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What Is Considered Sexual Assault Under Texas Law?

Sexual assault is one of the most terrible crimes a person can be accused of. Frequently, alcohol or drugs are involved in the case, impairing judgment and clouding memories. Finding the truth in these matters can be extraordinarily difficult.

Worse, even those who are exonerated of such an accusation frequently still live under a cloud of suspicion and judgment.

It is essential to know the law regarding sexual assault. In Texas, sexual assault is defined as someone intentionally threatening to cause harm to another through sexual contact without consent.

The language of the law separates physical assault from sexual assault. If weapons, death threats or date rape drugs are involved, the crime is upgraded to aggravated sexual assault. Those convicted are registered as a sex offender in addition to the other penalties the court determines.

Consent is what these cases are all about. If physical violence was used or threatened, then consent is considered not to have been given. Also, once the word “no” is uttered, any subsequent sexual contact is considered sexual assault. Consent cannot be given if an individual is intoxicated.

The penalties for sexual assault are very severe. The perpetrator might get as much as 20 years in prison. Aggravated sexual assault might go as high as 25 years.

Those accused of these crimes in San Antonio or anywhere in Texas need to talk to a criminal defense attorney right away. It is imperative to be as educated as possible and to get the best help when navigating the court system.


Jean Brown, the founding attorney of Jean Brown Law Firm, is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas State Bar Association, and the San Antonio Family Lawyer’s Association. She is licensed to practice in the Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Federal Districts of Texas, and is a licensed mediator in family law matters. She is also a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Delta Phi, attorneys’ honor societies.

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