If charged with a sexual assault crime in Bucks County, what could follow is decades in prison, massive fines and condemnation from society. A mere allegation is enough to ruin your reputation and impact all facets of your life. The courts place intense pressure on prosecutors to bring sex crime offenders to book. With so much at stake, you should enlist the services of sexual assault lawyers.
What Constitutes Sex Crimes
The most common sex crime is rape. This happens when a victim is held against their will with the intention to engage in sexual intercourse. Other acts are categorized as sexual assault offenses in Pennsylvania. These include indecent assault, child molestation, sodomy, sexual harassment and any acts that involve sexual contact without the consent of the victim.
Proving Sexual Crimes
The prosecution must employ certain aspects when proving sexual assault. For instance, in the case of rape, a sexual organ must penetrate the victim for this to be considered an offense. If the penetration did not happen, then the charge in this is attempted sexual assault. Lack of consent on the part of the victim weighs in heavily. A sexual assault crime is committed if the act is carried out without voluntary consent. However, this does not apply to victims who are underage. If sexual intercourse happens with a person under the age of 16, then this is considered sexual assault. Persons under the age of 16 are considered mentally incapable of making sound decisions.
Possible Penalties for Sexual Assault
In Pennsylvania, If one is between four to eight years older than the minor, then you are charged with a second-degree class felony. The age bracket can stretch to between 8 and 11 years. A second-degree felony can carry up to 10 years in prison. The fine amount is $25,000.
If the accused person is more than 11 years older than the victim, then they are charged with a first-degree felony. If the person is convicted, then they could face jail time of up to 20 years. The fine amount is also $25,000. The reputation damage and stigma from society is also an emotional penalty that offenders face. If you face a sexual assault charge, you need to treat this charge seriously and consult with a lawyer immediately.
Defenses in Sexual Assault Cases
The first defense in such cases in innocence. If you have an alibi to prove that you were not at the scene where the crime happened, then you can easily prove innocence. If the victim was highly intoxicated, then there is a possibility that they may confuse you with someone else.
Consent is another possible defense. One cannot claim sexual harassment or rape if he or she consented to the act. If you have evidence to prove that the person agreed, then this can be presented in court. It is the work of the prosecutor to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was no consent. While this may be hard in most cases, you must bear in mind that the judge or jury is biased in such cases. What this means is that your defense team will have to work hard to create reasonable doubt.
Trickery can also be used in such cases. If for instance the victim showed you a fake ID and you genuinely believed it was real, then you can use this as a defense.
Obtain Legal Counsel From a Sexual Assault Lawyer
A criminal sex charge has devastating consequences. You may go to prison and lose your family. The courts may also rule that you register yourself as a sex offender. This will affect your job prospects and overall quality of life. Today, most organizations carry out background checks in the recruitment process. You may also be barred from enrolling in a college or university if you are a listed sex offender. An experienced legal team is your best arsenal when faced with sexual assault charges.
Loitering, running a red light, low-level retail theft, painting graffiti on a wall, and making phone calls that could be consider harassing are all summary offenses in the state of Pennsylvania. These offenses can bring you before a Bucks County Magisterial District Court judge. If this is the situation you are facing, it is likely that you are feeling more and more anxious as your court date approaches.
The absolute most important thing that you can do as you prepare for that day is seek legal representation. At Amato Sanita Law Offices, we are a team of Philadelphia criminal lawyers who can build a tenacious defense to help you get the best outcome in court while at the same time providing you the guidance and care that you need as you go through the whole process.
What You Should Know about Magisterial District Courts in Bucks County
Receiving a notification or summons to appear in Magisterial District Court 07-2-02 in Bucks County can make you feel absolutely overwhelmed, especially if you have never had to appear in court before. The more you learn about this Pennsylvania court and the types of violations it handles, the more prepared you will feel as your court date draws closer.
This particular Magisterial District Court is located in Warrington. This area is a suburban part of Philadelphia. This particular District Court handles election districts in Doylestown Township and Doylestown Borough. There are actually 20 separate Magisterial District Courts that are located in Bucks County.
The Bucks County Magisterial District Court has the responsibility of handling all summary offenses. This is the most minor type of crime. It involves traffic and non-traffic citations. It could include running a red light, disorderly conduct, loitering, harassment, and low-level retail theft, which means the item was valued at under $150. It is common for individuals to receive a fine for summary offenses.
This court also handles non-jury trials, bench warrants, preliminary hearings, and preliminary arraignments. If cases involving felonies and misdemeanors need to continue to move forward, the cases will be passed to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
No matter if you have received a summons regarding a summary offense, preliminary arraignment, bench warrant, or any other form of summons from Magisterial District Court 07-2-02, you will appear before Mark D. Douple, Magisterial District Judge. In addition to handling criminal cases, judges in Bucks County can also perform marriages and administer oaths.
Get Legal Representation for Your Warrington Court Date
Considering the fact that summary offenses are the most minor offenses, some individuals have the idea that they will plead guilty and then move on. Individuals who do this fail to realize that there can be ramifications that are both short-term and long-term.
You may think that you will simply walk away paying a fine and then continue on with your life. However, not seeking legal representation and then appearing before Bucks County Magisterial District Court can mean that you will spend time in jail, pay fines, lose your license, and experience a whole host of other short-term headaches. And the long-term effects could include a criminal record, loss of employment, and a damaged reputation.
At Amato Sanita Law Offices, our criminal defense lawyers know the justice system inside and out. They know their way around Magisterial District Courts. They will work hard to build a defense that will give you the best possible outcome when your court date arrives.
For example, you may have committed an offense like retail theft. The lawyer may be able to help build a case around the fact that you accidentally took the item from the store without realizing it. What you should know is that options are available. The experienced attorneys who work in our office can show you those options and help lessen your charge or get it dismissed completely. Please contact us to learn more.