criminal defense lawyers in brownsville texas


Sexual assault is an offense that is committed, yet very underreported at college campuses. Criminal defense lawyers find that one of the main reasons this crime goes unreported is because of a witness's fear of repercussion. To combat this problem in the hopes of making Texas college campuses safer, defense attorneys now point to the Witness Amnesty Law.

This is a new Texas law aimed at protecting those who report sexual assaults on campus. Designed to reduce the incidence of these crimes, criminal defense attorneys stress this new law not only protects witnesses, but also increases the likelihood that students who commit them will be reported and charged.

The Problem Of Sexual Assault At Texas Colleges

Although criminal defense lawyers know that sexual assaults occur on college campuses across the country  and not only in Texas, schools in Texas have been in the spotlight in recent years. This is in part due to the exposure of a scandal at Baylor University that involved the cover-up of more than 50 sexual assaults and rapes committed by football players.

These events were downplayed by the university in an effort to protect those students from punishments such as expulsion and criminal charges. The scandal highlighted serious problems at this school and other Texas colleges. Defense attorneys say this was an indication that most student witnesses or victims are not willing to report these events, instead turning a blind eye to them.

Because a high proportion of campus sexual assaults and rapes involve underage drinking and other illegal activities that the witnesses and victims themselves also participated in, criminal defense attorneys recognize that fear of their own repercussions keep students silent.

The Witness Amnesty Law

The Witness Amnesty Law went into effect on September 1, 2017. The purpose of this law, as explained by criminal defense lawyers across the state, is to protect students who witness or experience sexual assault on campus when it coincides with underage drinking, drug use, or other illegal activities.

The law ensures that witnesses and victims will not be penalized for any activities they participated in while witnessing the crime or being victimized themselves. The hope is that more students will come forward to report these crimes without fear of expulsion or other punishment by either the school or the police.

Important Points About the Witness Amnesty Law

The Witness Amnesty Law is a step in the right direction to support students who report sexual assaults on campus and to crack down on the number of these events that happen. Yet defense attorneys point out that students should understand all of the implications involved with this law.

By protecting those reporting sexual assault on campus, criminal defense attorneys warn that students must release the mindset that their actions are unpunishable. What students may have gotten away with in the past due to the unwillingness of others to report their actions is now a thing of the past.

Criminal defense lawyers agree that the new Witness Amnesty Law will likely help to expose sexual assault on college campuses and hopefully reduce the number of such incidents. By giving amnesty to witnesses and victims, criminal defense attorneys expect to see a rise in reports as students learn that they are not in danger of repercussions when reporting these crimes. Defense attorneys stress that as a result, students who cross lines and commit these crimes have a greater chance of being exposed and punished accordingly.

Garza & Elizondo, LLP

Downtown Brownsville
Principal Office
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
(956) 202-0067

North Brownsville
Meetings With Attorneys By Appointment Only
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526
(956) 202-0067

San Benito
Meetings With Attorneys By Appointment Only
2395 La Palma Street, Suite A
San Benito TX 78586
(956) 202-0067