Indecency with a Child
Indecency with a child allegations are probably the most common child sex offenses in Dallas. Police, prosecutors, and courts take these allegations very seriously. As a result, the potential consequences you are facing can be quite severe. Prosecutors often push aggressively for lengthy prison sentences in these cases. Furthermore, even probation can leave you registering as a sex offender for up to the rest of your life. These cases can have powerfully negative impacts on you, your family, your work, and your future. An experienced Dallas indecency a child lawyer can help walk you through this difficult time. Don’t put your life in just anyone’s hands. Dallas indecency with a child lawyer Mike Howard can help you avoid or lessen these very serious consequences.
Child abuse, of course, is very serious problem. It has become incredibly clear, however, that false allegations are an equally serious problem. It is absolutely vital to secure the best possible defense. This is true whether the allegation against you is false, a misunderstanding, or an unfortunate mistake. Don’t put your life, family, and future in just anyone’s hands. When it seems like the world is against you, you need the best possible Dallas indecency with a child attorney in your corner.
Dallas Indecency with a Child Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been accused of indecency with a child in Dallas, contact the Law Office of Mike Howard. Most importantly, Dallas indecency with a child lawyer Mike Howard has the experience, trial skills, and dedication that you need when you are fighting for your life. We will do everything we can to fight for you. Moreover, Mr. Howard will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain the law and your legal options.
A Different Kind of Lawyer
We approach our clients differently than a lot of lawyers. Above all, our philosophy is that being a great lawyer is more than getting you a great result. First, our office is centered around you. This means we start by truly listening to you to understand your case and your goals. Further, our team works to provide you a client experience that is as easy and stress-free as possible. Answering your questions and keeping you informed is very important to us. Most importantly, we treat you as a person, not a number. Finally, our goal is to achieve the best possible result for you. If you’re looking for a different kind of lawyer you’ve come to the right place.
Our Case Process
Listen & Understand
We focus on clients as real people. First, we list to understand who you are and what you need. Then we make sure we fully understand the facts of the case.
We explain the law, your rights, and the legal process. Because communication is very important to us, we strive to quickly answer questions and return communication.
Fight for Justice
Simply put: we fight hard for you. In the courtroom, in negotiations, and before a case even is officially opened, we fight for justice for you.
Indecency with a Child Charges in Dallas
A person commits indecency with a child (Texas Penal Code § 21.11) – if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, they:
- engage in sexual contact with the child or cause the child to engage in sexual contact. This offense is commonly called indecency with a child by contact.
- OR, what is commonly called indecency with a child by exposure: with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
- expose the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the child is present. OR
- cause the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.
For all indecency with a child charges in Dallas, it does not matter whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense. In fact, even if the person reasonably thinks the child is an adult, the prosecutor can still pursue a criminal case.
Sexual Contact Defined
Sexual contact means, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
- any touching of the anus, breast or any part of the genitals of a child. This includes touching over the clothing. OR
- any touching of any part of the body of a child with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person. This also includes touching over the clothing.
A prosecutor can charge two or more allegations of certain types of indecency with a child by contact that occur more than 30 days apart as one offense of continuous sexual abuse of a child or children. See our continuous sexual abuse of a child page for more information.
Offenses alleging penetration of a child are charged as sexual assault of a child or aggravated sexual assault of a child. For more information, see our sexual assault of a child page and our aggravated sexual assault of a child page.
For more information about sex crimes generally, see our sex crimes page.
Resources and Information
See our criminal defense resource center for more information on fundamental rights in a criminal case, definitions of culpable mental states (intentionally, knowingly, etc), defenses to prosecution, and more.
Indecency with a Child Penalties
Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony. As a result, you could face 2 – 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Indecency with a child by exposure is a third-degree felony. As a result, you could face 2 – 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Of course, the serious consequences don’t stop there. A conviction or deferred adjudication for indecency with a child will require sex offender registration. Indecency by contact requires lifetime sex offender registration. Exposure cases, however, require registration for a the length of the sentence plus 10 years after the end of the sentence. Both types of indecency with a child charges are felonies, so a conviction will make you a convicted felony. As a result, you will lose certain important rights (such as voting and ownership or possession of a firearm).
Defending Indecency with a Child Charges
Many people (and lawyers) think that someone accused of indecency with a child cannot get a fair trial. The thinking goes that people will want to believe and protect the child no matter what. Our experience in courtrooms – with multiple not guilty verdicts in cases with terrible accusations – tells us otherwise. While people do want to protect children, they also intuitively know that children sometimes make things up. Sometimes an adult in their life is pressuring or misleading them. The key to a successful defense is putting the burden and pressure back on the prosecutor.
The prosecutor must prove their allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot rule out each and every possible reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence prevails. As a result, the court must find you not guilty. This means you don’t have to prove that you didn’t do it. You don’t have to prove anything!
The only way the prosecution wins is if the jury believes their story is the only reasonable way it could’ve happened. If they have any reasonable doubts that it actually happened, they must find you not guilty. If they reasonably think it could’ve happened another way, they must find you not guilty. This is the highest burden of proof in our justice system. When implemented by a skilled Dallas indecency with a child attorney, it can be a powerful weapon.
Choosing the Right Indecency with a Child Lawyer in Dallas
Searching for indecency with a child lawyers in Dallas can be overwhelming. After all, you are choosing someone who will hold your life, your future, and your family’s future in their hands. You have to be comfortable with them and feel that you can trust the information and advice they give you. Attorneys are supposed to always work in their clients’ best interest. That shouldn’t just be meaningless talk.
First, talk to several lawyers to get a feel for them and their staff. Do they take the time necessary to get to know you, to listen to what’s important to you, and answer your questions? Do they show you that you matter to them as a person and not just as a fee? Beware of lawyers who put the hard sell on you, who make big promises. No attorney should ever make a guarantee about a case. Absolutely avoid a lawyer who doesn’t communicate the scope of the work and their fee clearly in a written contract.
What Makes Mike Howard Different
Many lawyers take advantage of their clients’ ignorance of the criminal justice process. We take the opposite approach. A knowledgeable client is a happy client. Therefore, we provide a wealth of information in the way of articles about criminal offenses, blog posts, and videos for free on our website.
Dallas Indecency with a Child Attorney Mike Howard
Above all, I strive to help my clients through difficult times with compassion and integrity. In Dallas innocent people can get accused, charged, and convicted when they don’t have a Dallas indecency with a child attorney fighting for them. I believe in standing up for people facing criminal accusations and helping them navigate all that comes with being thrown into the criminal justice system.
The cornerstone of my law practice is focusing on my clients as individuals. I start by taking the time to understand not just the facts of their case, but who they are and what they need. Because I know the criminal justice system can be intimidating, I explain the process, their rights, and their options. Client communication is extremely important to me, so I make sure my team and I do everything possible to quickly answer questions and return messages.
Willing to Fight
Most importantly, I am willing to fight a case in court. I have a track record of delivering fantastic results at trial. While not every client and case needs to go to trial, it can make a difference. When your Dallas indecency with a child attorney has a reputation as a skillful trial lawyer who fights for their clients, however, it makes all the difference in the world.