Indecent assault accusations can have a devastating impact on your life. Even if you are not convicted, they can damage your relationships, cause you to lose friends, hurt your relationships with family members, and potentially cost you your job. If you are convicted, you can be labeled a felon and sent to prison for years. You will need a strong defense.
Pennsylvania Laws on Indecent Assault
In Pennsylvania, if you are charged with indecent assault, it means you intentionally had indecent contact or caused a victim to come into contact with semen, urine and feces with sexual intent, and you did not have their consent.
- You may have used, or threatened to use, force that would prevent resistance.
- The complainant may have been unconscious or unaware that the indecent contact was occurring.
- You may have used drugs or alcohol to impair them so they were unaware the indecent contact was occurring.
- The complainant had a mental disability that rendered them incapable of consent.
- The complainant is younger than 13.
- The complainant is between 13 and 15, and you are 20 or older and not married to them.
Penalties for Indecent Assault Charges in PA
Depending on whether the indecent assault was a first or repeat offense as well other specifics of your case, you can be found guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree or second degree, or a felony of the third degree.
You will have to register as a sex offender if you are convicted. You also face humiliating consequences when your spouse or partner, employer, coworkers, friends, and neighbors find out that you were charged with a sex offense. People might not want you to be around their spouses, friends, family members, or children. You may not be allowed near schools, depending on the circumstances of your charge, and you may lose rights to see your children if you have them.
In addition, you face long-term consequences in other ways. You may lose your job, struggle in finding a new job, be turned away for an apartment or mortgage application, and more.
How to Defend Against Indecent Assault Charges in Pennsylvania
Your strongest defense for an indecent assault charge is that the complainant was an adult who consented. This is often a “he said, she said” situation where strong cross examination skills will be required. Your sex crime attorney should possess significant trial experience for sex crimes.
What to do if You Have Been Charged with Indecent Assault in PA
If you have been charged with indecent assault, your first step should be to immediately hire a lawyer. Don’t talk to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is with you.
When you meet with your indecent assault lawyer, give them as much information as you can about what happened. If the alleged victim’s accusations are the only evidence against you, your position is stronger than it would be if there were additional evidence. Your attorney will analyze their claims for contradictions or obvious falsehoods.