Penalties for Texas Sex Crimes

In Texas, sex crimes are quite serious, and some can carry sentences of up to life in prison. At the very least, those convicted of a Texas sex crime will be required to register as a sex offender for a period of time — sometimes their entire lives, as was the case for the New Hampshire student.

Sex crimes in Texas and potential penalties for a conviction include:

Sexual Assault — a second-degree felony that carries a potential prison sentence of two to 20 years.

Aggravated Sexual Assault — a more serious offense than sexual assault that usually involves violence, a child, a minor, the use of a weapon, or threat of death. This offense is a first degree felony and carries a potential sentence of 5-99 years in prison.

Child Molestation/Indecency with a Child — there are several different acts that may be considered child molestation or indecency with a child, and the circumstances of the case will dictate the charge. Generally, child molestation cases are felonies and sentences can go up to 20 years.

Child Pornography — this is typically a third-degree felony in Texas with a potential prison sentence of two to 10 years, a $10,000 fine, or both. However, if more than six identical images of a child are in the possession of a defendant, the charge could be increased to a second-degree felony for intent to promote child pornography.

Prostitution — a state felony that typically carries a sentence of up to two years in a state jail facility.

Sexting — there are several different offenses that qualify as sexting offenses in Texas, and the most serious are those that involve texting images of a child or a minor, which could be charged as child pornography.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or