Avoiding the Harshest Penalties for Sex Crimes
Sex crimes are taken very seriously in the state of Pennsylvania. Penalties for these offenses are extremely harsh, with many sentences including massive fines and decades spent in state prison. Most sex crimes are felonies, only worsening how they are perceived in the eyes of the law. The key in successfully defending against sex crime charges is to get your charges dismissed or reduced in court. This can be done with the help of an experienced attorney.
If you have unfairly accused of a sex crime, you may be terrified of the penalties that could follow a conviction. You may also be concerned about how your family will be affected if you are found guilty. You may no longer be able to provide financial support, and interacting with those you love may be difficult. The Pittsburgh sex crimes lawyers at our firm understand how difficult these situations can be. With your concerns, the idea of mounting a defense can seem impossible. Our dedicated legal team will handle all of the technical aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on comforting your family.
To see how you can get your charges reduced or eliminated, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC at (412) 281-2146 today.
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
In Pennsylvania, the penalties for committing sex crimes, such as rape and sexual assault, are steep. While each case has specific factors that determine the severity of criminal penalties, some consequences are more common than others. These include, but are not limited to:
- Rape (First Degree Felony): Penalties for this crime include a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Probation is also commonly assigned upon release.
- Sexual Assault (Second Degree Felony): This crime carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Probation is also commonly assigned upon release.
- Indecent Assault (First Degree Misdemeanor): This crime is commonly punished with up to five years in prison. However, a second or subsequent offense can lead to a third-degree felony charge which can carry up to seven years in prison.
Believe it or not, there are punishments for sex crimes that can be even worse than spending time behind bars. After a person is released from prison, they will likely have to register as a sex offender. Crimes that commonly carry this penalty include rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, and several other crimes. This registration period can last anywhere from 10 years to life. There are also collateral consequences that come with being convicted of a crime. Many business owners, for example, are reluctant to hire those with criminal records. It can also be all but impossible to continue your education, as many colleges request criminal background information prior to admissions. Many scholarships and grants will also be difficult to obtain.
Avoiding the Harsh Punishments of Sex Crimes
When fighting for your freedom in a court of law, it is important to remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. If they want a conviction, they will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a sex crime. For this reason, there are several defenses that can be used to help you avoid spending time in prison. One effective legal defense is proving that the supposed victim actually gave consent during the sexual activity in question. If they agreed to engage in a sexual activity, and they are not underage, you should not be convicted of a sex crime.
If, however, it is impossible to avoid a guilty verdict, it may be possible to reduce your sentence through a plea negotiation. In many cases, the prosecution might agree to eliminate prison time if you are willing to admit your guilt. They might also offer a lesser sentence if you can provide information regarding others who were involved in the crime. While a plea bargain can be an excellent way to maintain your freedom, it is very difficult to negotiate without the help of a skilled attorney. A lawyer can let you know whether you are being taken advantage of and help you create a counter offer that is more appropriate. They can guide you through the legal process, ensuring you know what to expect at every turn.
How Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Can Fight for your Freedom
Being accused of such a serious crime can be a frightening experience. If you were falsely accused, it may seem as if the whole world has turned against you. Our experienced Pittsburgh sex crimes lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys realize how difficult these situations can be. However, we also know that there is typically a way to get penalties reduced or eliminated. We will fight tirelessly to defend your freedom, ensuring that your side of the story is told in court.
If you have been accused of a sex crime call (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation.