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Where do you find the offense of indecent contact of a

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minor? What are the elements...
Where do you find the offense of indecent contact of a minor? What are the elements & range of punishment?
Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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10/2/2017
Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,171
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Under Section (a)(1) of the Texas law, someone commits the crime of Indecency with a Child if the person has "sexual contact" with the child (under 17 years old) or causes the child to engage in "sexual contact." Sexual contact means doing any of the following for a sexual purpose:

  • touching a child’s anus, breast, or gentials (over or under clothes); or
  • causing a child to touch someone else’s anus, breast, or genitals (over or under clothes).

To be clear, this crime is either sexual touching by the adult or by a child. "Penetration" is not required for a conviction of this charge. If someone is accused of penetrating the genitals or anus of a child, then the charge will likely be filed as Sexual Assault. Also note, under the Penal Code this is called "sexual contact," but sometimes you will hear or see the term "fondling" used instead. This terms was once used in Texas law, but the law changed to be more specific. Even if the word "fondling" is used in your court documents, the charge is Indecency by Sexual Contact . It's a second degree felony.

A Second Degree Felony is punishable by a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison. “Prison” means confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division. In addition to prison, a person may also be fined $10,000.

Depending on a person’s criminal history, probation (Community Supervision) or deferred adjudication may be an option for a 2nd Degree Felony in Texas. The length of probation may be from 2 years to 10 years.

If someone is sentencing to prison on a Second Degree Felony in Texas, then the applicable parole law depends on the charge and the person’s criminal history. If someone is sentenced to prison for 4 years or more on an “Aggravated Charge,” “3g Charge,” or a charge involving a deadly weapon, then the earliest a person may be eligible is when their actual time of confinement when added with their “good conduct” time equals the length of their entire sentence. If a person is sentenced to 4 years or less for an Agg, 3g, or deadly weapon Second Degree Felony, then the person must serve a minimum of 2 years before being eligible for parole.

The punishment for a 2nd Degree Felony may be greater depending on a person’s criminal history. Specifically, the penalty may increase to a 1st Degree Felony if the person is a “Repeat Felony Offender,” and the penalty may increase to a minimum of 25 years in prison to 99 years or Life in prison if the person is a “Habitual Felony Offender.” Texas sentencing laws can be complicated. So, if you or a loved one has a Second Degree Felony charge, then you need to talk with a criminal defense attorney.

Also,

Regardless of whether you are "convicted" or you are placed on Deferred Adjudication for Indecency with a Child, you will have to register as a sex offender according to Texas law and possibly Federal law. In Texas, if a person has no criminal history, and the offense of conviction is "exposure" then sex offender registration is required for 10 years after the sentence is served (i.e. incarceration, parole, or probation has ended). If a person has no criminal history, and the person is convicted of "fondling" or "sexual contact" then the registration requirement is for Life under Texas law.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
If wife allows daughter to sleep in between her & the stepfather while he is a sleep & stepdaughter alleges he touched her inappropriately, is it a defense that IF it happened he was not aware he was touching his stepdaughter?
Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

That is a defense. Accidental contact (if it could be proven) negates the intentional aspect of it. It does have to be with intent to touch in such a manner.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Doesn't know if it happened b/c he was asleep.
Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Understood. IF it was accidental, that would negate the intentional element. It has to be intentional.

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Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

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Criminal Lawyer: ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Can you see on your screen where you need to rate it? Note that you may need to press a "submit" button after clicking on the appropriate star rating. This is what I'm waiting on from you. Thanks!

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