JUVENILE SEX CRIMES ATTORNEY IN ANGLETON, TEXAS
If your child needs an attorney to defend him in court, you can call James Sullivan directly at (281) 546-6428.
As parents, we know that children are naturally curious about their sexuality. In these modern times, children are reaching the onset of puberty at a younger and younger age (girls as young as nine and boys as young as ten). Their curiosity leads to natural experimentation. Unfortunately, such experimentation sometimes conflicts with state laws, and children as young as ten can be arrested and charged with serious felony offenses such as aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault or indecency with a child.
Juvenile sex offenses, of course, can stem from other reasons. Children can be influenced to act out when they have been exposed to pornography or live sex. They will mimic the sexual behavior they have seen. And, of course, children who have been sexually abused will act out on those behaviors--sometimes years later. In such cases, it is very common that the child was abused at a young age by an older cousin, a babysitter, a coach or other such person close to the child. This prior abuse does not excuse the child's actions, but it is definitely mitigating. Without counseling and intervention, the child is likely to re-offend. If the child later re-offends as an adult, he could be facing a lengthy prison sentence and a lifetime of sex offender registration.
DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION
Brazoria County Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law. Juvenile Law is different than criminal law.
As an attorney myself, when concerns arose over an incident involving my son, I knew the extreme importance of finding an attorney who is Board Certified in juvenile law. Board Certified lawyers are highly specialized - enough that the State recognizes them for their expertise. My search led me to Jim Sullivan and I cannot thank him enough. He is extremely well-versed in this highly specialized area of law, kind, compassionate and non-judgmental. He spent a great deal of time understanding the incident involving my son and providing us guidance. Thankfully, it appears that this will turn out to only be a "learning opportunity" for my son but, I have Jim's number in my phone and will call him immediately if the need arises. ~Concerned Mom (Yahoo Directory Review)
Brazoria County Juvenile Lawyer James Sullivan can help you and your child get through this difficult ordeal with dignity, empathy and compassion. He is sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of children. He has represented a number of juvenile boys and girls who themselves had been victimized at a young age and had not reported it to their parents or to the authorities. In fact, it was only through his sensitive, patient and thought-provoking conversation with the child that he was able to draw out the prior abuse.
Brazoria County Juvenile Attorney James Sullivan will work hard to persuade the State to non-suit (dismiss) your child's case, to obtain an acquittal (not guilty) at trial or as a last result to negotiate a reasonable plea bargain. From the outset, he will work to have your child released from the detention center and then work toward keeping him or her at home and from having to register as a sex offender. In fact, not one of his juvenile clients has had to register as a sex offender. Such registration can be devastating to a child's development and to his or her future.
The case histories below represent a few of the many juveniles charged with sex offenses that James Sullivan has represented. All cases were in Harris County (Houston), except where noted. Past results are not a guarantee of a similar result in any future case.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child - Jury Trial: Not Guilty
Sullivan won an acquittal for his 15 year old client who was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and her 4 year old brother was an alleged eyewitness. Client absolutely denied it and the jury agreed.
Hi Jim, I was on the jury panel for the defendant on March 19 & 20, 2013 in the 314 [Juvenile District] Court. My congratulations on winning the case [an Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child]. I believe justice was served. The harsh treatment you received by the court was NOT a factor in deciding the case but it WAS noticed and mentioned during deliberations by all the jury members. Glad to see you took the higher ground. Your closing statement was very well prepared and was helpful in our decision making process. Best of Luck, it was an honor to be there. ~Juror
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child - Non-Suited (Dismissed)
Sullivan won a dismissal for a 15 year old boy accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room. The boy could then petition to have his juvenile record sealed immediately.
Sexual Assault - Non-Suited (Dismissed)
Sullivan won a dismissal one month before trial for a 16 year old boy accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home. Prior to the dismissal, the State sought a determinate sentence which could have resulted in incarceration for up to 20 years and could have required the boy to register as a sex offender until the age of 28. The boy could then petition to have his juvenile record sealed immediately.
Indecency with a Child - Non-Suited (Dismissed)
Sullivan won a dismissal for a 13 year old boy accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school. Prior to the dismissal, the State offered a year of probation at home, however the boy would have had to wait until he was 19 in order to seal his record. The boy could then petition to have his record sealed immediately.
Indecency with a Child - Non-Suited (Dismissed)
In Montgomery County, Sullivan persuaded the State to dismiss his 11 year old client's felony cases upon completion of a short counseling program. The boy was accused of fondling two students against their will. The boy can petition the court to have his arrest record sealed now rather than having to wait until age 19.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child - Non-Suited (Dismissed)
In Montgomery County, Sullivan persuaded the State to dismiss his 12 year old client’s felony case upon successful completion of juvenile sex offender counseling. The boy was accused of fondling a two year old girl. The boy can petition the court to have his record sealed after the nine months of counseling rather than having to wait until age 19.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child - Reduced to misdemeanor Assault
Sullivan secured reduction to a misdemeanor assault for a 16 year old boy charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child involving his six year old half-sister. On the day of trial, Sullivan persuaded the State to reduce the charges from a determinate felony case to a misdemeanor assault and to allow his client to receive one year probation on a misdemeanor assault charge. Two years after his probation is over, the child can petition the court to seal his record.
Indecency with a Child - Reduced to misdemeanor Indecent Exposure
Sullivan secured reduction to a misdemeanor for a 14 year old boy charged with indecency with a child. He and two other boys were accused of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Prior to trial, Sullivan persuaded the State to reduce the charges from a determinate felony case to a misdemeanor indecent exposure and allowed his client to receive probation at home. Two years after his probation is over, the child can petition the court to seal his record.
Indecency with a Child - Reduced to misdemeanor Assault
Sullivan secured reduction to a misdemeanor for a 15 year old boy charged with indecency with a child. He allegedly fondled a six year girl who was visiting him at home. On the tenth jury trial setting close to his 18th birthday, Sullivan persuaded the State to reduce the charge from a determinate felony case to a misdemeanor case and allowed his client to receive two months of probation at home. His client subsequently enrolled in college. At age 19, the child can petition the court to seal his record.
Indecency with a Child - Reduced to misdemeanor Public Lewdness
Secured reduction to a misdemeanor for a 14 year old boy accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex. On the day of trial, Jim Sullivan persuaded the State to reduce the charges from a serious felony to a misdemeanor and to allow his client to receive one year probation at home. Two years after his probation is over, the child can petition the court to seal his record.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – Reduced to non sex felony of Enticing a Child
In Brazoria County, Sullivan secured a three indeterminate probation at home with the mother for a 13 year old boy accused of fondling his 6 year old step sister. As a result of the disposition on a non sex related offense, the client can never be required to register as a sex offender. At age 19, the child can petition the court to seal his record.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – Reduced to misdemeanor Assault
In Fort Bend County, Sullivan persuaded the State to allow his client to participate and complete juvenile sex offender counseling in exchange for a misdemeanor Assault without a disposition and without any probation. His 16 year old client was accused of fondling his 14 year old sister. Two years later the child can petition the court to seal his record.
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES:
DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER TO CRIMINAL COURT
An Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child offense is a first degree felony. If the juvenile is 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from five years to life in prison.
Indecency with a Child can be either a second or third degree felony. If the juvenile is 15 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense, the State can seek to have the juvenile transferred to criminal court and stand trial as an adult. In adult court, the range of punishment is from 2 years to 10 or 20 years in prison.
Instead of a transfer to criminal court, the State can also seek a Determinate Sentence for a juvenile aged 10 years or older for a juvenile felony sex offense. If this were to happen, a juvenile could never seal his juvenile record. He could be placed on probation for up to 10 years with automatic transfer to adult probation at age 18. He could also be sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (former known as Texas Youth Commission) for up to 40 years for a first degree felony, up to 20 years for a second degree felony and up to 10 years for a third degree felony. If sent to TJJD and to be eligible for parole, he first has to stay a minimum of 3 calendar years for a first degree felony, 2 calendar years for a second degree felony and 1 calendar year for a third degree felony. If the juvenile does not parole out by age 19, then he is automatically transferred to adult prison, although depending on his behavior he could be transferred as early as age 16.
Instead of the severe consequences of a transfer to adult court or determinate sentence, the State can proceed with an Indeterminate Sentence. In such a case, the juvenile could petition the court to seal his record at age 19 as long as he is not required to register as a sex offender. Also, the juvenile could receive probation until age 18. As a condition of probation, he could be placed outside his home for sex offender counseling and treatment. He could also be sent to TJJD where he could be held until age 19. In most of his negotiated cases, Jim Sullivan has been able to reach an agreement with the State for his client to receive Indeterminate Sentence probation at home for two years, the minimum statutory required length of probation for a felony sex offense.
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
The Judge can also order the juvenile to register as a sex offender until age 28. The defense attorney may be able to persuade the State to agree to defer registration, i.e. the Judge will make the decision regarding sex offender registration after the juvenile completes his or her sex offender counseling. Jim Sullivan has been successful in his cases to either defer the registration decision or to not require the juvenile to register at all.
DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
Brazoria County Juvenile Lawyer James Sullivan has also been successful in persuading juvenile courts to allow juveniles to be excused from further sex offender registration that would otherwise be required by Chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. A juvenile ordered to register as a sex offender only has two chances to request de-registration as a sex offender. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in the process. Ideally, it is better to request de-registration prior to the juvenile's 18th birthday when he would otherwise have to begin registering as an adult until age 28. However, the juvenile can still request de-registration even after having reached age 18 or older.
If your child is charged with a sex offense, then call Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428. He can help you and he wants to hear from you.