The prohibited sexual conduct law in Texas largely criminalizes sexual conduct that constitutes incest. Every state in the country has a similar law prohibiting incest, and it is important to understand right from the outset that consent is not a defense against these types of criminal charges.
When a case does involve a lack of consent, the alleged offender could be facing more serious criminal charges. Many alleged offenders can be accused of prohibited sexual conduct even when the state lacks the evidence necessary to support their allegations.
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged prohibited sexual conduct in the greater Dallas area, you cannot ignore the severity of the criminal charges. Convictions relating to alleged incest can carry very serious penalties.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have us examine your case as soon as you call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Under Texas Penal Code § 25.02(a), a person commits prohibited sexual conduct if they engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person the alleged offender knows to be, without regard to legitimacy:
- the alleged offender’s ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption;
- the alleged offender’s current or former stepchild or stepparent;
- the alleged offender’s parent’s brother or sister of the whole or half-blood;
- the alleged offender’s brother or sister of the whole or half blood or by adoption;
- the children of the alleged offender’s brother or sister of the whole or half blood or by adoption; or
- the son or daughter of the alleged offender’s aunt or uncle of the whole or half blood or by adoption.
Texas Penal Code § 25.02(b) defines deviate sexual intercourse as “any contact between the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. Sexual intercourse is defined as “any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.”
Prohibited sexual conduct is largely a third-degree felony, but an offense involving an alleged offender’s ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption is a second-degree felony.
Prohibited sexual conduct crimes are felony offenses, which means that convictions can come with major consequences. The immediate concerns for most people are prison terms and fines, which may be as follows depending on the grade of the alleged crime:
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
Convictions can also create criminal records that prove to be incredibly problematic for many people. When you have a sex offense like this on your record, you could also be required to register as a sex offender.
One of the major defenses to prohibited sexual conduct relates to evidence, as prosecutors often do not have the definitive proof that sexual activity occurred between an alleged offender and one of their relatives. When the evidence, in any case, is particularly weak, that may be used to try to argue for the charges to be thrown out.
It can also be possible that alleged offenders in some cases were completely unaware of their blood relation to another person. An individual may be able to argue that they had no knowledge that another person was related to them.
Incest Statutes | National District Attorneys Association — The NDAA founded the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), a nonprofit research and program development resource for prosecutors. This document lists each state’s incest laws, including prohibited relationships and prohibited acts. The document notes that Texas Family Code § 6.201 relating to consanguinity states that a marriage is void if one party to the marriage is related to the other as an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption, a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption, a parent’s brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption, or a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.
Houston doctors find a dilemma in tests showing incest — On February 11, 2011, the Houston Chronicle published this article discussing a letter the Baylor College of Medicine geneticists had published in the British medical journal The Lancet. According to the letter, modern DNA testing is “revealing many previously missed incest cases that raise difficult legal and ethical questions.” According to Baylor’s chairman of molecular and human genetics and one of the letter’s authors, Dr. Arthur Beaudet, “clinicians uncovering a likely incestuous relationship may be legally required to report it to child protection services and, potentially, law enforcement officials” since the pregnancy might have occurred “in the setting of sexual abuse.”
Were you or a loved one arrested for alleged prohibited sexual conduct in Dallas or a nearby area of Texas? Do not wait another moment to get the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will fight to make sure that you are able to achieve the outcome that results in the fewest possible consequences. Call (972) 233-5700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.