Starting in September law enforcement agencies across Texas can begin filing Indecent Assault cases which is a class A misdemeanor. This new law may provide another tool criminal attorneys can use in the plea bargain process.
Sex Assault crimes carry very serious consequences in Texas. The harsh penalties and life time sex registration requirements that come with convictions and sentences of deferred probations often make it difficult for defense attorneys and prosecutors to dispose of a case through plea bargain. That is why there many defendants charged with sex offenses choose to go to trial rather than plead guilty.
The new misdemeanor offense of Indecent Assault, also known as groping, does not carry any type of sex registration requirements. I n addition since Indecent Assault is a misdemeanor offense the penalty range is from one day in jail up to one year and a defendant cane receive deferred probation.
When criminal attorneys and prosecutors have a Sex Offense case which has fact problems they may be able to plead the case to a misdemeanor Indecent Assault charge. They could do this by reducing the charge as a lessor included offense or by filing the Indecent Assault charge and dismissing the Felony charge when the defendant pleads to the misdemeanor Indecent Assault. If the defendant received deferred probation for the Indecent Assault charge then he could have that charge sealed upon successful completion of deferred probation.
A good criminal lawyer is always looking for options for the client to in order to obtain the best result when facing serious criminal charges.