What to Do if You’re Accused of Sexual Assault at Texas A&M

March 21, 2024 | By Shane Phelps Law
What to Do if You’re Accused of Sexual Assault at Texas A&M
Texas criminal defense lawyer

A sexual assault allegation can have far-reaching consequences. If you are a student facing this accusation at Texas A&M, you must understand the legal process, potential penalties, and the effect it can have on your education and future.

Most importantly, if you find yourself in this situation, don't try to face it alone. Immediately hire a Texas criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the criminal justice process and protect your rights.

Sexual Assault Accusations are Common on the Texas A&M Campus

Sexual assault accusations can happen to anyone, including students at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M Campus

The university takes these allegations seriously and has systems to address them. The first step is usually an investigation by the university's Title IX office. The university's investigation process differs from the criminal justice system, and the outcomes can differ as well.

During the investigation, university officials may interview you, and a hearing may determine if you violated any university policies.

You need proper legal representation during this process to protect yourself and ensure a fair procedure. A Texas criminal defense attorney can provide guidance during Texas A&M’s process and advocate for you throughout the investigation.

What Happens After an Arrest for Sexual Assault?

If the allegations of sexual assault escalate to a criminal charge, you will face a legal process in the criminal justice system. After an arrest, police will take you into custody.

You have the right to remain silent. Exercise this right and avoid making any statements without your criminal defense attorney present.

The next step is the arraignment, where you will appear before a judge who will read the charges against you. Your defense lawyer will represent you at this hearing, and you should never plead guilty to any charges without legal representation.

Potential Criminal Penalties for Sexual Assault in Texas

In Texas, sexual assault carries severe criminal penalties upon conviction.

Penalties include:

  • Assault charges: If the allegations involve a non-consensual sexual act involving physical force or threatening behavior, you may be charged with sexual assault. This is a second-degree felony in Texas and can result in a prison sentence of two to 20 years and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Aggravated sexual assault charges: If the allegations include additional factors such as the use of a deadly weapon, causing serious bodily injury, or involving a child, the charges may be elevated to aggravated sexual assault. This is a first-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of five to 99 years or life imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Sex offender registration: If convicted of sexual assault, you may be required to register as a sex offender. This can have a significant effect on your personal and professional life, making it important to have strong criminal defense representation to try to avoid or minimize this consequence.

Every case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and potential outcomes. Consult a Texas criminal defense lawyer to understand the specific penalties you may face based on your situation.

How Sexual Assault Convictions Can Hurt Your Education

A sexual assault conviction can have severe consequences not only in the criminal justice system but also on your education. If you are a student at Texas A&M, you can face disciplinary actions from the university, including suspension or expulsion.

Additionally, having a criminal conviction on your record can affect your future educational and career opportunities. Background checks are common when applying for jobs, professional licenses, or higher education programs.

A sexual assault conviction can decrease your chances of acceptance into certain programs or obtaining professional licenses.

Defending Against Sexual Assault Charges

Sexual Assault Charges

When facing sexual assault charges, always remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can build a defense strategy to challenge the prosecution's case and protect your future.

Here are some potential defense strategies that may apply to your case:

  • Consent: Evidence that supports a consensual sexual act can inform a strong defense strategy. Your attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and allegations to gather evidence that supports your claim of consensual activity.
  • Lack of evidence: Your defense attorney can carefully review the evidence against you, looking for any weaknesses or inconsistencies. Gaps in the prosecution's case or insufficient evidence can strengthen your defense and cast doubt on the allegations. Often, prosecutors lack sufficient physical evidence in he-said, she-said cases.
  • False accusations: Unfortunately, false accusations of sexual assault can occur. Your attorney will diligently investigate the credibility of the accuser and any possible motives they may have to fabricate the allegations.
  • Police misconduct: If police violated your rights during the investigation or arrest, such as through unlawful search or coercion, your attorney may use this as a basis for challenging the evidence against you.

By working closely with your Texas criminal defense lawyer, you can develop a defense strategy that aligns with the specifics of your case and maximizes your chances of a favorable result.

Immediately Hire a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Shane Phelps, Title IX Lawyer, TX
Shane Phelps, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you find yourself accused of sexual assault at Texas A&M, you have a lot on the line. Act quickly and hire a skilled Texas criminal defense lawyer to begin working on your case. The representation of the right defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Seek help from a trusted and reliable law firm that handles criminal defense cases near Texas A&M. Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as the police arrest you or want to question you. If you already face charges, immediately seek legal representation.

Never try to handle this process on your own, as your future is at stake.