Infecting Someone with an STD Can be a Crime
Knowingly putting someone else at risk of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) without their knowledge is morally wrong. However, did you know that you can also face criminal charges for doing so? If someone accuses you of intentionally or recklessly infecting them with an STD and you are arrested, you need aggressive criminal defense representation as soon as possible.
Many STDs have no cure and can result in lifelong symptoms and effects. Other STDs, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can be life-threatening and require costly treatment. The following are some charges you may face if you are accused of knowing or reckless STD transmission.
There is not a specific charge for “STD transmission” under Texas law. Instead, prosecutors use assault laws to file criminal charges. In order for an STD transmission to constitute an assault, the transmission must have been knowing, intentional, or reckless. This often occurs in the following manner:
- You know that you have an STD
- You do not tell a partner about the STD
- You engage in sexual conduct that you know could result in the transmission of the STD
For most STDs, such as syphilis, chlamydia, or hepatitis, prosecutors will issue standard assault charges. Assault involves knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, assault can be a misdemeanor or felony charge in Texas, with the following potential penalties:
- Class B misdemeanor - 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines
- Class A misdemeanor - One year in jail and $4,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony - Two to ten years in prison and $10,000 in fines
For cases involving the transmission of HIV/AIDS, the charges can be more serious because these diseases are life-threatening. If the transmission was reckless, you may face charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Texas courts previously found that a man who committed sexual assault while knowing he was infected with HIV/AIDS was guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. In addition, Texas courts have found people guilty of attempted murder for purposefully trying to infect others with HIV/AIDS. One case involved a man in prison who knew he had HIV and who spat on a guard intending to transmit the disease.
As you can see, the criminal charges arising from STD transmission can be serious. It is possible to defend against these allegations with the right defense attorney handling your case and protecting your rights.
Contact a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Right Away
The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker defends against all types of criminal charges in the Fort Worth area, including assault charges stemming from STD transmission. You should never hesitate to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer. We are not here to judge your circumstances - only to help. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online today.