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In Delaware County and the rest of the state of Pennsylvania, sexual assault is a very serious crime. The courts institute some of the harshest penalties on individuals who are convicted of the crime. Being charged with sexual assault, just as with any other type of sex crime, can be a very harrowing experience.
What Involves the Crime of Sexual Assault in Delaware County?
Sexual assault is a crime that takes place when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. In addition, there is a crime known as statutory sexual assault, with which a person can be charged if the victim is under the age of 16 and if the perpetrator is over four years older than that person and they were not married to one another during the time of the crime.
Delaware County and Pennsylvania, in general, also have another charge that is similar to sexual assault. Known as indecent assault, this is a crime that is committed if a person has indecent contact with another person and that contact involves the perpetrator’s seminal fluid, urine or feces with the intention of arousing sexual desire in either the defendant or the victim and without consent from the latter. Generally, this crime is also done by force or if the victim was incapacitated in some form, such as being unconscious.
How is Sexual Assault Charged in Delaware County?
In Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania as a whole, sexual assault is a crime that is charged as a felony in the second degree. A person may be found guilty of the crime if they have sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person against their will and without their consent.
Possible Defenses to the Charge of Sexual Assault in Delaware County
There are a number of possible defenses a criminal defense attorney can use in court. Generally speaking, the prosecution has the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has committed sexual assault on another person. Evidence is needed to prove that the defendant did not commit sexual assault or rape. The following defenses can be used by the defense attorney:
• Consent: The defense can argue that the sexual intercourse was, in fact, consensual between the two parties
• Mistaken identity: Another possible defense is to argue that it was not the defendant who committed the sexual assault and that it was perpetrated by someone else. In other words, there was a case of mistaken identity
• Age: If the case involves statutory sexual assault, the defense attorney can argue that the other person was not 16 years old or younger, or that the defendant was not four years older than them at the time the sexual intercourse took place
• Involuntary intoxication: The defense can argue that the defendant was intoxicated and therefore, was not in control of their actions at the time the act took place
• Insanity: Another defense is to argue that the defendant was insane and not responsible for their actions at the time of the incident
Penalties and Sentences for Sexual Assault in Delaware County
Sexual assault and rape are crimes that carry serious penalties. If a person is convicted, they can expect to spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of $25,000. As a second degree felon, the crime comes with a prison sentence of at least 10 years. There are also usually fines imposed on the individual who is convicted depending on the severity of the specific crime. If the person has been found insane during their case, the judge may order psychiatric treatment or counseling as well.
If a person is convicted of sexual assault, rape or various other crimes that are sexual in nature, they will also be required to register as a sex offender. This is something that will last for the rest of the individual’s life.
Sexual assault is one of the most serious crimes. As a result, if you are arrested and charged with the crime, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced Delaware County sexual assault lawyer at your earliest convenience. Your attorney will help you by building you a strong defense that can possibly get the charges reduced or even dropped against you.
Nobody really wants to be summoned to court, but it happens. If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge in Delaware County, or you have received a traffic citation, chances are that you will get a notification to appear in Magisterial District Court. This could provoke feelings of anxiety and worry, particularly as the date of your appearance draws closer. You will probably come up with many questions that you would like to ask, which is why you will want to contact our office for a free consultation right away.
You will want an attorney to be with you at all hearings. It is important to fight the charges against you, and that includes traffic citations and seemingly minor summary offenses. The consequences of being found guilty in Magisterial District Court will last a lot longer than the fine you have to pay or the prison sentence you might be given. It stays on your record forever if you are an adult, so this can make employment opportunities scarce in the future. It can also adversely impact your personal relationships. Suffice it to say, you will want a professional criminal defense lawyer fighting for you to make sure this does not happen if at all possible.
Being Summoned to 32-1-29 Magisterial District Court
Many different types of cases are actually heard in this court that is located in Wayne. First of all, any traffic citation that is issued within the boundaries of this court will result in your receiving a summons to appear. You may also be asked to appear in front of the court for a preliminary hearing or arraignment if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor. This court also receives bench warrant appearances and conducts non-jury trials to be held in front of Magisterial District Judge John C. Tuten, Jr.
You should be aware that this particular Magisterial District Court is located in Wayne at 230 Sugartown Road in Suite 20. You will find that the court consists of the election district that covers Wards 1, 2, 3, and 6 in Radnor Township. This is also the court that will hear and settle disputes between landlords and tenants. It also deals with most types of civil claims where the report dollar amount is less than $12,000.
Summary Offenses and More
One of the primary functions of the Magisterial District Court is to hear most summary offenses that have been filed within the region. While this might be the least serious level of offense in Pennsylvania, such charges should still be considered serious. They can include any of the following:
If you are convicted of any of these crimes, the fine alone can be quite significant. Some charges also carry jail time. This can adversely impact your current employment situation, and it will make it difficult to find a job upon your release. For these reasons alone, you need a lawyer.
The Magisterial District Court 32-1-29 also takes a look at all traffic and non-traffic citations issued in Wayne. This means that if you get pulled over for running a red light, chances are good that you will be summoned to appear in front of the judge. Remember that even these types of charges can be serious because of the consequences involved long after you pay the fine. You will have points added to your driving record. Over time, this can result in higher insurance premiums and the possible loss of driving license if you accumulate too many tickets.
You Need a Lawyer
You really need to contact our office as soon as you receive a notice to appear in the Magisterial District Court. We will work you with you to develop a defense strategy. You do not have to go through this alone.