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Updated: Dec 27, 2022 @ 4:03 pm

Understanding Sex Crime Laws in Texas

One of the most damaging criminal charges to your reputation and future is a sex crime charge. In fact, even the allegation of a sex crime itself can have widespread repercussions. A conviction would likely change the direction of your future since you could face jail time, the potential loss of friends and family support, large fines, and the awful reality of having to register as a sex offender in Galveston County and in any other legal jurisdiction you may wish to relocate to in the future.

Given the severity of a possible conviction, your life depends on your ability to seek out, and retain an experienced, aggressive, Texas criminal defense attorney who is willing to help advocate for your rights.

Remember, in Texas, most sex crimes are categorized as felonies. This means the potential penalty is more than a year in a state prison. The exact penalty and duration of a prison sentence depends largely on the charges you face, your criminal history and other factors.

Here is an overview of some prominent sex crimes and their potential ramifications in Texas:

Sexual Assault (Rape)

In Texas, sexual assault is considered to be rape. To be charged, there must be evidence that you engaged in non-consensual sex with a stranger or someone you know.

You can also be charged with sexual assault if you have sexual relations with someone who lacks the capacity to consent (i.e. a minor) or because they were unconscious. If you engaged in a sexual act with a minor, you could also potentially face a charge for child molestation or indecency with a minor.

Sexual assault is categorized as a second degree felony. This means you could face a prison sentence of between two and 20 years. There is also aggravated sexual assault, which is a first degree felony. The penalty is more stringent – between five and 99 years in prison.


If you have indecent photographs on your phone or other mobile device, you could be charged with “sexting.” You do not have to be in the act of sending or receiving those photographs. Simply having them on your device is sufficient to be charged with sexting. In most cases of this type, criminal charges are usually filed when the indecent images feature a minor. Even if you exchanged intimate photos or traded photos with your significant other, if they are a minor, you risk being charged with sexting, or even child pornography.


If you intentionally pay another individual for sexual gratification, you could be charged with soliciting a prostitute. You also cannot legally “promote” prostitution as far as Texas laws are concerned. This would involve receiving money or other values from an agreement to participate in the proceeds from prostitution. This means if you collaborate with a friend to have a woman perform sexual acts and you receive part of the proceeds, you could be charged with promoting prostitution. If convicted, you could be looking at a jail sentence of up to two years.

Speak to an Experienced Galveston, Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Being charged with a sex crime is serious and, as mentioned above, can be incredibly damaging to your future. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience fighting these type of criminal charges.

Contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates to set up a time to meet, confidentially, so we can discuss your case.

Understanding Sex Crime Laws in Texas

Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer

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