If you are charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania, you face a very serious felony charge. You could be sentenced to many years in prison, high fines, and be forced to register as a sex offender. Because courts and the justice system tend to believe and favor alleged victims, it is crucial that you protect yourself and your constitutional rights with the help of the right lawyer.
To defend your case, and your rights, an experienced Lancaster County Sexual Assault attorney can guide you through the complex legal system and build a defense unique to your individual case. Never assume you are guilty just because you are charged with a crime.
Sexual Assault Charges in Lancaster County, PA
Sexual assault is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3124.1 and it happens when a person participates in sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse, with another individual without that individual's consent. Sexual intercourse is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3101 and includes typical sex, but also includes both oral sex and anal sex. Penetration, no matter how slight, is required but an emission is not required to commit the act.
While sexual assault is considered a less serious charge than rape, the two are closely related and the penalties for sexual assault are still quite severe. A victim does not have to prove he or she resisted, but evidence may be presented by the defendant that the alleged "victim" consented to the acts complained of. If the other person consented to the conduct, there was no sexual assault.
Other crimes that are closely related to sexual assault include:
Sexual Assault Penalties in Pennsylvania
Sexual assault, under Pennsylvania law, is a second-degree felony. A felony charge carries very serious penalties and requires a strong defense in order to avoid their imposition against you. The possible penalties associated with the charge include:
- a maximum term of 10 years in state prison
- a maximum fine of $25,000
- registration as a sex offender
- loss of certain civil rights (right to own a gun, be on a jury, right to vote)
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
A conviction for sexual assault could be devastating to your finances, your civil rights, and your freedom. Navigating the complexities of Pennsylvania criminal procedure and evidence rules can be a daunting task for a defendant, or even an inexperienced lawyer. You need an attorney with many years of experience to represent you in your legal defense.
The team at the Lento Law Firm has dedicated years to defending the rights of criminal defendants. They have the skills and knowledge necessary to create a uniquely tailored defense to your individual case. The best way to protect your rights is with the right legal representation.
Consult an Experienced Lancaster County Sexual Assault Attorney
If you have been arrested for and charged with sexual assault or another sex crime in Lancaster County, attorney Joseph D. Lento and the experienced and aggressive team at the Lento Law Firm are here to defend your case.
An experienced Lancaster County Sexual Assault Attorney can protect your constitutional rights. Call (215) 535-5353 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.