Charged with an Improper Student / Teacher Relationship?
Houston Sex Crime Attorneys Can Protect Your Name & Reputation
A charge for violating Sec. 21.12 of the Texas Penal Code not only has serious criminal consequences, but a number of collateral consequences as well. Accused individuals not only face prison time, but they could have difficulty gaining employment in the future, for example.
Texas Penal Code Sec. 21.12 “Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student”
Texas law states that any school employee who engages in sexual conduct with a person enrolled at that school has committed a felony of the second degree. The statute provides two affirmative defenses to prosecution under Sec. 21.12: a) the defendant was the spouse of the individual enrolled at the school, and b) the defendant was no more than three years older than the enrolled individual and they had a preexisting relationship – one that began before the defendant’s employment at the school.
Article 62.001(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure does not list “improper relationship between educator and student” as a reportable conviction or adjudication, meaning those convicted under this section would not be required to register as a sex offender.
Disciplinary Actions Taken Against Texas Educators
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) reserves the right to take disciplinary actions against educators, including revocation, restriction, or suspension on their certification. The SBEC takes disciplinary action for a variety of reasons, including convictions for crimes directly relating to someone’s duties as an educator. These types of crimes include:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude
- Crimes involving sexual or physical abuse of a student
- Crimes occurring on school property
Criminal Penalties for Sec. 21.12 Violations
According to the Texas Penal Code, improper relationship between educator and student is a felony of the second degree. Sec. 12.33 of the penal code further explains that second-degree felonies are punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 20 years but not less than two years. A fine of up to $10,000 could also be imposed.
Work with a Skilled Sex Crime Lawyer in Houston
Attorney Jed Silverman is a skilled trial lawyer with a history of successful case results and satisfied clients to his credit. No matter how serious your charges or how complex your case may seem, Mr. Silverman is prepared to offer you the zealous defense you need to potentially have your charges reduced or dropped. Backed by more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Silverman has been included in Texas Super Lawyers® magazine from 2006 - 2014. To learn more about how our firm can assist you with your case, please contact us today.