Corpus Christi Sexual Assault Attorneys

Corpus Christi Sexual Assault Lawyer

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According to FBI crime statistics, Texas has a rate of 55.2 rapes and sexual assaults per 100,000 individuals, making Texas the 15th most dangerous state when it comes to rape and sexual assault in the U. S. More than six million Texans, 4.2 million of them women, have experienced a sexual assault at some point in their lives.  In 2017, there were 18,112 reported incidences of sexual assault in Texas, involving 18,750 victims and 18,774 offenders.

Sadly, many sexual assaults go unreported. Victims need to know that they have the right to make a police report and pursue criminal charges. They should also be aware that they have the right to hire Corpus Christie sexual assault attorneys to help them bring a civil claim against the perpetrator and anyone else who might have been negligent in allowing the assault to happen.

What Is Sexual Assault in Texas?

Corpus Christi Sexual Assault Law Firm Texas doesn’t have a legal definition of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is generally defined as unwanted sexual contact involving force, threats, or taking advantage of someone who can’t. Sexual assault is a form of sexual abuse.

According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, rape or sexual assault is “any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact against any individual by another.” Further, according to Texas Penal Code Section 22.011, sexual assault is any of the following:

  • Intercourse and penetration without consent
  • Sexual abuse of someone who isn’t able to consent due to a disability or their mental capacity
  • Sexual contact, including intercourse and penetration with a minor child
  • Forcible and violent intercourse, penetration, or sexual contact, even with consent
  • Coercive sexual acts

To charge someone with sexual assault in Texas, law enforcement and prosecutors must be able to establish that the perpetrator committed one or more of these acts. If convicted of sexual assault in Texas, which is usually a second-degree felony, they can face up to 20 years in prison. However, they may receive a sentence of up to 99 years if they use death threats or a weapon while committing the sexual assault.

Sexual harassment is a much less serious type of sexual assault. Sexual harassment can involve many actions and typically includes:

  • Showing or sending inappropriate images, cartoons, letters, emails, or texts
  • Sending inappropriate love letters or making phone calls
  • Making unwanted physical contact
  • Asking for sexual favors
  • Threatening termination from employment if sexual advances aren’t accepted

Texas Sexual Assault Criminal Charges

The Patel Firm Sexual Assault LawyerCriminal and civil laws are both enforced by the courts. If a law is broken, police collect evidence so that criminal charges can be filed against them. A prosecuting attorney handles the charges for the state. A criminal attorney represents the person facing charges. A conviction for Texas sexual assault can come with one or more of the following:

  • Hefty fines
  • Jail time or imprisonment
  • Restitution
  • Community service
  • Other restrictions to their freedom such as a driver’s license suspension or loss of the right to own or possess a firearm
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

The specific consequences of each conviction vary. They can depend on many factors, such as if the offender previously victimized someone, the victim’s age, or the severity of the crime.

Texas Sexual Assault Civil Claims

Civil claims are very different from criminal charges. A civil claim can be settled out of court or go before a judge or a jury. Instead of facing community service or jail time, as in a criminal case, the perpetrator is ordered to pay the victim money for their losses if the victim wins their case.

It’s important to note that not all situations resulting in criminal charges will also lead to valid civil actions, but sometimes they can. For instance, if a drunk driver hits you, the prosecutor would likely file criminal charges filed against them. You could also file a civil lawsuit pursuing monetary compensation for your injuries. It works the same way if you are a victim of sexual assault; there can be both a criminal and civil case against the assailant. Criminal courts focus on the perpetrator and penalizing them for their illegal actions. Civil courts focus on financial recovery for the victim to make them whole again.

Sexual Assault: Criminal vs. Civil Courts

Prosecutors use criminal courts and Texas criminal statutes to determine if someone is guilty of sexual assault and how they should be penalized for their crime. Corpus Christi sexual assault lawyers use the civil courts and civil statutes to establish that someone acted negligently or intentionally based on the following elements of negligence:

  • The other party owed them a duty of care. For example, a shopping mall should provide adequate lighting in the parking lot at night for their customers and employees.
  • That party breached their duty of care to the victim.
  • As a result of the breach, the victim suffered harm.
  • The victim’s harm resulted in their damages, including medical bills and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Standard of Proof

Criminal and civil cases also differ in the standard of proof they require. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove to the jury that the charged offender is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” They must find the offender not guilty if there is even a minor doubt in the mind of a single juror.

Civil cases have a significantly lower standard of proof based on a “preponderance of the evidence.” The victim or their Corpus Christi sexual assault attorneys must only tip the scale slightly their way to receive compensation for damages. The jury needs only to determine that the victim’s claim is more likely true than not.

Do Criminal and Civil Cases Impact the Other?

Criminal and civil cases don’t directly affect one another. They are independent; the outcome of one can be entirely different from the other. Criminal and civil cases don’t share Corpus Christie sexual assault lawyers, laws, or penalties. However, they usually rely on some of the same evidence.

The outcome of a civil case won’t impact the outcome of a criminal case, although sometimes, a criminal case will have an impact on a civil case. Since a successful criminal case requires a higher standard of proof, a criminal conviction often means there’s enough proof for a civil claim also to be successful. However, you don’t have to wait on criminal charges or the results of a criminal case for our Corpus Christie sexual assault attorneys to pursue justice on your behalf. No matter the status of your criminal case, we can get to work fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Third-Party Liability in Texas Sexual Assault Cases

It’s evident that whoever commits a sexual assault is liable for the damages they cause their victim. However, that person might not be the only party liable for damages. In some situations, another party might be accountable for what has happened to the victim. They don’t have as much liability as the assailant has, but they do have some. Your Corpus Christi sexual assault attorneys can help determine if there are third parties liable for your damages. If so, they will name them as defendants in your civil claim. If your claim is successful, they may be responsible for paying a portion of your damages.

Sexual Assault at an Apartment Complex

Apartment managers and owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for their tenants and visitors. This duty is more than just mopping up spills or fixing broken handrails. For example, they need to keep their parking lots and tenant porches well-lit at night or provide extra security patrols if there has been an increase in crime in the area. If they fail to adhere to their duty of care and a tenant suffers a sexual assault as a result, they might be held partially liable for the tenant’s damages. They also have a duty to ensure they are hiring reliable and safe staff. Suppose they knowingly hire someone with a criminal history or fail to look into their background and that employee sexually assaults a tenant. In that case, they could also be held liable for negligence.

Sexual Assault at Retail Establishment

Similar to the liability of the apartment complex manager or owner, the manager or owner of a retail establishment can also be liable for some sexual assaults on their premises. They also need to keep their property safe to prevent accidents such as slip and falls and prevent assaults and other crimes. Suppose a shopper experiences a sexual assault on the premises of a negligent retail establishment. In that case, they can seek compensation from that retail establishment.

Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Unfortunately, workplace sexual assault is far too common. Employers can be held liable in the same way that apartment or store managers or owners can be held liable—for not ensuring a safe environment with adequate lighting, security patrols, and other measures.  They can also be held liable for negligent hiring or not doing anything about complaints they receive. For example, they might be partially responsible for a sexual assault if:

  • The perpetrator’s inappropriate behavior or threats were previously reported, and the employer didn’t take disciplinary action or anything to prevent further problems.
  • The perpetrator has a criminal history, especially involving sex crimes, and the employer either ignored them or didn’t perform a background check when they were hired.

Cases regarding sexual assault in the workplace can be highly stressful and complex. If you are pursuing one, you need the reliable representation of knowledgeable and seasoned Corpus Christi sexual assault attorneys at Patel Law as you seek justice.

Sometimes co-workers aren’t the only ones acting inappropriately. If your boss or employer is the one committing sexual assaults, you still have legal rights and options. Not only can you pursue criminal charges and a civil claim for compensation, but you also have rights under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Your first step to justice is to hire experienced Corpus Christi sexual assault attorneys who can assist you in filing an “administrative charge” with the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). Our qualified Corpus Christi sexual assault lawyers will be there for you through every step of this process, standing up for your rights.

Other Potentially Liable Parties in Sexual Assault Civil Claims

While work, retail, and apartment spaces are frequent places for sexual assaults to occur, there are other potentially liable parties in sexual assault cases. Other potentially liable parties in a sex assault civil claim might also include:

  • Schools
  • Daycares centers
  • Teachers
  • Hospitals
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Uber, Lyft, or similar services

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, our Corpus Christie sexual assault lawyers can investigate your case to help determine any other parties that might be liable for your damages. In this way, we can maximize your compensation to get you what you are entitled to receive after such a traumatic experience.

Contact Our Experienced Corpus Christie Sexual Assault Attorneys Today

Minesh Patel Corpus Christi Sexual Assault Attorney

Suppose you or a loved one suffered a sexual assault and would like to consult with a Corpus Christie sexual assault lawyer. In that case, we provide free and confidential consultations. We completely understand the overwhelming physical, emotional, and psychological anguish that victims of sexual assault endure. Our staff knows that such clients require sufficient time and thought to fully recover and decide whether they want to pursue the legal actions available to them in order to both obtain justice and compensation for their injuries. We explain all of the legal options available to you in a logical, straightforward, and confidential manner that gives you the information and confidence you need to make the right decision moving forward.

At the Patel Law Firm, you’re not just another number; you’re a person who’s entrusted us with one of the most challenging moments of your life. We take this honor and obligation seriously. Any information you share with us is protected by attorney-client privilege, even if you don’t hire us. Call us today at 361-400-2036 to schedule a case review with our seasoned Corpus Christie sexual assault lawyers.

 


The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
1129 Airline Road
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412
(361) 400-2036

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