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

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Under Investigation for a Sex Offense in PA? Our Lawyers Can Help

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our team of Pennsylvania sex crime defense lawyers are effective at navigating the complexities of Pennsylvania sex crime investigations so your legal rights are respected and that a legal professional advocates for the best possible resolution.

For experienced legal guidance and a free consultation with a Pennsylvania sex crime investigation lawyer, call (412) 281-2146 or contact us online. Worgul, Sarna & Ness offers statewide representation and is committed to fighting for 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


Sex Crime Investigations in Pennsylvania

Sex crime investigations in Pennsylvania typically begin with allegations or suspicions of sexual misconduct. These investigations often stem from direct reports by victims. However, third-party reports, discoveries during unrelated investigations, or online tips can trigger investigative action. In all scenarios, the primary objective should be to assess the allegations, collect evidence, identify the offender, and prevent further harm.

Unfortunately, there are flaws in how Pennsylvania sex crime investigations are conducted. Sometimes, the wrong people are identified, misunderstandings become felony sex offenses, and futures are needlessly put in jeopardy.

Sex Crimes Investigated in Pennsylvania

Some of the most investigated sex offenses in Pennsylvania include:

The above list is not comprehensive, as many other behaviors and acts can be classified as sex crimes. If you suspect that you are under investigation for a sex crime, it is imperative to seek legal representation. A qualified lawyer can guide you, protect your rights, and help you navigate the criminal justice system. Do not delay because early legal intervention can be crucial in developing an effective defense.

Who Conducts Sex Crime Investigations?

Sex crime investigations like those involving rape, sexual assault, child pornography, and online solicitation are intricate and sensitive cases. Typically, sex crimes are investigated by specialized units. These can include local police departments, state police, and, in some cases, federal agencies like the FBI. Additionally, detectives or investigators who are trained to handle the sensitive nature of sex crimes are often assigned to these cases.

For more information about the Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies who may be conducting a sex offense investigation, here are some helpful resources:

Collaboration with forensic experts, medical professionals, and prosecutors is also standard as part of a comprehensive sex crime investigation.

What Evidence is Collected in Sex Crime Investigations?

The cornerstone of any sex crime investigation is the evidence. Here are some examples of the evidence considered when sex offense allegations are investigated.

Physical & Forensic Evidence

This includes fingerprints, evidence of injuries, biological samples (blood, semen, saliva), clothing, or objects containing DNA or other materials linked to the crime. Investigators will gather these from the victim or scene to assess their value and relevance, providing tangible links between the victim, the suspect, and the crime scene.

Medical Records

Following an incident, a forensic medical examination can yield critical evidence, including documentation of injuries, collection of samples, and any other pertinent findings. These records provide an objective assessment of the victim’s condition immediately following the alleged incident and can corroborate claims of assault or identify defensive wounds.

Toxicology reports can also reveal the presence of drugs or alcohol, which might support claims of incapacitation or drugging. Healthcare professionals may also note the victim’s immediate account of the event and their emotional state.

Digital Evidence in Sex Cases

As part of a sex crime investigation, law enforcement will commonly examine texts, emails, social media interactions, and browsing histories to understand the dynamics between the accused and the complainant or to establish a pattern of behavior. This evidence can also corroborate or contradict statements and alibis provided by those involved.

Witness Testimony

The accounts from the alleged victim and any other witnesses are crucial. Sex crime investigators conduct interviews to gather detailed narratives, ensuring they capture all relevant information. These testimonies can provide context, corroborate other evidence, or introduce new leads.

Surveillance Data

Video or audio recordings from security cameras, traffic cams, or personal devices can be invaluable in a sex crime investigation. Such evidence can provide timestamped, impartial accounts of movements or interactions, reinforcing or challenging the narratives constructed by other evidence or testimonies.

What to Expect During a Sex Crime Investigation

As part of a sex crime investigation in Pennsylvania, law enforcement will employ a range of tactics aimed at building their case. While their objective should be to pursue justice, there is a lot of pressure to make arrests quickly and aggressively pursue convictions in sex crime cases.

Here is what you should anticipate regarding as part of a sex crime investigation:

Police Tactics in Sex Crime Cases

  • Interviews & Interrogations: Police will interview the victim, witnesses, and the accused. The objective is to obtain a clear narrative and document all details. While police might encourage the accused to make voluntary statements or confessions, these can be used as evidence.
  • Search Warrants: To collect physical evidence, law enforcement may obtain search warrants to examine the accused’s property, residence, or digital devices. These warrants are granted based on probable cause and are strictly executed. There are some exceptions to police needing a warrant to search your home, car, electronic devices, person, or property, but you are not obligated to consent.
  • Undercover Stings: In specific scenarios, especially those involving internet crimes, such as online solicitation of a minor or suspicions of ongoing criminal activity, police might deploy undercover operations or online surveillance to obtain evidence or observe the accused’s behavior.

Your Rights During a Sex Crime Investigation

Sex crime investigations can have life-altering consequences, like prison, fines, probation, mandatory sex offender registration, and more. Therefore, they should be conducted with the highest regard for thoroughness, fairness, and respect for the legal process.

While the investigation unfolds, remember you have the following legal protections:

  • Your Miranda Rights: Upon detention, you must be informed of your right to remain silent and seek legal counsel.
  • The Right to Legal Representation: The accused is entitled to legal representation, which is crucial for navigating the investigation and any subsequent legal proceedings.
  • Safety from Illegal Search & Self-Incrimination All search and interrogation activities are bound by legal standards, safeguarding you from unlawful intrusions and statements being used against you.

If you’re the target of a sex crime investigation, do not face the situation alone. Police officers are skilled in investigation tactics, and anything you say or do can be used against you. Even seemingly innocent remarks or attempts to explain a situation can be misinterpreted.

It’s best to remain silent and work with a defense lawyer with prior experience in Pennsylvania sex crime investigations. This is the best way to get answers, avoid formal charges, and prove your innocence.

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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Pennsylvania Sex Crime Investigation FAQs

Can Charges be Dropped or Dismissed in PA During a Sex Crime Investigation?

Charges in a sex crime investigation can indeed be dropped or dismissed before trial in Pennsylvania, typically if there isn’t enough evidence to secure a conviction or if crucial evidence is deemed inadmissible. The prosecution may withdraw charges if the accuser retracts their claim. However, this decision ultimately rests with the prosecutor’s office, and each case is evaluated on its merits.

Is There a Statute of Limitation in PA Sex Crime Cases?

Pennsylvania has specific statutes of limitations for sex crimes, which dictate how long after an alleged incident a prosecutor can bring charges. These limitations vary depending on the severity of the offense; for some serious crimes, such as rape or sexual abuse of children, the statute of limitations can extend for many years post-incident, especially if the victim was a minor at the time of the offense.

How Long Do Sex Crime Investigations Typically Last in Pennsylvania?

The length of sex crime investigations in Pennsylvania can vary greatly. A straightforward case with clear evidence might conclude in weeks, whereas more complex cases—especially those requiring extensive forensic evidence, witness interviews, or where a trial is likely—can take months or years to resolve.

 How Can an Attorney Help During a Sex Crime Investigation in PA?

During a sex crime investigation, an attorney provides essential support by ensuring that your legal rights are not violated and that you do not inadvertently incriminate yourself. They can communicate on your behalf with investigators, scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence, counsel you on potential legal outcomes, and work to have charges reduced or dismissed. A defense lawyer will also strategically gather evidence to support your case, including witness statements and expert testimonies.

What Should I Do if I’m Contacted by Police about a Sex Crime Investigation?

Suppose law enforcement contacts you regarding a sex crime investigation or asks you to come in for questioning. In that case, it’s crucial not to engage in discussions or consent to searches without legal representation. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide, it’s important to consult with a defense attorney with experience and success in sex crime cases as soon as possible. They can guide you, ensure you make informed decisions, and protect your rights.

Why Choose Worgul, Sarna & Ness?

Our attorneys bring a wealth of experience and prior success assisting people embroiled in sex crime investigations. Our Pennsylvania sex crime defense law firm is recognized for:

  • Skill & Impressive Results with Sex Crime Investigations
  • 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.

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Are You the Target of a Sex Crime Investigation? Get a Free Consult

If you’re the person of interest, a suspect, or even just asked to cooperate in a Pennsylvania sex crime investigation, you need to take the matter seriously and seek immediate legal counsel. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our team handles sex offense cases across the state and crafts effective defenses to protect your reputation, rights, and freedom.

Don’t wait to protect yourself. Call (412) 281-2146 or contact us online 24/7 for a free consultation. An experienced defense lawyer will explain your options and what comes next.