Sexual assault is an incredibly serious charge in Pennsylvania, and can negatively affect the rest of your life. Pennsylvania courts tend to believe and favor alleged victims, so it is crucial that you have experienced legal counsel at your side to fight for your rights. Otherwise, you face high prison sentences, fines, and sex offender registration.
To protect yourself against these charges, you need an experienced Berks County Sexual Assault attorney in your corner. Do not assume you are guilty just because you are charged with a crime.
Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania
Sexual assault is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3124.1. It occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a person without that person's consent. Sexual intercourse is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3101 as the ordinary meaning of sex, along with anal sex and oral sex. There has to be some penetration, no matter how slight, and emission is not required.
Sexual assault is not the same as rape, although the two are closely related. Resistance of the victim is not necessary to prove this charge, although a defense that the alleged victim consented to the sexual intercourse is permitted. If you had consent to engage in the complained-of acts, you did not commit a crime.
Certain crimes related to sexual assault charges may also result in a serious felony conviction, including:
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Berks County
Under Pennsylvania law, sexual assault is considered a second-degree felony. A felony charge is very serious, and should not be taken lightly. The possible penalties include:
- a maximum of 10 years in Pennsylvania state prison
- a maximum possible fine of up to $25,000
- sex offender registration
- loss of civil rights (right to vote, own a gun, be on a jury)
Do I Need a Lawyer?
An experienced criminal defense lawyer is necessary to make sure your constitutional rights are protected under Pennsylvania law. Without help navigating the complex criminal procedure, you may fall victim to overzealous prosecutors whose sole job is to get a conviction.
An experienced Berks County Sexual Assault lawyer like the team at the Lento Law Firm have the knowledge acquired from years of successfully defending criminal defendants in sexual assault cases, as well as other related sex-related charges. You need to protect yourself against the very serious potential penalties and social stigma associated with a sexual assault conviction.
Consult an Experienced Berks County Sexual Assault Attorney
If you have been arrested for and charged with sexual assault or another sex crime in Berks County, attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced and aggressive team at the Lento Law Firm are here to defend your case. They can build a customized defense to your unique situation. Do not allow the prosecutor to convince you that you are guilty without putting up a fight.
An experienced Berks County Sexual Assault Attorney can protect your constitutional rights. Call (215) 535-5353 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.