Pennsylvania Aggravated Indecent Assault Lawyer | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

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Charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault? We Can Help

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our Pennsylvania sex crime defense lawyers understand the gravity of these aggravated indecent assault charges in PA and are committed to offering a robust legal defense to those accused of such offenses. We aim to protect you against conviction, preserve your standing, and secure the best possible outcome.

For a free and confidential case evaluation with an experienced aggravated indecent assault lawyer in Pennsylvania, call (412) 281-2146 or submit a request online. Worgul, Sarna & Ness accepts cases statewide and is ready to protect you.

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


Aggravated Indecent Assault in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, specifically § 3125, aggravated indecent assault is a felony offense that involves engaging in non-consensual penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of the alleged victim. This can be with any part of the accused’s body or an object, excluding legitimate medical or law enforcement procedures.

Aggravated Indecent Assault vs. Indecent Assault

Aggravated indecent assault in PA is notably a much more severe criminal charge when compared to misdemeanor indecent assault due to the presence of enhancement factors like the use of force, the victim’s incapacity to give consent, or the victim’s age. Recognizing the specific circumstances that can elevate an indecent assault charge to an aggravated level is crucial for a proper defense.

How is Aggravated Indecent Assault Different from Rape & Sexual Assault?

In Pennsylvania, “aggravated indecent assault” differs from the sex offenses of “sexual assault” and “rape” in terms of the nature of the act and the level of consent involved.

Aggravated indecent assault involves the penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus without consent and encompasses cases involving victims who are unconscious, unaware, impaired by substances, or have specific mental disabilities, as well as those related to the victim’s age. In contrast, sexual assault generally refers to a broader range of non-consensual sexual activities beyond penetration, and rape is characterized by forcible compulsion or lack of consent for vaginal intercourse.

What Constitutes Aggravated Indecent Assault in Pennsylvania?

According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3125, these are the aggravating factors or key elements to support aggravated indecent assault charges in the Commonwealth.

Non-Consensual Penetration

Fundamental to the aggravated indecent assault charges is the lack of consent from the complainant for the sexual act.

Forcible Compulsion

The use or threat of force that would prevent resistance by an individual of reasonable resolution.

Incapacitated Victim

Charges may arise if the victim was unconscious, unaware of the assault, or impaired by drugs or alcohol, rendering them unable to consent.

Mental Disability

The assault may be considered aggravated if the victim has a mental disability that inhibits their ability to consent.

Age-Related Offenses

Special provisions apply when victims are under 13 or between 13 and 16 years old and the accused is four or more years older and not married to the victim.

Felony Penalties for Aggravated Indecent Assault

The penalties and sentencing for aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania depend heavily on its felony classification, along with other details. But primarily, Pennsylvania recognizes two primary categories of felony aggravated indecent assault, each carrying harsh penalties.

In most cases, aggravated indecent assault is a Felony of the Second Degree. However, in cases where the victim is under 13, the offense is elevated to a Felony of the First Degree, thereby intensifying the potential sentencing due to the vulnerable status of the alleged victim.

  • Second-degree felony aggravated indecent assault: Penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
  • First-degree felony aggravated indecent assault: Penalties can reach up to 20 years of incarceration and fines up to $25,000.

In both instances, the convicted individual may also face additional consequences as a Tier III sex offense, such as mandatory probation and sex offender registration, which carry their own set of restrictions and implications. The exact penalties can vary based on the case details, criminal history, and other mitigating or aggravating factors the sentencing judge considers.

Defending Against Aggravated Indecent Assault

Being arrested, charged, or just accused of aggravated indecent assault is scary for anyone. But it is usually not something that can be addressed by explaining your side of the story to police or Pennsylvania prosecutors.

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, our aggravated indecent assault defense lawyers understand that behind every charge is a person’s entire life and future at stake. With deep experience and prior success handling aggravated indecent assaults across Pennsylvania, we stress the absolute necessity of professional legal representation in such intricate, sensitive, and ultimately high-stakes cases.

Legal Defenses for Aggravated Indecent Assault

Your defense against aggravated indecent assault should be as varied as the circumstances surrounding your case. After an in-depth investigation, here are some potential defenses our skilled defense lawyers may employ:

Prove Consent

In the context of aggravated indecent assault, consent can be a complex defense due to the stringent conditions under Pennsylvania law. Consent is the voluntary agreement to the sexual act, and this defense often comes into play when there is a pre-existing relationship between the parties involved. It’s critical to note that in Pennsylvania, individuals under 16 cannot legally consent.

To construct this defense against unwanted touching, we can analyze communications such as emails, texts, and phone calls or gather witness testimony to establish a history of consensual relations, providing evidence that consent was granted.

Challenge the Evidence

We critically analyze all evidence, seeking inconsistencies or flaws in the prosecution’s case, including the complainant’s credibility, witnesses, and forensic evidence like DNA. DNA can be a critical part of the aggravated indecent assault case against you, but it is not infallible. Our defense team is adept at questioning every stage of evidence handling and sex crime investigation techniques — from collection and transportation to testing and database analysis — to ensure your rights are safeguarded against inaccuracies.

Mistake of Identity

Mistake of identity is a viable defense when there is a question about the correct identification of the perpetrator. Factors like poor visibility or mistaken recollection can lead to wrongful accusations. We diligently work to corroborate alibis and present evidence that definitively places our clients elsewhere at the time of the alleged assault, reinforcing their innocence.

Establish Your Alibi

An alibi can be a cornerstone of defense in aggravated indecent assault cases. If you have concrete evidence that you were elsewhere at the time, the alleged crime took place. This information can be instrumental in your defense. We work to corroborate your whereabouts with various methods, including but not limited to witness testimonies, surveillance footage, financial transactions, or electronic tracking data. Establishing a credible alibi requires meticulous attention to detail and the ability to present this evidence compellingly to the court, a process our attorneys are intimately familiar with.

Counter False Allegations

Unfortunately, false allegations are a reality in sex crime cases, including those involving aggravated indecent assault. These accusations can stem from various motives, and our approach is to meticulously examine the evidence to expose inconsistencies and gaps that question the credibility of the allegations. In cases that hinge on the complainant’s testimony, we may also focus on effective cross-examination that challenges witness credibility and highlights inconsistencies in the complainant’s account, aiming to dismantle the prosecution’s arguments piece by piece.

Utilize Sex Crime Experts

Our legal strategy may involve consulting with forensic experts, psychologists, and other professionals who can provide insights into the evidence, such as DNA findings or the mental state of the involved parties. Their testimony can be pivotal in discrediting the allegations or casting doubt on the prosecution’s narrative.

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.

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Why Choose Worgul, Sarna & Ness?

  • An Experienced Defense Team: Our attorneys possess an extensive background and a proven track record in defending against sex crime allegations, including aggravated indecent assault. We understand the sensitivity and complexity of these charges and provide a vigorous defense tailored to each client’s unique situation.
  • Comprehensive Legal Knowledge: Our attorneys possess an extensive background and a proven track record in defending against sex crime allegations, including aggravated indecent assault. We understand the sensitivity and complexity of these charges and provide a vigorous defense tailored to each client’s unique situation.
  • Client-Centered Approach: We believe every case is as unique as the client behind it. Our defense strategies are custom-crafted to align with individual circumstances and objectives, ensuring a personalized and potent legal representation.
  • Aggressive & Trial Ready Mindset: From plea negotiations to proving your innocence in court, we’re prepared to confront any scenario, and our advocacy is unwavering. We engage in rigorous preparations that may include mock trials, jury research, and crafting compelling narratives that spotlight the prosecution’s weaknesses, all to align with your best interests.
  • Clear Communication & Statewide Services: We are available to anyone accused of sex crimes in Pennsylvania and prioritize clear, consistent communication, ensuring you are informed and empowered throughout your legal journey.
  • Post-Trial Advocacy: Our dedication doesn’t end with a verdict. We remain at your side, advocating for your interests through sentencing mitigation, appeals, and post-conviction relief efforts, dedicated to securing the fairest treatment under the law. Our post-trial advocacy is about fighting for justice beyond the courtroom and ensuring that every legal avenue is explored to protect your future.

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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.

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Charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault in PA? Get a Free Consult

If you’re facing charges for aggravated indecent assault anywhere in PA, immediate legal counsel is crucial. 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 aggravated indecent assault lawyer in Pennsylvania will explain your options and what comes next.