Marital rape is a crime in all 50 states, and has been since 1994. A rape is committed any time one person forces another to have nonconsensual sex, regardless of the relationship between the two parties. It covers all sexual acts. Force can include assault, threats, or intimidation.
Texas sexual assault laws are also gender-neutral. It is possible for people of any gender to rape one another.
In Texas, a spouse or intimate partner may be charged with sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault.
Sexual assault is aggravated when it causes serious bodily injury, causes or attempts to cause death, or placed the victim in fear of death or bodily injury. Sexual assault is also aggravated if the perpetrator used deadly weapons or used date rape drugs. Finally, it is aggravated if the spouse is older than 65 or younger than 14.
There is a ten year statute of limitations for all sexual assault offenses.
Penalties for marital rape are severe in Texas. You can face two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 for a first offense. If accused of aggravated sexual assault, you face 5 to 99 years in prison, plus fines.
In addition, your spouse may be able to bring an injury case against you in civil court. This may mean paying even more money for the spouse’s alleged injuries, pain, and suffering.
Defending Marital Rape Charges
As your Houston, TX criminal defense attorneys, it would be our job to help you defend against these charges. We can do this in a number of ways.
- Proving the sex act was consensual, or that you had every reason to believe consent was given.
- Proving the accuser has ulterior motives for making the accusation, such as gaining the upper hand in a divorce settlement.
- Challenging the scientific veracity of medical evidence.
In many cases, we can prove there is insufficient evidence to pursue the case, and get your charges dropped or dismissed.
If your spouse has evidence of assault, or a prolonged period of intimate partner violence, this will complicate your case. You will need to share this information with us.
It’s not our place to judge you, nor are we concerned with factual guilt. We’re concerned only with proving your legal guilt or innocence. If you’ve been accused of spousal rape, don’t delay. Reach out to our law office to get help with your case.
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