Sex Crimes Defense in Pennsylvania
Legal representation is vital if you have been arrested for a sex crime in Pennsylvania. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is that whether you have been convicted of a sex crime or not, the mere fact that you have been charged with such a crime can mean social ostracism and unwanted attention for you and your family. A conviction for some sex crimes can mean imprisonment, probation, fines and your name on a sex offender’s file, which means that you will be associated with such a crime for the rest of your life and will have to register with a government body on a regular basis to ensure you do not re offend.
Many Different Crimes – Many Different Defense Strategies
There is not one single offense which can be classified as a sex crime but many separate offenses. These include the following:
- pornography involving a child
- indecent assault
- indecent exposure
- soliciting prostitution
- child molesting
- soliciting a minor
- sexual activity with a minor
- sexual abusing
- rape of a spouse
- sexual assault
- sex tourism
- internet sex crimes.
Because of the specific nature of any particular charge and the complexities of these crimes, any defense attorney needs to be fully versed in the range of laws in this state that regulate sexual activity and aggressively pursue the strategy which best suits that particular set of circumstances.
Anyone who is charged with a sex crime offense is entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, because of the nature of these offenses, considerable media attention is often accompanied by them and a high degree of social stigma. It is hard enough to be charged for an offense which you think has not been committed, but to feel that you re being tried by the media or by your own community is almost too hard to bear for some of those who have been charged with sex crimes.
It cannot be stressed enough that anyone arrested for a sex crime should seek effective legal representation by an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Sex with a Minor
Note that minors i.e. anyone younger than 18 cannot solicit sexual encounters, so that if any contact occurs between a minor and somebody 18 or older, it will be the older person who will be regarded at fault from a legal point of view, even if in reality the sexual encounter was sought by the younger person. Sex with a minor is a felony in Pennsylvania and the law enforcement authorities see such crimes as very serious indeed and the penalties are harsh.
Sex Offender Registration
Some sex crimes will mean that a convicted offender will be forced to be entered on the state’s sex offender register. This means that the person’s name, address and photo as well as the nature of the crime will be available to any member of the public, including potential employers, friends and family. The information will be accessible by anyone who goes to a police station or an online sex offender’s website. The potential effects of this registration are likely to affect even a one time offender for the rest of their life. The conviction will probably mean being barred from certain jobs and being on an offender’s register, even after a sentence has been completed, could mean difficulties in getting a job or finding accommodation.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
While all the offenses in the list given above are considered criminal offenses, some are misdemeanors and will be punished by some time in prison, plus probation and a fine. Other crimes are considered felonies and will lead to much longer periods of imprisonment, even life time imprisonment as well as higher fines and registration on the sex offender’s register as mentioned above. If you have been charged with a sex crime you will never fight the charges on your own but you will need the experience of a PA criminal defense attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf to clear your name.
Learn about Murder, Manslaughter and Homicide in Pennsylvania next.