Our society has undergone a big change when it comes to sex crimes. Out of a sincere concern for the victims of sex crimes and childhood sexual abuse, we've given the police greater power to get perpetrators off the streets. That's had some consequences.
- Police have developed highly effective techniques for scooping up large numbers of people in sting operations. Sometimes they get the wrong people, including juveniles.
- Our courts have made exceptions to the usual rules of evidence when victims are children. Sometimes there is little hard evidence and people are wrongly convicted.
- Sentences for sex crimes have become much longer.
Some sexual activity really is a crime; some falls in an ever-larger gray area, and some people really are wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. Whichever category you fall into, you need and deserve a strong defense — and you need it fast. Call Maddox Law at 972-546-2496.
I am attorney Matthew Maddox, a juvenile sex crimes defense lawyer in McKinney, TX. It's my life's work to ensure young people in Collin County have the best defense possible when faced with criminal charges. I'm not here to judge you. I'm here to help.
Juvenile Sex Crimes
- Indecency with a child (even if the “offender” is also a child)
- Possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography
- Statutory rape or sexual assault, or attempted rape
- Child sexual abuse
- Indecent exposure
- Online solicitation
If your child is between the ages of 10 and 16 years of age, they are likely be tried in the juvenile justice system. They can be charged with the same crimes as adults, but the penalties will be different.
One thing that isn't different: Texas is one of a handful of states that do put children on the sex offender registry. Being listed on the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry can do tremendous harm to a young person's self-esteem and future opportunities. It can be a barrier to school, employment and housing.
Research shows that fewer than 5% of children and teens convicted of a juvenile sex crime re-offend, so sex offender registration harms more than it protects. Even though youth registration it is limited to 10 years (unlike adults who are often on for life), there are better ways to hold young people accountable.
What Happens When a Juvenile is Charged with a Sex Crime?
Sometimes young people get arrested for a sex crime in situations that seem really unreasonable. The police aren't trying to be unfair. They don't have a lot of discretion about whether to arrest a young person who has been identified as an “offender,” even if the offense is having consensual sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Explaining the relationship will not help at this stage, especially if one of the parties is 14 or under. The arrest will happen, the young person will go in for a bond hearing, and bond will be set high. I'll get to work immediately to represent you at the bond hearing, to argue for lower bond, and to prepare for negotiations with the prosecutor or a trial.
For consensual relationships, there is a safety zone if the “victim” is at least 14 and the “offender” is no more than 3 years older. Then the age difference and consent to sex is an “affirmative defense.” The charges may be dropped.
If a sex crime did occur, treatment should be the goal, not punishment – and if at all possible, not sex offender registration. I fight vigorously for my clients every step of the way: getting charges dropped, keeping cases in the juvenile system, getting first-time offenders into diversion programs, and providing a strong defense in court.
Get A Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Who Knows How To Fight
If your son or daughter has been charged with a sex crime, skilled representation is a must. You can count on me to stand by you and put the full force of my 15 plus years of experience behind your defense. You will never find a lawyer who will fight harder for you.