If you have been charged with sexual assault in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is crucial that you hire the right lawyer to defend your case. Sexual assault is a felony and carries with very high penalties, including up to a decade of prison time. Further, if convicted you will be required to register as a sex offender, which could haunt you for many years to come.
To defend your case and protect your constitutional rights, you need an experienced Lehigh County Sexual Assault attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected. A strong defense can protect you against unwarranted charges.
Sexual Assault Charges in Lehigh County, PA
Sexual assault is codified at 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3124.1. A person commits this offense when he or she engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another against that person's will or without their consent. Sexual intercourse is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat § 3101. It includes the ordinary meaning of sex but also encompasses oral sex and anal sex. Sexual intercourse also requires some level of penetration, even a very slight amount, but does not require emission.
Sexual assault is closely related to the charge of rape but is considered a less serious version of the offense. However, it is still very serious in its own right. The alleged victim does not have to prove he or she resisted, but a defendant is allowed to produce evidence that shows the alleged victim consented to the sexual intercourse.
There are certain other Pennsylvania crimes that are closely related to sexual assault, all of which could result in a serious felony conviction:
Sexual Assault Penalties in Lehigh County
As a second degree felony, very serious penalties are attached to a conviction for sexual assault in Pennsylvania. These penalties include the following:
- a prison sentence up to a maximum of 10 years
- a potential fine of up to $25,000
- loss of specific civil rights (i.e. right to be on a jury, right to own a firearm, right to vote)
- requirement to register as a sex offender
Why Do I Need a Defense Lawyer?
The rules surrounding Pennsylvania criminal procedure and evidence rules are incredibly complex for a person untrained in their use. Furthermore, the potential penalties you face from a conviction are too serious to take lightly. An experienced Lehigh County Sexual Assault lawyer has the years of experience needed to aggressively fight for your rights.
You want to fight to avoid a conviction and the penalties associated with them. There are unique defenses that can be raised after your lawyer investigates your case and your side of the story. You deserve to be heard in court and to have your rights protected.
Consult an Experienced Lehigh County Sexual Assault Attorney
Never assume you will be found guilty just because you are charged with sexual assault. Every case is different, and every case deserves to be defended by a skilled lawyer and attorney Joseph D. Lento brings experience and determination to the table.
An experienced Lehigh County Sexual Assault Attorney can protect your constitutional rights. Call (215) 535-5353 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.