In the State of Texas. If a 14 year old boy engages in a sexual act that was initiated by a 12 year old, can the 14 year old be prosecuted? If so...can the authorities question the 14 year old without a parent or attorney present? Can information the 14 year old disclosed to a psychologist be used against him?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Texas
Based on the information you have provided thus far, I would suggest that the fourteen year old would not face any criminal charges. Under these facts, the fourteen year old has several compelling defenses to any charges. First, Texas statutes make the age of consent seventeen, meaning the fourteen year old could theoretically be considered a victim too. Second, the Texas statutes also create a defense where the accused is no more than three years older than the victim. As the potential accused is only two years older than the potential victim, no charge would seem appropriate.
While the above information makes the second issue a moot point, I'll address it nonetheless. While the more prudent course of action might be for the officer to obtain parental consent, such an action is not required prior to law enforcement interviewing the minor.
Please let me know if anything requires clarification.
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What about the information disclosed to the psychologist? I'm being told that the laws concerning doctor/patient confidentiality have changed. Is that true?
My apologies for overlooking that issue. Regardless....
It is possible for the statements made to the psychologist to be disclosed. As a general rule, and as you alluded to, statements to a psychologist are generally considered to be privileged. However, there are exceptions to that rule. One such exception is where any form of child abuse is suspected. As we are discussing sexual acts with a twelve year old, then child abuse concerns could lead to the statements being disclosed.
I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
One last question Joseph. The situation that I just described concerns my grandson. He was charged today of aggravated assault. What should I do?
I would urge you to consider retaining an attorney for him, this is a serious charge and warrants serious attention. Additionally, with the age issue, it would seem that he has some excellent issues to explore.
First, you should begin with your state bar association. The Texas State Bar has awebsite, it is located at www.texasbar.com..
I do not know your county of residence but your county bar association likely has a similar site that will be more specific to your location. A quick Google search will locate the appropriate bar association. For example, you might search "bexar county bar association".
Additionally, Martindale Hubbell is a national organization that rates attorneys across the country. Their website is located at www.martindale.com.
Another nationwide website is located at www.avvo.com. This site lists attorneys by geographic location and area of practice.
Each of these resources will have a wealth of information as to attorneys in your area that handle such cases. I would suggest you check each site out and you will surely find a great number of attorneys that meet your grandson's needs. Pick a few to meet with in person so that you can thoroughly explain his situation and then retain the one that you feel can best represent his interests.
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