Sex Crime Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
If you have been accused of a sex crime, your life has changed. The allegations affect your career, your reputation, and even your freedom. With everything at stake, you need an experienced Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer.
Experienced Sex Crimes Lawyer Fighting for You in Philadelphia, PA, and NJ
Because of the stigma associated with a sex crime charge, these arrests often receive lots of local publicity. Acting fast can help your sex crimes attorney get out in front of any negative attention that may come your way.
If you were charged with a sex offense, you’re probably looking for a sex crimes attorney near me. The experienced Philadelphia criminal and sex crime defense attorneys at Tauber Law have the deep knowledge of Pennsylvania sex crimes law and the tenacity needed for a vigorous defense on your behalf.
We have convenient locations in Philadelphia and Delaware, in Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties in PA, and in Camden, Burlington, Atlantic, and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Our sex crime lawyers combine hard-hitting legal skills with prior experience on the side of the prosecution to provide the incisive and vigorous representation you deserve.
Types of Sex Offenses in Philadelphia
(18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121): The use of unlawful force to engage in nonconsensual sexual intercourse with another person. If the complainant party is suffering from a severe mental disability, is unconscious from drugs or alcohol, or has been drugged by the perpetrator, they cannot give consent. In Pennsylvania, rape includes vaginal, oral, and anal penetration.
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
(IDSI) (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3123): Engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with another person by force. Deviate intercourse is anal or oral intercourse with a person or any type of intercourse with an animal. It may include penetration of another person’s genitals or anus with a foreign object that is not for hygienic, medical, or law enforcement purposes.
(18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3124.1): When one person engages in deviate or other sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. It is similar to rape or IDSI but does not require the element of force. Sexual assault is considered a second-degree felony and is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Aggravated Indecent Assault
(18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3125): Nonconsensual penetration of the genitals or anus of another person without their consent for purposes other than medical, law enforcement, or hygiene needs. It usually covers finger penetration of another person by force or without consent.
Internet Sex Crimes
(18 Pa. C.S. § 3122.1): Sexual crimes perpetrated online, including soliciting and distributing pornography or child pornography. It can include sharing images or videos with others using a peer-to-peer sharing network (like LimeWire) or other torrent sites or viewing or possessing child pornography on a personal computer.
Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography
(18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6312): Distributing or being in possession of images or videos containing children under the age of 18 who are partly or fully nude or engaging in sexual activities is considered child pornography. No person is permitted to possess or disseminate obscene or sexual materials containing minors. Covered materials include drawings, photos, films, videos, booklets, magazines, narratives, or other printed matter.
Statutory Sexual Assault
(18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3122.1): Statutory sexual assault is a second-degree felony when a perpetrator who is somewhat close in age engages in sexual intercourse with a person under 16, with the law differentiating between perpetrators 4 to 8 years older and 8 to 11 years older. It becomes a first-degree felony when the perpetrator is more than 11 years older than the complainant. This division of the ages is to ensure compliance with Megan’s Law reporting requirements.
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Violations of SORNA and Megan’s Law
- Pimping or promoting prostitution
- Sexual intercourse with animals
- Indecent exposure
- Indecent assault
- Child sexual abuse
- Child molestation
- Rape of a minor child
- Unlawful dissemination of intimate images
- Distributing or possessing a sexually explicit photo
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Pennsylvania Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes
Pennsylvania assesses the following penalties:
Fine of up to $5,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year
Fine of up to $5,000 and a jail sentence of up to two years
Fine of up to $10,000 and sentence of up to five years
Fine of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of up to seven years
Fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years
Fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of up to 20 years
Will You Have to Register as a Sex Offender?
Megan’s Law, or Public Law 104-145, requires that the public be notified of the presence of sexually violent offenders. State sex offender registries are based on this law.
Those convicted of certain sex crimes must register with the offender list administered by the Pennsylvania State Police. Once the person registers, their physical description and the details of the offense they were convicted of are listed on the registry and made available to the general public.
The sex offender registry is broken down into three levels by the severity of the offense. These dictate how long your time on the registry is:
- Tier I: 15 years, and reregister annually
- Tier II: 25 years, and reregister biannually
- Tier III: Life, and reregister every three months
For many people, being on the sex offender registry may feel like a worse outcome than time in jail or a fine; it can affect your ability to get a job, find housing, make friends, or form relationships.
If you are required to register, your sex offense attorney will help you understand the requirements so that you don’t risk accidentally breaking the law by violating the terms.
The Potential Collateral Consequences of a Sex Offense in Philadelphia
You may be fortunate enough to be able to go back to your old job, but most people are faced with a discouraging employment search. When a company runs a background check, they will see your conviction. Landlords or even college admissions boards may also see the same information.
Immigrants in the U.S. may have their immigration status in jeopardy. You may lose your visa or be denied the opportunity to renew it or pursue naturalization. If you are undocumented, you could face deportation.
Parents who have been convicted of sex crimes could lose custody of their children or be limited to supervised visits.
Working with a skillful sex crime attorney in Philadelphia can help you reduce the chances of potential collateral damage after a sex crime conviction.
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Defense Strategies for Pennsylvania Sex Crime Charges
As your sexual crimes lawyer, we conduct an independent investigation into your charge and the circumstances surrounding it, and we tailor our defense accordingly.
- Consent: If you believe that the words or actions of the other party indicated that they wanted to engage in the sexual activity, we may use this as part of your defense. For example, we might use this defense if the complainant said they were too drunk or high to consent to sex, but you believed they were in control of their facilities and could knowingly give consent.
- Mistaken Identity: This defense is common in stranger rape cases, where the victim makes a mistake in identifying the perpetrator. Visual lineups are notoriously unreliable, especially if the victim is stressed or anxious when participating. They may have been too frightened of a weapon to truly focus on the perpetrator's features and then make a mistake when ID’ing the person. This defense works especially well for clients who have a solid alibi for the time of the incident.
- False Reporting: Sometimes, a person may fabricate a criminal sexual encounter. They may be trying to conceal infidelity, regret the exchange, or even have a personal vendetta against you! False reporting can also happen frequently in cases involving children, as they may be confused about certain situations or have been primed to make an unreliable disclosure.
- Age: The complainant's age is considered if the charges involve crimes against a minor. First, if it can be proven that the individual was of age to give consent to sexual activities, then any statutory charges would be dropped. And the penalties for certain charges may be lower if there is just a small gap between the ages of the parties involved; the activities may even be argued to be wholly consensual.
- Involuntary Intoxication: The crux of many rape charges lies in whether the victim was able to give consent. The victim may have been intoxicated and, therefore, unable to give consent. However, the accused may also have been intoxicated and also unable to give consent. Or both parties may have been drugged, and therefore neither was able to consent.
These are just a few of the common approaches a Philadelphia sex crime lawyer from Tauber Law would take for a client. We will discuss your options in your initial consultation and as your case unfolds.
Why You Need to Hire Sexual Assault Lawyers in Philadelphia
There are many defenses possible for a Pennsylvania sex crimes charge, from someone using your computer or phone without permission to cases of mistaken identity to uncertainties about consent.
But constructing these defenses and navigating the Pennsylvania court system isn’t something you should do on your own. Your sex crime lawyer knows the law and understands how to properly present your evidence and argument.
You may think that there is no hope or that nothing a lawyer can do can help you. Some of our clients may have admitted things to the police or even been physically caught in a compromising situation. Even if this happens, a lawyer can still help. The best sex crime attorney will fight to mitigate your penalties even in a dire situation.
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Does the Romeo and Juliet law work in P.A.?
Romeo and Juliet laws in Pennsylvania might exempt certain parties from a conviction if both were minors who were close in age at the time of the activity. These laws protect minors from sexual offense charges if both parties consent.
How long do police have to file sex crimes charges in P.A.?
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for sexual offenses is 12 years. However, in especially severe charges or cases, there is no statute of limitations. Pennsylvania law enforcement could file charges at any time, no matter how long ago the offense occurred.