Greensburg Rape Attorney | Rape Lawyer Near Me | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Rape accusations would horrify or frighten anyone, and in Westmoreland County, these cases are harshly punished. However, it is important not to let your emotions dictate your actions. You have to rationally and quickly address this situation. The best step you can take following rape allegations is to contact an experienced Greensburg rape attorney.

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our sex crime attorneys in Greensburg have decades of collective legal experience, and a history of helping individuals defend themselves from rape charges. We are here to gather evidence of your innocence and fight for the best possible outcome. You do not have to face these charges alone.

To learn more about how our rape defense attorneys can help you, contact us online or call (717) 233-1524 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Table of Contents

What is Rape?What Prosecutors Must ProvePenalties and Prison TimeRape of a childSex Offender RegistrationConsequences of a Rape ConvictionPossible DefensesContact Us

What Is Rape?

In Pennsylvania, rape is a specific sex offense. It differs from sexual assault, indecent assault, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. If you are charged with rape, the prosecutor has to prove specific elements, which are defined in 18 Pa. Code §3121.

Under Pennsylvania’s rape law, you can be charged with a first-degree felony if you engage in sexual intercourse with a victim:

  • By force.
  • By threat of force, which would prevent resistance by a reasonable person.
  • Who is unconscious, or when you know that the victim is unaware that sexual intercourse is occurring.
  • When you have substantially impaired the victim’s power to appraise or control their conduct by administering or employing, without the victim’s knowledge, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
  • Who suffers from a mental disability, which renders the victim incapable of consent.

What Prosecutors Must Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

If you are accused of rape, there are several elements prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted:

  • You performed sexual intercourse. Pennsylvania defines sexual intercourse as vaginal, oral or anal sex. Intercourse, of any type, is performed when there is any amount of penetration, however slight.
  • You used force, threats of force, incapacitating substances, or the victim was unconscious, unaware, or mentally disabled. Each of these denotes a lack of consent by the victim.

In general, the prosecutor must prove that you performed oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse on a victim who did not consent. When you reasonably believe that the other party consented to the sexual activity, you need to contact a rape lawyer right away.

Criminal Rape Penalties & Prison Time

As a first-degree felony, rape can result in up to 20 years in prison as well as high fines. However, there are various ways you can be sentenced to longer terms of incarceration.

If you give or administer to the victim, without their knowledge, any substance to prevent resistance through the inducement of euphoria, memory loss, or any other effect, and you succeed in substantially impairing the victim’s power to analyze and control their own actions, then you can be sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison and an additional fine up to $100,000.

Rape of a Child in Westmoreland County

If you are accused of raping a minor, you may face additional penalties. Under 18 Pa. Code §3121(c), you commit the crime of rape of a child if you perform sexual intercourse on a victim younger than 13. This is a first-degree felony, and you can be imprisoned for up to 40 years. If you allegedly raped a child under the age of 13 years and caused serious bodily injury, then this is a first-degree felony for which you can be sentenced to life in prison.

Sex Offender Registration

If you are convicted of rape in Greensburg, PA, or Westmoreland County, you must also adhere to mandatory sex offender registration.

When the rape offense occurred after December 20, 2012, your registration is subject to a tiered system (Tier I, II, or III). Rape is a Tier III sexual offense, which is the most serious. You will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. You also have to appear at a local police station quarterly—four times per year. If the rape offense was committed before December 20, 2012, then you are classified as a Lifetime Registration. You must appear before the police annually—once per year.

If you fail to register after being released from prison, or you fail to appear when required, you can be charged with the additional crime of failure to register.

Collateral Consequences of a Rape Conviction

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If you are convicted of rape, you will certainly face incarceration, fines, and sex offender registration. You also may be required to undergo mental health counseling and treatment. When you are released from prison, the situation will not be over. You will face the stigma and restrictions connected with sex offender registration, and many collateral consequences associated with a sex crime on your record.

As a sex offender, you may be subject to community notification. When you move to a new place, your neighbors may be told your name, address, and the sex offense you committed. They also will receive your picture.

Depending on the circumstances of your conviction, you may face living restrictions. For example, you may not be allowed to live with or near children, or to live near facilities where children congregate.

You may not be allowed to use the internet, or your internet could be restricted. For instance, you may be prohibited from using social media sites.

Also, you may have to adhere to no contact orders. You may not be allowed to speak to or contact any of your victims or their families.

Other collateral consequences include having a hard time finding a job or getting into a school, training program, or apprenticeship. You may have a very hard time receiving an education or additional job training. Overall, it can be hard to find meaningful and well-paid work, which can make it difficult to support yourself.

To avoid these and other collateral consequences of a sex crime conviction, you need to call a rape attorney immediately after these allegations surface.

Possible Rape Defenses

It is easy to become overwhelmed by rape charges in Greensburg. It can feel like the world is against you, but by working with an experienced rape lawyer, you can find the best way to defend yourself.

One possible defense is to try and prove the other party explicitly consented to the sexual activity, or you reasonably believed the other party consented. If your rape lawyer can prove it is likely that consent existed, you may not be convicted of the crime.

Another potential defense is that these are false allegations and that the sexual activity never took place. You and your rape lawyer may seek to prove that the accuser has an ulterior motive.

Additionally, it may be that the victim was raped, but you are not the perpetrator. There may have been a mistake of identity, and the prosecutor is pursuing the wrong person. In this case, your attorney will use every piece of evidence available to prove you were somewhere else at the time of the rape.

Contact Our Greensburg Rape Attorneys Today

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we know what you are facing and how to act on your behalf. If you are facing rape allegations in Greensburg, PA, whether or not you have been charged yet, you need to consult a rape attorney as soon as possible. If you have not yet been charged, a lawyer can protect your rights during an investigation. In some circumstances, a lawyer can prevent charges from ever being filed. If a prosecutor does pursue charges, we will do everything we can within the law to obtain the best possible result, which could mean a dismissal, a plea agreement, or an acquittal.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call (724) 834-1275 to schedule a consultation with a Greensburg rape lawyer. Let us explain your options and how you can move past these accusations.