Hempstead / Waller County Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyer James Sullivan Fights for his Clients


 

Waller County Juvenile and Criminal Sex Crimes Defense

IMG_2922BAs 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 life sentence.

If your child was arrested, contact Hempstead, Texas Juvenile Attorney James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation.  Sullivan is recognized statewide as an expert in juvenile law and is an experienced trial lawyer. Sullivan has obtained good results for both juveniles and adults accused of sex offenses in the Greater Houston area.

James Sullivan attended the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

DIGNITY, EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

TBLS-Logo-tag-RWaller County Juvenile Sex Offense Lawyer James Sullivan is Board Certified in Juvenile Law.  Juvenile Law is different than criminal law. Note: Among the more than 83,000 active lawyers in Texas, there are only 38 lawyers Board Certified in Juvenile Law and in private practice in the state of Texas.

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.

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 hard to keep your child out of the detention center or 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.

James Sullivan is an expert in the field of juvenile law and has successfully represented juveniles charged with sex offenses and other felony and misdemeanor offenses in Waller County and throughout southeast Texas. Sullivan has a proven track record in juvenile sex offense representation and is truly concerned about the many juveniles who do not have competent legal representation.

RECENT CASE RESULTS – CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE SEX OFFENSES

OFFENSEACTUAL RESULTSCT #
Indeceny with a Child by Contact (2° Felony) in Brazoria CountyCASE REDUCED AT TRIAL SETTING TO NON-SEX FELONY ENTICING A CHILD with deferred adjudication (Client was accused of touching his young stepdaughter)412th
ONLINE SOLICITATION OF A MINOR (2° Felony) in Montgomery CountyPSI Hearing: 7 years Deferred Adjudication probation (Client was accused of showing up to meet with underage female in HPD sting operation initiated with Craig's List ad. Prosecutor only offered prison time)9th
Sexual Assault (2° Felony) in Harris CountyCASE NOT FILED (Two teenage boys allegedly sexually assaulted a 17 year old female female. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired cast serious doubt on the complainant's credibility and was enough to persuade the police to close the investigation without charges begin filed)
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED BY STATE PRIOR TO FIRST COURT SETTING (13 year old boy allegedly touched his 5 year old niece inappropriately in his bedroom. Thorough investigation by Sullivan within days of being hired was enough to persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing without client having to go through juvenile processing, an exceptionally rare result)CCL 5
Sexual Assault of a Child (2° Felony) in Fort Bend CountyCASE TO BE CLOSED after completion of Boundary counseling (16 year old boy allegedly forced his girlfriend to have sex with him against her will) – Agreement was reached with prosecutor to not file case and for client to participate in first offenders program.
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony) in Galveston CountyCASE TO BE DISMISSED after completion of deferred prosecution (13 year old boy allegedly touched a girl inappropriately while riding home on the school bus)CCL 2
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony) in Waller CountyPSI HEARING: 6 years TDC (Adult client originally faced 25 years to Life on Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. Client had sexual contact with a 13 year old stepdaughter over a one year period)506th
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED (16 year old boy allegedly touched a female student inappropriately at his high school)CCL 5
Online Solicitation of a Minor (2˚ felony)CASE DISMISSED (19 year old man was accused of talking about sex related topics with a 12 year old girl online although there was no intention of ever meeting up with her. James Sullivan and his associate Nancy Botts totally disagreed with the law that has ruined hundreds of lives by making it a felony just to talk about sex topics with minors online or people pretending to be minors, so they filed a pre-trial writ of habeas corpus challenging the constitutionality of the law. While his appeal was still pending, a similar appeal filed earlier on a different case by a Houston colleague accomplished the same result. On October 30, 2013, the Court of Criminal Appeals declared Texas Penal Code §33.021(b) unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds. The next day, the client’s case was dismissed)182nd
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony)NOT GUILTY VERDICT BY JURY (James Sullivan persuaded a jury in the 314th District Court of Harris County to find his 15 year old male client not guilty of molesting his niece. The client was accused of inserting his finger into the sexual organ of his 2½ year old niece and his 4 year old nephew was an alleged eyewitness. The niece did have injuries documented in a medical examination, but a thorough defense investigation uncovered severe credibility issues with the children and their mother, the outcry witness, and other reasonable explanations for the injuries were not investigated by law enforcement. Prior to trial, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted of the felony, 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)314TH
Indecency with a Child (2° Felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Adult client was accused of sexually abusing his 16 year old nephew) – Case was presented to Grand Jury before charges were filed.
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED (A 16 year old boy with autism was accused of raping his 14 year old male cousin during a sleepover. Law enforcement failed to interview the accused’s parents, failed to visit the alleged crime scene and failed to investigate the complainant’s father, a registered sex offender with a lengthy history of abusing children, as a possible perpetrator. Before Sullivan could set the case on the trial docket, the State did the right thing and dismissed the case)359th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED (a 15 year old boy was accused of holding a 15 year old girl down on the floor during class and fondling her through her clothing against her will) 359th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED (an 11 year old boy was accused of fondling two other students against their will while on the school bus)359th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony)CASE DISMISSED ON DAY OF JURY TRIAL (A 15 year old boy was accused of having consensual sex with a 12 year old girl in her bedroom while two teenage friends allegedly listened in the adjoining room. Prior to trial, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted of the felony, 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)315th
Sexual Assault (2˚ felony)CASE DISMISSED AFTER CASE SET FOR JURY TRIAL (A 16 year old boy was accused of forcibly raping a 17 year old girl at her home. Prior to the dismissal, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted of the felony, 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)315th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED (A 13 year old boy was accused of fondling a 12 year old girl against her will at school. Prior to dismissing the case, the State offered his client probation at home)315th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED (A 12 year old boy was accused of fondling a 2 year old girl at his home)359th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Fort Bend CountyCASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT (A 16 year old boy was accused of fondling with digital penetration his 14 year old sister against her will when he was 14 and she was 12 years old)CCL 2
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT ON DAY OF JURY TRIAL (a 16 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing his 6 year old half-sister. Prior to trial, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted on the felony, 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)315th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR INDECENT EXPOSURE ON DAY OF JURY TRIAL (A 14 year old boy was accused along with two other boys of fondling a 13 year old girl at school against her will. Prior to trial, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted on the felony, 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)315th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT ON DAY OF JURY TRIAL (a 15 year old boy was accused of fondling a 6 year old girl who was visiting him at home. Prior to trial, the State sought a determinate sentence which, if convicted on the felony, 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)313th
Indecency with a Child (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR PUBLIC LEWDNESS ON DAY OF TRIAL (A 14 year old boy was accused of fondling a 7 year old boy outside in their apartment complex)315th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Brazoria CountyCASE REDUCED TO NON-SEX FELONY OF ENTICING A CHILD (a 13 year old boy was accused of fondling his 6 year old stepsister. When the boy was 7, he was sexually abused by an older brother but never received any counseling. Unfortunately, six years later, he impulsively acted out on the behaviors he learned at a young age)CCL 2
Sexual Assault of a ChildCASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Adult client was accused of having sex with 16 year old girl that falsely claimed she was 18) – Case # 1332791185th
(2° Felony)
Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration (Habitual Felony enhanced)SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS TDC ON SECOND JURY TRIAL SETTING AFTER ORIGINALLY FACING 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON (Adult client was accused of failing to register after the 5th year) – Case # 1319150337th
Indecency with a Child by Exposure (1° Felony enhanced)RECEIVED 2 YEARS DEFERRED ADJUDICATION PROBATION AT PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE SETTING AFTER FACING 5 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON (Adult client was accused of exposing himself to teenage stepdaughter) – Case # 1319350337th
Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration (3° Felony)CASE DISMISSED (Adult client was accused of violating sex offender registration rules) - Case # 1283222228th
Sexual Assault (2° Felony)JURY TRIAL - JURY FOUND CLIENT GUILTY AND RECOMMENDED PROBATION (Adult client received 5 years of probation. Prior to trial, State’s best offer was 5 years at TDC) – Case # 1072069178th
Sexual Assault of a ChildCASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Adult client was accused of consensual sex with underage female) – Case # 1283460232nd
(2° Felony)
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 18, the client wanted to transfer to Texas A&M)314th
Sexual Assault of a ChildCASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client was accused of consensual sex with underage female) – Case # 1264919
(2° Felony)
Motion to Adjudicate Guilt (Indecency with a Child) (2° Felony)MADJ DISMISSED AND ADULT CLIENT RE-INSTATED ON PROBATION - Case # 1114342339th
Sexual Assault of a ChildCASE DISMISSED AFTER CASE WAS SET FOR JURY TRIAL (Adult client faced sex offender registration for life) – Case # 1220515179th
(2° Felony)
Compelling Prostitution of a Child (2° Felony) (Felony Habitual enhanced)SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS TDC PRIOR TO SECOND JURY TRIAL SETTING AFTER FACING 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON (Adult client was accused of forcing a 16 year old runaway girl to have sex for money)179th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1° Felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Adult client was accused of molesting his sister-in-law) – Case Expunged177TH
Indecency with a ChildSENTENCED TO 2 YEARS TDC ON JURY TRIAL SETTING AFTER FACING 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON – Case # 1202760178th
(Felony Habitual enhanced)
Indecency with a Child (3° Felony)CASE DISMISSED AFTER CASE SET FOR JURY TRIAL -- Case # 1063539232nd
Motion to Revoke Probation (Indecency with a Child) (2° Felony) in Fort Bend CountyMOTION TO REVOKE DISMISSED AND JUVENILE CLIENT WAS RE-INSTATED ON PROBATION2
Possession of Child Pornography (2° Felony)5 YEARS PROBATION (Case was first filed in Criminal District Court as an adult case, later dismissed and re-filed in Juvenile Court one week before client’s 18th birthday, an exceptionally rare event. Government knew about child pornography when Client was 16 but did not execute search warrant until one week after his 17th birthday. Client does not have to register as a sex offender)314TH
Sexual Assault of a ChildCASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Adult client was accused of consensual sex with underage female) – Case # 1231727179th
(2° Felony)
Possession of Child Pornography (2° Felony)CASE DISMISSED – Case # 1218086176th
Promotion of Child Pornography (2° Felony)CASE DISMISSED – Case # 1218087176th
Indecency with a Child (3° Felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR INDECENT EXPOSURE – Case # 1227653232nd
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony)CASE DISMISSED315th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1° Felony) in Montgomery CountyCASE DISMISSED ON SECOND JURY TRIAL SETTING (Adult client was accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter. Allegation arose soon after client filed for divorce from his wife) – Case Expunged359th
Indecency with a Child by Contact (2° Felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT313th
Motion to Adjudicate Guilt (Indecency with a Child) (2° Felony)MADJ DISMISSED AND CLIENT RE-INSTATED ON PROBATION - Case # 1125649179th
Motion to De-Register as a Sex OffenderGRANTED (A registered juvenile sex offender was allowed to de-register. Now 17, the client wanted to de-register before he applied to attend college)314th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Liberty CountyPROBATION (a 16 year old mentally challenged boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. During a lengthy interview by Sullivan with the child at the detention center, the boy divulged that he had been molested at age six by a 14 year old cousin. Sullivan persuaded the State and the court to allow his client to receive probation with an older sister in Harris county)CCL
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Jackson CountyPROBATION (A 15 year old boy was accused of sexually abusing a younger brother over a one year period of time. Like so many juvenile sex offenders, the accused was exposed to explicit sex videos online via unsupervised Internet access at a young age and began acting out with a sibling. The probation department originally recommended placement at TJJD, formerly known as TYC, however Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to be placed with the grandparents following a 9 to 12 months of sex offender counseling at a private placement at Pegasus School in Lockhart)CCL
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony)PROBATION (A 12 year old boy was caught in the act of sexually abusing his 6 year old cousin. During a series of interviews with Sullivan, the boy divulged that he had been raped by an 18 year old acquaintance that had lived in the neighborhood. Sullivan persuaded the prosecutor to allow his client to receive probation and to live at home with his father)315th
Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (1˚ felony) in Montgomery CountyPROBATION (A 12 year old boy was caught in the act of fondling a 5 year old boy in the neighborhood. Sullivan initially persuaded the court to allow his client to stay at home with his parents and younger siblings, however his client later admitted to probation to fondling a younger half-brother in his home. Sullivan then persuaded the court to place his client with his grandmother in Chicago and to receive out-patient counseling even though the probation department sought placement at a residential treatment center)CCL 4

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.

DETERMINATE SENTENCE

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.

INDETERMINATE SENTENCE

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, James 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.  James Sullivan has defended over 100 juvenile sex offenders and not even one of his clients has had to register.

DE-REGISTRATION – EXCUSING SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

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.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a confidential consultation at (281) 546-6428 about your child’s juvenile charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT SMART PHONES

Attorney Sullivan regularly warns parents of the dangers of unsupervised internet access for children, especially via a smart phone (e.g., I-Phone), but can also be by other mobile devices (e.g., I-Pad), computers or gaming systems (e.g., Play Station or Xbox).  The danger is that children and young adults can easily access websites that offer free high speed, hard core pornography.  These websites offer videos displaying every sexual deviancy imaginable and can easily warp the minds of children and young adults.

Since 1994, Sullivan has defended hundreds of juveniles and adults accused of felony sex offenses, including juveniles as young as 10. Over the last few years, about 80 percent of his juvenile cases stemmed from juveniles acting out with other children after having viewed hard core pornography on their own or a friend’s smart phone, computer or gaming station.  Obviously, cell phone service, gaming system and other internet related providers need to better warn parents of the dangers of these devices.  By researching online or reading over the owner’s manual, you can learn how to block access to porn on your child’s smart phones although these filters are not 100% effective.

CASE EXAMPLES

The stories of Sullivan’s juvenile clients that stemmed from exposure to online pornography are heart wrenching, yet almost completely avoidable. Case examples include: a 13 year old boy impregnating his 11 year old sister, a 10 year old boy paying a 6 year old girl who lived next door for oral sex, a 14 year old boy engaging in sex acts with his 12 year old brother over a one year period, a 15 year old boy frequently having sex with his 12 year old adopted sister over a one year period and many more.

It is important for juveniles to receive professional counseling. In one memorable case, the children did not receive the counseling they needed and were later charged with serious felony sex offenses.  In that case, Sullivan was hired to represent a 14 year old boy who had fondled his 7 year old stepsister. The boy had two older brothers who were 15 and 16 years of age. The 15 year old was also accused of fondling the stepsister, and the 16 year old was accused of molesting children in a neighboring county.  Sullivan’s associate Nancy Botts was hired to represent the 15 year old. The 14 and 15 year old brothers received probation. The 16 year old was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was represented by a different law firm.  Seven years earlier when the older brother was 9 years old he began acting out sexually with his younger brothers, then ages 7 and 8. At that time, the older brother had received a smartphone as a Christmas present, used it to look at pornography online, shown the videos to his younger brothers and then began acting out with them in their bedroom. When they were caught in the act, the three brothers were separated and placed with different relatives. Unfortunately, none of the three children received any counseling.  Fast forward seven years and the three brothers are arrested and charged separately with serious felony sex offenses.

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