If a sex crime is committed in Texas, there is a burden of proof required for 1 party to show in court that the crime occurred. The prosecutor needs to be able to show beyond the degree of reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the sexual act. If the prosecution is unable to show this type of proof, then the charges against the defendant could be dismissed or reduced, depending on the other circumstances involved.
All of the facts of the case are reviewed by the prosecution and the defense, as well as the judge and jury (if there is one involved). Keep in mind that the prosecution doesn’t necessarily need to display with absolute certainty that the defendant committed the crime.
The jury or the judge must look at the defendant as being someone who is innocent before hearing any evidence presented by the prosecution. However, there won’t be a final decision about the charges until the trial is underway and more evidence is usually introduced. The defense also has a chance to prove that the defendant is not guilty.
The prosecution can’t use tactics that could present a situation where something was highly likely to occur or present evidence that could leave any room for doubt that the defendant committed the crime. Because the possible sentence that the defendant could receive if convicted is up to 99 years, the prosecution has this type of standard so that as much information can be revealed as possible.
There is a statute of limitations involved with sex crimes in Texas. Some crimes don’t have a statute but should be handled as quickly as possible so that the evidence is still fresh on the minds of the prosecution and others involved in the crime.
Sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of an adult and indecency with a child are crimes that don’t have a statute of limitations. However, the statute decreases to 20 years for burglary or kidnapping with the intent of committing a sex crime and 10 years for sexual assault of an adult if there is no DNA proof.
Confused by these rules?
Reach out to a trusted sex crimes attorney in your area to help you gather the proof you need and get the justice you deserve.