Defenses to Being Charged with a Sex Crime in Pennsylvania

Your Rights Under Pennsylvania Laws

No matter which sex crime you are accused of committing, one thing is clear: a guilty verdict can have devastating consequences that could last the rest of your life.

The damage runs beyond just serving time in jail and paying fines. Once you have paid for your crimes within the justice system, you will then face the social ramifications.

This could include registering as a sex offender, which will in turn affect where you live, where you work, and will follow you everywhere you go. Failing to Register is itself a felony.

In addition, you will have to deal with the constant judgment and stigma from your community, your friends, and possibly your family. There are severe consequences to being convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania.

An arrest is not a conviction.

Facing sex crime charges can feel daunting and scary. But until you are proved guilty under Pennsylvania law, you still have the right to defend yourself and fight the charges.

An experienced sex crime attorney in Pennsylvania can help. There are a number of defenses to sex crimes and discussing your options with an experienced sex crimes attorney is your best chance at positive outcome for your case.

 

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEX CRIME CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

 

WHAT CRIMES ARE CONSIDERED SEX CRIMES IN PENNSYLVANIA?

There are a large number of crimes that fall into the category of sex crimes in Pennsylvania. Each crime has its own elements that must be proven in court in order for a defendant to be found guilty. Some of the most common sex crimes include:

With any sex crime, the prosecution has the burden of proof. They must prove to the jury that the defendant is the one who committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Since each crime is unique, not all defenses to sex crimes will work with all crimes. A sex crimes attorney is the person who can best advise you on what defenses are available in your case.

POSSIBLE DEFENSES TO SEX CRIMES IN PENNSYLVANIA

A well-crafted defense can create reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds. It involves great detail and dissection of the facts—as well as interviewing the victim and any witnesses. While not every defense is available in every case, no case is ever without options.

Some of the following defenses are commonly used in sex crimes cases:

  • Alibi
    • The defendant was somewhere other than the crime scene when the crime took place. While witnesses are generally presented to offer proof of the defendant’s location, the defendant bears no burden of proof when offering an alibi as a defense.
  • Consent
    • A lack of consent is generally an element of most sex crimes. If the prosecution does not meet the burden of proof on any one element of a crime, then the defendant must be acquitted. However, consent is not a defense if the victim was age thirteen or under. Consent is also not a defense to statutory sexual assault.
  • Duress
    • If the defendant was coerced or forced to commit the act, they may not be held liable for their actions. However, the defendant cannot have put themselves recklessly or negligently in a situation that would invite duress.
  • Impeachment of Prior Sexual Conduct
    • Generally, due to Rape Shield Laws, evidence of a victim’s sexual history is inadmissible in court. However, Rape Shield Laws cannot exclude relevant evidence of bias. If consent is at issue, the defendant can offer evidence of his or her prior sexual history with the victim if it is relevant to the case and helps prove that the act(s) in question was consensual.
  • Impossibility
    • The defendant is impotent, or in some other way unable to perform the actions necessary to have committed the crime.
  • Insanity
    • The defendant must be tested and proof must be offered if an insanity defense is being used. The defendant does bear the burden of proof. Simply having a mental illness is not enough to prove a defense by insanity. It must be proven that at the time of the offense the defendant was under such a defect of reason or disease of the mind that he/she did not understand the nature of his/her actions or that the actions were wrong. It is a difficult defense to prove, but necessary in some cases.
  • Intoxication
    • This defense may be used for involuntary intoxication only. Simply being at a party and willingly drinking too much alcohol or taking too many drugs is not a defense. This is used in situations where the defendant was unknowingly drugged by another person, took drug mistakenly, or had an unexpected reaction to a prescribed drug. The defendant has the burden of proof in showing he/she was drugged or performed the act due to involuntary intoxication.
  • Mistake of Fact
    • If the defendant was improperly identified, falsely accused, or, as with internet sex crimes, was not the user of the computer in question, they can raise this defense.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEX CRIME CHARGES DISMISSED

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

 

FIGHTING SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA

An arrest is not a conviction.

Being charged with a sex crime is frightening but also an extraordinarily embarrassing affair. Regardless of innocence or guilt, the consequences of a conviction are a real threat to your freedom, rights and liberties.

If you are facing sex assault charges it is important to hire an attorney right away and not talk to the police or prosecutors, even if you are completely innocent and trying to explain your side of the story. Let an attorney do the talking.

At Ketchel Law, we understand the not everyone accused of a crime is guilty of a crime. There are two sides to every story. We will take your case very seriously and work toward having your charges reduced or your case dismissed.

We will fully investigate all aspects of your case, examining all angles and gathering testimony and witnesses on your behalf. We will go over the charges and the procedures taken by law enforcement carefully.

We will aggressively look for any evidence to build a strong case for you and discredit the alleged victim’s testimony. We will examine any and all pertinent defense strategies available in your case. Should your case go to trial, we will prepare you and your family and be by your side at every turn.

It is our goal to have your case dismissed and charges reduced and if that is not possible, we will fight aggressively to keep your name off of the national registry of sex offenders.

If you have been charged with a sex crime call Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney Justin J. Ketchel for a free consultation.

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We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law and Sex Crime Laws in Pennsylvania:

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Call Ketchel Law now for a free legal consultation at 412-456-1221.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221

FREE CONSULTATION