Indecency with a Child
Indecency with a child, or child molestation, is typically charged after one is accused of fondling a child or intentionally walking in while a child is changing clothes. Some of these cases are a clear violation of the law while some are subjective.
If no physical contact occurred, but the child or adults genitals were exposed, the same charges can still apply. Indecency with a child is a serious crime in Texas, so it would be in your best interest to seek experienced legal counsel.
Defense Attorney for Indecency with a Child in Harris County, TX
The Benken Law Firm has over 30 years experience defending felony crimes in the Harris County Courts. Brian Benken is a dedicated defense attorney that will strive to protect your rights and do everything in his power to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free case consultation. Brian Benken represents clients in every community throughout Harris County. Some of these communities include but are not limited to, Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Bunker Hill and many others in the surrounding area and surrounding counties.
Overview of Indecency with a Child in Harris County, TX
There are two ways indecency with a child is charged in Texas: by contact or by exposure.
The crime is defined under section 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code as a person, with a child younger than 17, who engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
The crime can be committed regardless if the child was the same or opposite sex and whether or not the defendant was aware of the child’s age at the time of the offense.
In regards to the crime being committed by contact or touching, the statue defines touching as contact with the breast anus or any part of the child’s genitals, including through the clothes, or causing a child to make the same physical contact with the adult.
An individual can be charged with indecency with a child by exposure if they had the minor child expose any part of their genitals or the individual exposed their sexual organs knowing the child was present.
Depending on whether you are charged with indecency with a child by exposure or by contact, will determine the extent of the penalties you could face.
Indecency with a child by exposure: If convicted, you could be charged with a third-degree felony that is punishable by two to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or a combination of both.
Indecency with a child by contact: This crime is charged as a second-degree felony that is punishable by two to 20 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines or a combination of both.
A conviction of indecency with a child will also require registering as a sex offender. Registered sex offenders are prohibited from working in specific careers, living, working, or even visiting.
Improper relationship between educator and student is a crime that is also charged under the same chapter of the Texas Penal Code as indecency with a child. Under Texas Penal Code section 21.12, it is illegal for an employee of a public or private primary or secondary school to do any of the following:
- Engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a child who is enrolled in the public or private primary or secondary school where the employee works
- Holds a position under the State Board for Educator Certification or be required to be licensed by a state agency under the Texas Education Code and engage in sexual conduct, intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a child the employee knows is:
- Enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school in the same district as the school the employee works; or
- A student participating in an educational activity that is sponsored by a school district that students enrolled in a private or public primary or secondary school are the participants in the activity, and the employee provides education services to those participants; or
- Solicit a student online who the employee knows is enrolled in the school and in the same school district as where the employee works, or a student participating in an educational activity that is sponsored by the school or school district.
Improper relationship between an educator and student is charged as a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and/or up to $10,000 in fines. It’s worth noting that this law applies to students of all ages. Even if the child is the legal age of consent, 17, a teacher can still be charged with the crime.
Additional Resources for Indecency with a Child in Harris County, TX
Indecency with a Child | Texas Penal Code Section 21.11– Follow the link to the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read the full text of the statute that governs indecency with a child in the state. The code defines what the crime is, as well as penalties. Section 21.12, which covers improper relationships between educator and student, can also be read.
Texas Youth Hotline | Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)– The Texas Youth Hotline provides prevention services for youth, parents, sibling and other family members who are in need of a sympathetic voice. You can find answers to frequently asked questions as well as how to contact the hotline.
Defense Lawyer for Indecency with a Child in Houston, TX
Brian Benken is a proven criminal defense attorney who will do everything he can to prove you are innocent. If you are being investigated for indecency with a child, you will need the experience of The Benken Law Firm on your side.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free case consultation. Brian Benken defends clients in all areas such as Bunker Hill, Rover Oaks, Southside Place, Greater Heights and many others in Harris County and surrounding counties.