Sex Crime Lawyer
It is difficult to think of a more frightening moment than when you learn you are being charged with a sex crime. These types of offenses, particularly when they are allegedly committed against children, instantly bring with them an intense stigma. Your closest family members and friends may suddenly doubt you and turn their backs on you when you need their support the most. Even when your loved ones stand by you, it is not enough. You need more than compassion when facing a sex crime charge in Pennsylvania. You need someone who can truly help you address this situation and protect yourself. You need an experienced and proven sex crime lawyer from Czekaj Law, LLC.
We are here to protect your rights and build you the strongest defense possible under the law. Call us at (717) 275-9770 right away to schedule your free, initial case consultation with a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney.
Pennsylvania Sex Offenses
Pennsylvania law defines many sex crimes, including:
- Rape- This offense occurs when any person engages in sexual intercourse with a victim by forcible compulsion, by threat of forcible compulsion, who is unconscious, who suffers from a mental disability, or when the victim is drugged by alleged perpetrator. This is a first-degree felony. If the offense is against a minor younger than 13 years old or against a child and causes serious bodily injury, then the penalties increase.
- Sexual Assault- A person commits a second-degree felony when they engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a victim who does not consent.
- Statutory Sexual Assault- This offense occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a victim under the age of 16 years old. The offense is a second-degree felony if the alleged offender is less than 11 years older than the victim and a first-degree felony if the alleged offender is less than 11 years older than the victim.
- Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse- Under this law, a person commits an offense if they engage in oral or anal sex, or cause the penetration of a victim with a foreign object by forcible compulsion, threat of forcible compulsion, when the victim is unconscious, when the victim suffers from a mental disability, when the person drugs the victim, or when the victim is younger than 16 and the person is more than 4 years older. This crime is typically considered a first-degree felony.
- Indecent Assault- A person can be found guilty of an offense if they have touched the intimate body parts of the victim for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire; cause the victim to have indecent contact with the person; or cause the victim to come into contact with semen, urine, or feces for the person of sexual arousal and do so without consent, by forcible compulsion, with the threat of forcible compulsion, when the victim is unconscious, when the victim has a mental disability, when the person drugs the victim, or when the victim is a minor. Depending on the circumstances, this is typically charged as a first or second-degree misdemeanor.
- Sexual Abuse of Children/Child Pornography- This offense encompasses intentionally viewing, possessing, creating or disseminating any form of child pornography. Depending on the exact offense, a person is typically charged with a second or first-degree felony.
If you have been charged with one of these offenses or any other sex crime in Pennsylvania, contact a sex crime lawyer from Czekaj Law, LLC as soon as possible. Your best chance at obtaining an acceptable outcome in your case is based on having experienced and aggressive legal representation. Without a sex crime defense attorney by your side, you may not fully understand your rights or legal options.
Potential Statutory Penalties
When facing one or more sex offenses, you need to be aware of the potential punishments. Based on the level of the offense, you could be penalized with:
- Third-degree misdemeanor- Incarceration for up to 1 year, a fine up to $2,500
- Second-degree misdemeanor- Incarceration for up to 2 years, a fine up to $5,000
- First-degree misdemeanor- Incarceration up to 5 years, a fine up to $10,000
- Third-degree felony- Incarceration up to 7 years, a fine up to $15,000
- Second-degree felony- Incarceration up to 10 years, a fine up to $25,000
- First-degree felony- Incarceration up to 20 years, a fine up to $25,000
In addition, certain sex offenses against young children carry mandatory minimum sentences and enhanced maximum penalties.
Collateral Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction
The impact of a sex crime conviction on your life will include much more than a prison sentence and fine. Possible collateral consequences you will experience if you are found guilty of a sex offense include:
- A permanent criminal record
- Registration as a sex offender
- Difficulty getting into college or a graduate program
- Difficulty getting a job
- Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
- A reduction or complete loss of child custody or visitation
- Immigration issues, such as a denial of a visa or inability to pursue citizenship
- Loss of gun ownership rights
Megan’s Law and the Adam Walsh Act
Various federal and state laws require public sex offender registration for an extensive list of sex offenses, which is intended to inform families and protect children from sexual predators. These laws are known as Megan’s Law, the Adam Walsh Act, and SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act).
If you are convicted of a sex offense that requires registration under Megan’s Law, you must register as a sex offender once you are released from prison. You must register for 15 years, for 25 years, or for life depending on the offense(s) for which you are convicted. If you are convicted of sex offense that requires registration under Pennsylvania’s Adam Walsh Act, you must register at the time of sentencing or at the time you are released from incarceration. How long you need to register and how often you must verify your information depends on whether you are a Tier I, II, or III offender.
The SOAB (Sex Offender Assessment Board assesses certain juvenile sex offenders who are aging out of the juvenile system to determine if they are a sexually violent delinquent child. If a juvenile is labeled as such, they will be placed in a civil commitment program at the age of 21 instead of being released to the public.
Sex Offender Registration
If you are required to register as a sex offender, be sure to talk with an attorney about when you need to begin the registration process. It may be at the time you are sentenced, or it could be after you are released from incarceration. You also need to register with all the appropriate entities. You must register with the local law enforcement agency where you live. However, if you attend school or work in another county or state, you may also need to register with law enforcement there. You will also have to register whenever you move, change jobs, if you travel to another place for more than a week, and in a number of other circumstances.
You will need to provide the police with your current name and contact information, a recent photo, and your fingerprints. Your photo, the offense you were convicted for, and your personal information will all be published online.
Depending on the conditions of your registration, you will need to verify your registration with the appropriate agency every year, quarter, or month.
Let a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Help You
There may be moments when you believe you can handle a legal issue or criminal accusations yourself. This is not one of those moments. Accusations of a sex crime need to be handled by someone with in-depth knowledge of the law and local court system. At Czekaj Law, LLC, our sex crime lawyer has the knowledge and skills you need to protect your rights and reputation. We also have the tools necessary to build you the strongest defense available under the law.
For more information on how we can help, contact us online or call (717) 275-9770 to schedule a free consultation.