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What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault occurs under Tex. Pen. Code § 22.011 when individuals intentionally or knowingly take any of the following actions:

  • Causing the non-consensual sexual penetration of another by any means
  • Causing the penetration of the mouth of another with a sexual organ without consent
  • Causing the sexual organ of one person to penetrate another person, whether that person is the actor or a third party
  • Causing contact or penetration between sexual organs and other orifices of children
What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault?

Various circumstances can make a sexual assault non-consensual. For instance, if a person uses force, intimidation, or violence to carry out the act, the law presumes that act to be non-consensual. If individuals are unconscious, physically unable to resist, or unaware that the acts are occurring, then the actions are not consensual. A sexual assault also is non-consensual if the accused persons are in specific positions of authority, such as clergymen, public servants, and mental health services providers.

Sexual assault can be a State jail, third, or second-degree felony depending on the circumstances that surround the commission of the crime. As a result, individuals convicted of sexual assault could serve anywhere from 180 days in jail to 20 years in prison and be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

On the other hand, Tex. Pen. Code § 22.021 defines aggravated sexual assault as occurring when individuals commit a sexual assault, along with:

  • Causing serious bodily injury or attempting to cause the death of the alleged victim or a third party
  • Placing the alleged victims in fear that they will be subject to various crimes or that they or a third party will suffer imminent death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping
  • Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon in the course of the crime
  • Acting in concert with another to commit the crime
  • Proving the alleged victims with substances meant to impair them
  • Committing the crime against alleged victims under the age of 14, elderly, or disabled

Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony offense. In some cases, a conviction can result in a minimum term of imprisonment of 25 years, as well as a prison sentence of life or 99 years.

The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges in the State of Texas. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. As a result, we will strive to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys.

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