Practical Help From a Sex Offender Defense Lawyer Serving San Antonio and the Central Texas Area
Being accused of any type of sex crime, from indecent exposure to prostitution to rape, can have major negative consequences, regardless of whether you are eventually convicted. Sex crime accusations are taken very seriously — by your neighbors, your co-workers, your family, the police and the prosecuting district attorney’s office.
If you are convicted of a sex crime, you face lifelong consequences. You could be facing lengthy incarceration, lose your job, suffer a damaged reputation and be forced to register as a sex offender. Such serious consequences need to be aggressively fought against with the help of an experienced sex crime attorney.
At the law firm of Patrick L. Hancock, you will find an accomplished San Antonio sex crime attorney with more than 32 years of criminal law experience focused primarily on fighting sex crime charges such as sexual assault, Internet sex crimes, and child pornography.
Patrick Hancock has received numerous accolades in criminal defense, including selection for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2006+) and Texas Super Lawyers (2007+). Call our law office for a free and confidential consultation about your sex crime charges: 210-223-8844.
San Antonio Sexual Assault Attorney
No matter what you personally think of the charges against you, it is critically important to seek the advice and honest opinion of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. If you are convicted — even of a relatively minor sex crime — you could be required to register publicly as a sex offender for the next 20 years. In addition to possible jail time, you could face restrictions on where you live and your ability to find work. If you get quality legal advice and representation early in the criminal proceedings, you will have a clear picture of the likely outcome and you will also give your attorney time to build as strong a defense as possible.
Protect Your Reputation and Future Against Sex Crime Convictions
Any allegation of a sex offense comes with an immediate social stigma — a social stigma that attaches to a few other criminal charges. A person accused of any sort of sexual assault not only must deal with the criminal justice system but must also face the court of public opinion. In many cases, the early involvement of an experienced attorney can influence the public’s perception of your case and ensure that your reputation is not unfairly damaged.
It is vital to your reputation, your freedom and your future that you begin an aggressive defense against sex crimes charges immediately. The sooner you contact a Sexual Assault Lawyer, the sooner he will be able to begin building your defense, which could include:
Suppressing the Evidence
Did police officers obtain evidence through illegal search and seizure? Did they have a proper search warrant? Were you entrapped (induced to commit the crime) by an investigator? If any of these items were true, your attorney may be able to have the evidence against you suppressed, meaning that it cannot be used against you in court. If a key piece of evidence is suppressed because of an illegal search – for example, images that prosecutors are claiming to constitute child pornography – it will likely force the prosecution to drop the case against you or result in a judicial dismissal of the charges
It’s important to understand that the law regarding the suppression of evidence and entrapment is extremely complicated, and it can be difficult to recognize when these kinds of defenses apply. As a result, it’s critical that you discuss your options with an experienced defense attorney, even if you think that the case against you is “open and shut.”
Remember, the prosecution and police do not have to tell you whether any defenses apply in your case, and actually are incentivized to make you believe that your only real option is to plead guilty. In fact, the police are even allowed to lie to you in order to gain a confession. They may tell you that the judge will go easy on you if you just admit to what you are accused of or that they have evidence that they actually do not have in their possession. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you are aware of the fact that you are under investigation. In fact, the early involvement of a lawyer may even prevent the prosecution from filing charges to begin with.
Proving you were wrongfully accused
Many sex crime cases involve allegations made by an accuser that may or may not be supported by circumstantial evidence – a classic “he said, she said” situation. As a result, there are often ways that an experienced attorney can often cast doubt on the truthfulness of an accuser’s story, particularly if they have some potential motivation to get you in trouble.
Did the alleged victim lie because he or she was motivated by a child custody or divorce case? Was the alleged victim trying to protect his or her reputation? Was he or she enticed into giving false evidence? These and other potential defenses could cast sufficient doubt on the prosecution’s case to obtain an acquittal at trial.
Sex Crime Attorney in San Antonio
A Sexual Assault Attorney can thoroughly investigate your case to determine what defenses are available to you. He will then use those defenses to fight for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. Even in cases where a defense does not exist, a sex crime defense lawyer can often negotiate a favorable plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor handling your case, potentially allowing you to avoid the most serious consequences you are facing.
Our Sex Crime Defense Practice
San Antonio Sexual Crime Attorney, Patrick L. Hancock is here to provide you with a thorough defense against all types of sex offenses, including:
- Sexual assault/rape
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault with a child
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Date rape or statutory rape
- Indecency with a child
- Internet sex crimes
- Internet solicitation of a minor
What are the consequences of a sexual assault conviction in Texas?
While the nature of sex crimes can be varied, one thing is common to all: the consequences of a conviction are harsh.
Most sex crimes are classed as felonies. That may automatically mean prison time of more than a year, heavy fines, and probation for conviction – but that’s not all. A sexual assault conviction in Texas can result in other serious consequences, such as:
- The loss of the right to vote
- The loss of the right to possess firearms
- Mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender (see below)
- A lifelong criminal record
As well as the immediate consequences, there may be longer-term effects on your life, including:
- Difficulties finding employment or housing because of your criminal record showing in background checks
- Exclusion from certain jobs because of your registration as a sex offender
- Problems with immigration status or travel
- Damage to relationships with those closest to you
- Social stigma
It is important to note that many of the most serious longer-term consequences such as the social stigma and damage to relationships can result even from an accusation of sexual assault. Sympathy for people accused of a sex crime is generally in short supply. A conviction may not even be necessary to suffer these harsh consequences. To add to this, it is likely that you will be prosecuted with the full force of the law.
This means that an aggressive defense from an experienced sex crime attorney is essential if you are charged with sexual assault or any sex crime in San Antonio.
A strategic defense against sex crime charges
False allegations of sexual assault can and do ruin careers, relationships, and lives in San Antonio. Whether you have been unfairly charged with a sex offense against a child or adult, a strategic defense from an experienced attorney is your best chance of clearing your name.
At this especially challenging time, the support, guidance, and sensitivity of an attorney who is familiar with defending your type of sex crime charge is irreplaceable.
Sex crime attorney Patrick L. Hancock will discuss the particulars of your case and consider the best defense to protect your rights, challenge the prosecution’s case, and defend you vigorously against the charges.
Multiple viable defenses are usually available if you have been wrongfully accused. These may include:
- Your search and seizure rights were violated when evidence was gathered by law enforcement – rendering certain evidence inadmissible in court
- Entrapment was used against you and you were induced to commit a crime by an investigator
- Unreliable witness testimony – sometimes, there are ulterior motives for making an allegation of sexual assault against an individual, such as trying to gain child custody
- Challenging the prosecution’s “proof” of subjective facts – many elements in sex crime cases may be open to interpretation and “evidence” can be called into question
Patrick L Hancock will closely scrutinize the evidence against you, including witness testimony. He has a deep understanding of how sex crime cases are prosecuted in San Antonio and can use this experience in your favor. If any of the key evidence can be suppressed, the case may be dropped due to a lack of evidence from the prosecution.
If the case cannot be dropped, the strategies outlined can be used to clear your name entirely through acquittal or at least help reduce penalties and the consequences you may face, such as prison time and fines.
Sexual Offender Registry — Lasting Consequences of a Conviction
After a conviction for a sex crime, the state of Texas may require you to register as a sex offender — a requirement that can dramatically affect where you live, your social reputation and your ability to live a normal life. If you fail to register or fail to notify police when you move or start a new job, you may face additional criminal charges.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Texas sex offender registry is a public database that anyone with an internet connection can access. This fact means that anyone who is curious can learn details about your conviction, including the offense with which you were charged. For this reason, having to register as a sex offender can ruin your reputation within your community for years or even decades. Some of the other information that is available through the sex offender database includes:
- Date of birth
- Recent photograph
- The age of the victims
- Information about the offender’s employment
Sex offender registration is usually for life. You will be required to regularly report to the police and report any relocation or move. The locations in which you can reside may be restricted. For instance, you may need to live at a certain distance from schools. You may have problems securing housing or employment and certain careers may be off-limits as a registered sex offender.
Skilled criminal defense is the key to avoiding sex offender registration. Lawyer Patrick L. Hancock will aggressively pursue the dismissal of your charges or work to reduce the potential penalties in your case through negotiation or in the courtroom.
Getting Off the Sex Offender Registry
If you have already been convicted of a sex crime, there are some limited circumstances under which you may be able to remove your name from the sex offender registry. For example, if you were convicted of statutory rape prior to Texas’s “Romeo and Juliet” law, you can request that the court review your case to determine whether you can be exempt from future sex offender registration. That law prevents teens from being prosecuted for statutory rape or being required to register as a sex offender if they engaged in sexual activity with a person who was at least a certain age and the parties were within a certain age of one another. The specifics of the law vary in regard to shielding someone from prosecution or the requirement to register as a sex offender. To learn more and to find out whether you may be able to get off the registry, you should contact a sex crime defense lawyer in San Antonio today.
Legal Issues in Sex Crime Cases
Attorney Patrick Hancock is an accomplished lawyer who takes very seriously his job of protecting his clients’ constitutional rights as they move through the criminal justice system. Mr. Hancock has enjoyed significant success raising constitutional challenges in sex crime cases — with the result that damaging evidence is dismissed and charges are lowered or dropped altogether.
We cannot promise a specific result in your case, but we can promise to conduct a thorough evaluation and examination of the case against you and do our best to obtain a favorable result.
Contact a Rape Defense Attorney for Help in San Antonio, Texas, and Surrounding Counties
If you are being investigated for, have been arrested for or have been charged with any sex offense in the San Antonio area, you need focused and aggressive representation on your side. Contact sex crime attorney Patrick L. Hancock for immediate help. Call his office at (210) 223-8844 to set up a free and confidential consultation.