Sex Crimes Attorney

Being accused of a sex crime is among the most life-altering events a person can live through. Sex crime charges can lead to lengthy incarceration and significant fines. They can also profoundly affect your professional, social, and family life. If you are facing criminal charges relating to sex offenses in Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney as soon as possible.

The skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense team at SMT Legal has extensive experience successfully defending clients against sex crime charges in Pennsylvania. When you work with us, we will develop individualized defense strategies to maximize your chances of a favorable result in your case. With so much at stake, you cannot afford to leave your fate to chance. Contact us today for a free and confidential case review to learn more about the legal services we offer.

Types of Sex Crime Cases Our Law Firm Handles

The team at SMT Legal has the experience and resources to defend you against all sex offense charges, regardless of the level of the crime. Common charges we see include the following:

Rape

According to 18 Pa. Code § 3121, rape is when an individual or a group of individuals forces sexual intercourse upon a person. The circumstances may include:
  • Physical force or threats of force
  • Victim impairment due to substances
  • Victim unconsciousness
  • Mental disability preventing consent
Rape is a severe charge. It is classified as a first-degree felony, and anyone facing these charges needs the immediate assistance of an experienced and skilled sex crimes lawyer.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse

According to 18 Pa. Code § 3123, charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI) occur when an individual is forced into deviant sexual intercourse. These circumstances include those involved with rape charges, as well as when the complainant is under 16, and the accused is more than four years older than them and not married to them. Like rape, IDSI is a first-degree felony.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined by 18 Pa. Code § 3124.1. It involves non-consensual sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse that does not fully meet the criteria of rape or IDSI. Sexual assault is a second-degree felony.

Indecent Assault

Under 18 Pa. Code § 3126, indecent assault occurs when an individual commits unwanted indecent contact against another party. This can involve force, substance impairment, or a victim under the age of 13 (or 16 if the accused is four or more years older). Depending on the circumstances, indecent assault charges can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Indecent Exposure

18 Pa. Code § 3127 defines indecent exposure as the exposure of genitals in public or to alarm others. It is a second-degree misdemeanor. If children under 16 are present, it is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Child Pornography

18 Pa. Code § 6321(d) makes it a felony offense to view or possess images of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual acts.

Unlawful Contact with a Minor

According to 18 Pa. Code § 6318, it is a third-degree felony to contact a minor for sex in Pennsylvania. If the purposes of the contact also involve creating or distributing child pornography, penalties will increase.

Prostitution and Solicitation

Under 18 Pa. Code § 5902, it is illegal in Pennsylvania to engage in or hire for sexual activities as a business. Crimes under this category can range from third-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies, with penalties increasing if the individual involved is HIV-positive.

Obscene Materials

18 Pa. Code § 5903 makes it illegal to create, display, sell, or distribute obscene materials, particularly to minors. Depending on the circumstances, this can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.

Incest

According to 18 Pa. Code § 4302, it is a second-degree felony to engage in sexual relationships with close blood relatives.

Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes Convictions in Pennsylvania

While not all sex crimes are considered felonies, you may face harsh penalties even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime. The punishments generally include the following, according to the classification of the crime:
  • Third-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • Second-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of two years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • First-degree misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Third-degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a maximum fine of $15,000.
  • Second-degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • First-degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

However, some crimes call for harsher punishments, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you are convicted of rape charges and the prosecution can prove that you have drugged the complainant, your sentence may be lengthened by 10 years, and your fine may increase by up to $100,000. Those convicted of raping a child and causing serious physical injury may be sentenced to life in prison.

With such severe possible consequences, you need a skilled Pennsylvania defense attorney to protect your rights and interests.

Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry

Commonwealth law requires anyone convicted of a sex crime to register with the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry. The public will have access to your personal information, such as your name, home address, work address, and photo. Failure to register or update your information regularly can result in further consequences.

Potential Defenses in Sex Crimes Cases

While the prospect of defending yourself against sex crime charges in court can feel overwhelming, a seasoned criminal law attorney can help increase your chances of success. Possible defense strategies may include the following:
  • Consent – If you can demonstrate that the sexual activity in question had the consent of all parties involved, this can serve as a potent defense. This may be particularly relevant if you had a prior relationship with the accuser, as long as they are 16 or older. Evidence may include texts, emails, and reliable witness accounts.
  • No DNA Evidence – DNA is one of the most vital pieces of evidence that can link an accused individual to the victim or the crime scene. If there is no evidence, or if your attorney can demonstrate flaws in how the evidence was collected, handled, or analyzed, they can raise the degree of reasonable doubt.
  • Mistaken Identity Those accusing others of sex crimes often make a mistake when identifying the accused. You can increase your chances of a successful case if you can provide an alibi or your lawyer can demonstrate that the accuser’s ability to identify the perpetrator accurately is unreliable.
  • False Allegations – In some cases, an accuser makes baseless or misdirected allegations. Your attorney can employ this defense if there is insufficient evidence or if there is evidence that you were not present at the crime scene.

Contact SMT Legal for Court Representation Today

If you have been accused of sex crimes in Pennsylvania, working with an attorney at law from SMT Legal can give you the support and advocacy you need at this challenging time. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced sex crimes attorney in Pittsburgh.

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT

Thomas Sporrer Thomas Sporrer - SMT Legal Thomas Sporrer - SMT Legal
Thomas’s clients say of working with him that he was “very clear with his strategy of my case from the consultation to the court date.” Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Thomas enjoys helping his hometown community.

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