montgomery County, Walker County, and Waller County.