Pennsylvania Sex Crime Lawyer | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Charged with a Sex Crime in Pennsylvania?

Few things in life are as earth-shattering as learning you have been accused of a sexual crime. Your life changes the minute the police start investigating you. Every mistake you make will be dragged into the light of day. You can be made to look guilty even when you know you are innocent.

When you find yourself in this troubling situation, you need the help of a Pennsylvania sex crime lawyer. The attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, are ready to help you. Your best chance to exonerate yourself is to work with attorneys who can use their knowledge, skills, and experience to work for you.

To learn more about Pennsylvania sex crimes and how our attorneys can help, call (412) 281-2146 to schedule your free consultation.

Statewide Representation for Sex Offenses

Based in Pittsburgh, Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys offer comprehensive and aggressive legal representation for those accused of sex offenses throughout the Commonwealth.

332 Fifth Avenue, 1st Floor,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2437


Pennsylvania Sex Crime Laws & Sexual Offenses

The Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, are well-versed in defending our clients against all types and levels of sex offenses. If you are charged with a Pennsylvania sex crime or offense, contact us today.

Rape (18 Pa. Code § 3121)

Rape in Pennsylvania occurs when sexual intercourse is forced upon a victim, including situations involving threats of force, victim unconsciousness, impairment via substances, or mental disability preventing consent.

Classified as a first-degree felony, the severity of rape charges necessitates legal representation from a specialized sex crime defense attorney.

Learn more about Rape Charges in PA

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (18 Pa. Code § 3123)

Under Pennsylvania law, IDSI charges apply to forced deviant sexual intercourse, including scenarios where the victim is threatened, unconscious, impaired, mentally disabled, under 16 (with the accused being 4+ years older), and not a spouse.

This is also a first-degree felony with serious penalties.

Learn More about IDSI in Pennsylvania 

Sexual Assault (18 Pa. Code § 3124.1)

Sexual assault in PA includes sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse without consent, categorized as a second-degree felony when it doesn’t fully meet rape or IDSI criteria.

Learn More about Sexual Assault in PA

Indecent Assault (18 Pa. Code § 3126)

18 Pa. Code § 3126 involves unwanted indecent contact, including force, substance impairment, or when the victim is under 13 (or under 16 and the accused is 4+ years older), potentially resulting in misdemeanor or felony charges.

Learn More about Indecent Assault Charges in PA

Indecent Exposure (18 Pa. Code § 3127)

Exposing genitals in public or to alarm others is generally a second-degree misdemeanor, according to 18 Pa. Code § 3127, escalating to a first-degree misdemeanor if minors under 16 are present.

Learn More about Indenct Exposure Allegations

Child Pornography (18 Pa. Code § 6321(d)

According to 18 Pa. Code § 6321(d), it is a felony offense to view or possess images depicting minors under 18 in sexual acts.

Learn More about Child Porn Charges in PA

Unlawful Contact with a Minor (18 Pa. Code § 6318)

Contacting a minor for sex in PA equates to a third-degree felony, with penalties increasing for creating or distributing child pornography.

Learn More about Unlawful Contact with a Minor

Prostitution & Solicitation (18 Pa. Code § 5902)

Engaging in or hiring for sexual activities as a business is illegal. Penalties for prostitution and solicitation in PA range from a third-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, especially if the individual involved has HIV.

Learn More about Solicitation Charges

Obscene Materials (18 Pa. Code § 5903)

creating, displaying, selling, or distributing obscene materials, especially to minors, can lead to charges ranging from first-degree misdemeanor to third-degree felony.

Learn More about Obscene Material Charges

Incest (18 Pa. Code § 4302)

18 Pa. Code § 4302 makes engaging in sexual relationships with close blood relatives a second-degree felony.

Learn More about Incest Allegations in PA

Penalties for a Pennsylvania Sex Crime Conviction

Not all sex crimes are felonies, but even if you’re charged with a misdemeanor, the consequences could be severe.

Unless the statute allows explicitly for enhanced sentences, sex crimes in Pennsylvania are punished by:

  • Third-degree misdemeanor– Maximum of one year in jail and fines up to $2,000.
  • Second-degree misdemeanor– Up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • First-degree misdemeanor– Jail for up to five years, and fines reaching $10,000.
  • Third-degree felony– Maximum of seven years imprisonment and a fine up to $15,000.
  • Second-degree felony– Prison time for up to 10 years and a fine reaching $25,000.
  • First-degree felony– Up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Enhanced Penalties for Rape Convictions

Rape is one of the sex crimes that specifically calls for harsher punishments when certain factors exist in your case. Suppose you are convicted of rape during which you substantially impaired the victim’s consent through administering alcohol or drugs. In that case, you can be sentenced to an additional 10 years and fined another $100,000. Rape of a child causing serious bodily injury may result in a life sentence.

Whether facing a few years in prison or a life sentence, you deserve the strongest defense possible. Contact the sex crime lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, to learn more.

Registering As a Sex Offender In PA

According to Pennsylvania law, anyone convicted of a sex crime must register with the state’s Sex Offender Registry and update their information regularly. All your personal information, including your name, home address, work address, and photo, will be available to the public if you register. Failing to register as a sex offender can lead to additional consequences.

Learn More about Sex Offender Registration in PA

Attorney Matthew Ness Will Listen & Fight for You

As a defense attorney, Matthew Ness believes that the rights of people accused of crimes are worth upholding and fighting for. He does that every day as a trial defense lawyer. Matthew upholds his clients’ rights to fair and speedy trials, just punishment, and not having rights violated. He’s ready to help you in your sex crimes case. He understands what’s at stake.

More About Matthew Ness

Consequences of a PA Sex Crime Conviction

Being convicted of a sexual offense in Pennsylvania carries significant life impacts beyond jail time or fines. Here’s how it can affect various aspects of life:

  • Employment: Finding a job can be difficult. Convictions often emerge during background checks, leading to potential job ineligibility, hiring rejections, and loss of professional licenses, limiting career opportunities.
  • Housing & Education: Applying for college, renting, or securing loans can be hindered by background checks. Landlords, schools, and banks may deny applications due to the conviction. Restrictions may also limit living near schools, parks, or in certain community homes.
  • Immigration: A conviction can threaten your stay in the U.S., risking deportation or entry bans, and may also affect your status in your home country.
  • Family: Custody and visitation rights might be revoked, impacting family dynamics and relationships.
  • Social Standing: The public nature of sex offender registries can damage reputations and interpersonal relationships, making it challenging to form new connections or maintain existing ones.

Defending Against Sex Crime Charges

Facing sex crime charges can feel overwhelming, but there are several defense strategies that can help:

Both Parties Gave Consent

This argues the sexual activity was agreed upon by all parties involved. It’s particularly relevant when the accused and the alleged victim had a prior relationship.

However, in Pennsylvania, this defense doesn’t apply if the alleged victim was under 16. Proof of consent can include communications like emails or texts and witness accounts of the relationship.

Lack of DNA Evidence

This can link an offender to a crime scene or victim, but it’s not infallible. Defense attorneys can challenge the methods used in collecting, handling, and analyzing DNA samples.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Often, the accused may be wrongfully identified. Defense attorneys can present an alibi for their client or question the victim’s reliability to accurately identify the perpetrator.

The Victim Made False Allegations

Sometimes, accusations are baseless or misdirected. Defense tactics might involve demonstrating the lack of evidence, proving the accused’s absence from the crime scene, or identifying the perpetrator.

Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, understand the complexities and challenges of defending yourself against sex crime accusations. The defenses our attorneys may use depend on many factors, and we can develop any number of defenses that can give you the best chance at clearing your name. We’ll also use pre-trial strategies like suppressive motions or discovery motions.

Contact us for more information on how we can advocate for you.

Why Choose Worgul, Sarna & Ness?

Our attorneys bring a wealth of experience and prior success in assisting people with serious sexual offense allegations and charges. Our Pennsylvania sex crime defense law firm is recognized for:

  • Skill & Impressive Results in Sex Crime Cases
  • Exhaustive Independent Investigations & Tailored Strategies
  • Client-Focused Representation & Comprehensive Advocacy
  • Statewide Availability & Ongoing Legal Support

Client Reviews

Absolutely amazing, substantially better results than what I thought, very aggressive in defending people, would 110% recommend these guys every time!


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Notable Case Results

Acquittal for Client Charged With Multiple Sex Crimes

When an Allegheny County man was falsely accused of raping his minor daughter, he trusted the accomplished sex crimes defense attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, LLC to protect his reputation.

View Case Details

Our Sex Crime Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you’re facing sex crime charges in Pennsylvania or are accused of something that may result in a sex offense, you need a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Fortunately, at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we handle sex offense cases across the state and craft effective defenses to protect your reputation, rights, and freedom.

Don’t wait to protect yourself. Call (412) 281-2146 or submit a request 24/7 for a free consultation. An experienced sex crime lawyer in Pennsylvania will explain your options and what comes next.