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Sex crime—sexual assault in legal parlance—is serious a serious violation of the law in Pennsylvania. It is defined as a person engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person without their consent. The state also has a separate charge of indecent assault. This involves the victim’s contact with the defendant’s seminal fluid, urine, or feces for the purpose of sexual gratification without the victim’s consent. Non-consent is defined as having sexual contact with the victim by force or the threat of force or when they are incapacitated in some way. In the latter instance, you can be charged with sexual assault if you are accused of having sex with someone while they were unconscious, intoxicated, or mentally impaired. You can be charged with statutory rape if you are 4 years older than someone who is under the age of 16 and you were not married to each other at the time of the offense.
Penalties for Sex Crime
If you are convicted of rape, you can serve up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $25,000. Lesser forms of sexual assault are considered second-degree felonies and are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The fine imposed will be based on the nature and severity of the offense.
Indecent assault can be charged as either a first or second degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you can spend up to 5 years in prison. However, if you are convicted of touching the defendant’s sexual parts during the commission of the crime you can serve up to 7 years in prison.
Once you are released from prison, you will be forced to register as a sex offender for life. This is one of the worst consequences of being convicted of a sex crime. Some states have passed severe restrictions against sex offenders.
As a registered sex offender, it will be nearly impossible for you to find a job anywhere. You will also find it hard to find a place to live. In some states, convicted offenders cannot live in the vicinity of children, which means they cannot live in any decent accommodation and are forced to put up in what are essentially camps for sex offenders in the middle of nowhere.
The damage to your life and reputation are incalculable if you are convicted of a sex crime. If you have been accused of this offense, you must respond with vigor and urgency.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Your first action should be to contact a defense lawyer who specializes in sex crime. Your entire life will be under a cloud if you are charged with rape or sexual assault. You should not try to beat the charge on your own. Indeed, you should speak to no one without a lawyer present. This includes law enforcement officers.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime and you are innocent of the charge, your first emotions may be outrage and indignation. You may feel the urge to defend yourself to the officers who took you into custody. You must resist this urge and instead invoke your Fifth Amendment right not to say anything that might incriminate you.
When you do answer questions, it should be with the advice of your lawyer. If you are too shaken up to speak to the police, then your lawyer can speak on your behalf.
Your lawyer will then develop your legal defense based on your recollections of events and the evidence or lack of evidence discovered through investigation. Indeed, your attorney will have their own investigators to gather and assess the facts of the alleged offense. They will then put up the most rigorous defense possible on your behalf.
Being accused of sexual assault in Philadelphia could lead to an arrest and criminal charges being filed against you. All it takes is one person to say you assaulted them in a sexual manner to ruin your life forever. You will never be able to shake the accusation no matter how hard you try, and that is even the case with people who are able to prove they did do it. Sexual assault is not the same thing as rape, which is the only thing that many people have going for them when they are accused of such a crime. However, becoming the defendant in a case such as this one is never a situation in which you want to find yourself.
When you’re accused of sexual assault, an investigation will occur. If there is enough evidence, you could go to jail for your crime. This could include DNA evidence or any other type of evidence, and that’s all it takes to put you in jail prior to a trial. This is an accusation that might affect you the rest of your life, which is why you want to call an attorney. These charges can be fought, but you need an attorney on your side who can ask to have DNA evidence suppressed, evidence proved wrong, and your charges dropped or dismissed entirely.
Sexual assault involves everything but penetration. That classifies your assault as rape. If you’re accused of forcing someone to perform sexual acts against their will but you do not force them to experience penetration, it is sexual assault. You should know that assault could include penetration using a foreign object, however.
When you are arrested, you’ll be charged with this crime. Following your charges, you’ll be booked into the local jail. Once that happens, you can call your attorney and find out what comes next. You might get to go home on bail if the judge agrees at your hearing, but there is no guarantee this will happen based on your situation and your ability to pay the bail.
Is There A Defense Against Sexual Assault?
Yes, there are many defenses against sexual assault. Your attorney can prove that you either did not do this, that it was consensual, or that there was a situation that prevented the police from legally collecting your DNA, which means that it will be suppressed in court. You have options.
– Someone wants revenge
– Someone wants to cover themselves
– Mistaken identity
– Someone was unable to consent
– A person was not of sound mind
There are many things that might cause someone to accuse you of sexual assault. Perhaps a man wanted to become more serious after a one-night stand, and you did not. Now he’s accusing you of sexual assault to get back at you. Perhaps you took home a woman who consented to engage in sexual acts with you, but her husband found out and she’s trying to cover her tracks and save her marriage. Perhaps you simply look like someone else. You took home someone who was too drunk to consent, but perhaps you didn’t realize she was too drunk. Maybe you were too drunk, and you didn’t realize the person you were with was not of the correct sound mind to make a decision like this.
Whatever happened at the time in question, your attorney can help you fight your case. If this is the first time you’ve been arrested, you might find that a judge is a bit more lenient when issuing your penalties. You could face jail time, fines, and more. However, you might also be able to prove that this did not happen or that it was a mistake or misunderstanding. Call an attorney. Your attorney is the person who will fight for you. You don’t know the legal system like an attorney, which means they may see a way out of this that you don’t see.
In Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania, in general, sexual assault is one of the more serious crimes a person can commit. The crime is described as sexual intercourse or some other type of sexual contact with another person by force, without their consent. Deviate sexual intercourse also falls under the category of sexual assault and involves contact between sexual organs and an anus or mouth. There is also the crime of statutory sexual assault, which is perpetrated if the victim is 16 years old or younger and the perpetrator is more than four years older and the two were not married during the offense.
No matter what, if you have been arrested and face charges of sexual assault, it is absolutely imperative that you immediately get in touch with an experienced Philadelphia sexual assault criminal defense attorney. These charges are very serious and carry extensive penalties that can stay with you for the rest of your life. This is not the time to go it alone and represent yourself. You need expert legal assistance to have the charges against you either reduced or potentially even dropped, which is impossible without a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Sexual Assault vs Rape in Philadelphia
Generally speaking, it’s important to understand that rape and sexual assault are acknowledged as two different criminal offenses per the law in Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania. As a result, they carry different penalties as well. At the same time, sexual assault and rape are both charged as felonies and are among the most serious of criminal offenses. Sexual assault is a crime that is committed when one person has sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with someone else without first gaining that person’s consent.
Rape, on the other hand, occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with a complainant and the following is also in place:
• The individual uses physical force or threatens to use it
• The individual relies on substances to calm or subdue the victim, such as drugs or alcohol
• The victim is unconscious
• The victim cannot legally consent due to being mentally disabled
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Philadelphia
Sexual assault is a crime that can see a defendant charged with anything from a third, second or first-degree felony. The penalties for these charges are as follows:
• Third-degree felony: If you are charged with a third-degree felony, you can expect to be responsible for a fine of up to $15,000 and a prison term up to seven years.
• Second-degree felony: A second-degree felony for sexual assault carries a maximum fine of $25,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years.
• First-degree felony: A first-degree felony is given for a rape conviction. It carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and a 20-year prison term.
In addition to these penalties, a person convicted of sexual assault is required to go on the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry. This can have a huge impact on the individual’s everyday life and can affect their ability to move to certain neighborhoods, gain employment and more.
Possible Defenses for Sexual Assault Charges
A criminal defense attorney can use certain defenses in a sexual assault case. They include the following:
• The victim actually gave consent for the sexual intercourse
• There is a situation of mistaken identity and the defendant did not commit the crime
• The victim was of legal age (statutory rape defense only)
• The defendant was involuntarily intoxicated
• The defendant is insane
If you face sexual assault charges in Philadelphia, you need to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgable in this area. Don’t chance your future with such serious charges in place.