Sex crimes can involve long periods of incarceration or imprisonment. The penalty for sexual assault in Pennsylvania can vary greatly based on the specific charges you face and your criminal background. In general, the crime of Sexual Assault is treated as a second-degree felony, which can carry a hefty prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines.
Have you or someone you love been charged with a sex crime? A sexual assault defense lawyer can fight the charges against you. They will listen to your story with compassion and without judgment. Your lawyer will review your arrest report, document any violations of your rights, and fight for the best possible outcome for you. If you have been falsely accused, your lawyer will help you prove your innocence and fight for your future.
Defining Sexual Assualt in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the crime of Sexual Assault is defined as engaging “in sexual intercourse of deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.”
Statutory Sexual Assault, which can occur even when consent is present, is when the victim is under 16 and the perpetrator is between four and ten years older.
Both Sexual Assault and Statutory Sexual Assualt are treated as second-degree felonies. If the perpetrator is 11 or more years older than the minor, it will be a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Felony Sexual Assault
Most Sexual Assault cases will be treated as second-degree felonies, with two primary exceptions. If a person commits sexual assault on someone under 16 and they are 11 or more years older, they will face a first-degree felony.
On the other hand, if an employee of the Deparment of Corrections, development center, or other government entity commits sexual assault on someone they’re supervising, it will be a third-degree felony.
According to Pennsylvania Code, in general, the penalty for:
- First-degree felony is up to 20 years of jail or prison time
- Second-degree felony is up to ten years of jail or prison time
- Third-degree felony is up to seven years of jail or prison time
Understand What Constitutes Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault includes any act of sexual intercourse or deviance against the will of another person. Penalties for sexual assault can also include being required to register as a sex offender. You or someone you love could face related sex charges of varying degrees and varying sentences if convicted of the following charges:
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Sexual assault
- Statutory sexual assault
- Institutional sexual assault
- Sexual assault by a sports official, volunteer, or employee of a non-profit organization
Your lawyer will have the opportunity to review the charges against you and the evidence the state has. They will ensure the charges are accurate and start building your defense strategy right away.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
Non-Criminal Penalties for Sexual Assault
In addition to the criminal penalties for conviction, you could face additional forms of collateral damage simply for being suspected of, or arrested for, sexual assault. The adverse consequences you might have to deal with can include:
- Damages to your reputation in your family, community, or workplace
- An unfavorable mark on subsequent background checks
- Limitations on where you are allowed to work or reside
- Long-term or lifetime registration on the sex offender registry
You could also face significant financial penalties and could be prohibited from contact with specific friends and family members. Many aspects of your personal information could be made public.
A criminal defense lawyer in your area can help you mitigate many of these reputation-damaging events.
How a Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Help You Build a Strong Defense
Sexual assault charges are serious, with conviction having the ability to change your life and that of your family. If you or someone you love was recently arrested and faces possible conviction, a sexual assault defense attorney can help.
The lawyer who handles your case will:
- Accompany you to all court hearings and appearances
- Use the discovery process to understand the state’s case
- Interview supporting witnesses and the state’s witnesses
- Conduct an independent investigation into your case
Your lawyer will also work with the state to negotiate plea bargains, sentence reductions, and lesser charges. If you did not commit the crime you are charged with, your lawyer will fight hard to obtain an acquittal.
Call for Your Criminal Defense Consultation
Facing possible conviction for sexual assault can be a daunting and frightening experience. You do not have to fight back on your own. Our team will help you build a credible defense to help you avoid the harshest penalties for sexual assault in Pennsylvania.
Find out how hard we go to bat for you by contacting one of our consultation team members today.