Statutory Sexual Assault Charges in Pennsylvania: Your Rights Under Pennsylvania Law
Legal Information from Pittsburgh Sex Crime Lawyers
Statutory sexual assault is a felony and carries some very severe penalties if you are found guilty. If convicted of statutory sexual assault, your reputation and your future could be in ruins.
Penalties for a conviction include a long-term prison sentence and also the social stigma of being labeled a sexual predator, even though the sex may have been consensual.
If convicted, you may have trouble finding employment and housing and you may be required to register as a sex offender on a national registry.
A SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE IS NOT A CONVICTION
You have rights until proven guilty through the legal system. Many people are accused of sex crimes but are proven innocent in court. In Statutory Sexual Assault, it is possible to not even know a crime was committed if you did know the true age of the minor and the sex was consensual.
Understanding your rights and what options you have to fight for them is the first step. Seek the counsel of an experienced Pittsburgh Sex Crimes Attorney immediately, if you have been charged with a sex crime.
An experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney can help you build a strong defense to have your charges dropped or reduced.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, please contact the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline for resources on how to get help.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEX CRIME CHARGES DISMISSED
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
FIGHTING STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA
Having statutory sexual assault allegations against you is frightening. But you do not have to face the charges alone – our experienced Pittsburgh sex crime attorneys will work hard to try to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Attorney Ketchel will give your case personal attention and be there every step of the way to answer your questions and prepare you for hearings or a trial.
STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFINED
Statutory sexual assault can be found in Pennsylvania Condensed Statutes Title 18 §3122.1.
Statutory sexual assault is different from rape or other sexual assault charges, in that, the sexual acts may have been consensual, but due to the ages of the parties involved, there has been a crime committed. More simply, if it were not for the age of the parties, it would not be a crime.
It is illegal for someone who is considered an adult, a person age eighteen (18) or older, to have sex with a minor, someone under the age of sixteen (16), even if both parties consent. The intent of the law is to protect minors who are considered incapable of giving informed consent.
Proving a sexual assault or intent is not required under the law. Simply having sex with a minor is enough to be charged with statutory sexual assault. Sexual intercourse that involved force or assault would be charged differently—as either rape or another sexual assault charge.
THE ROMEO AND JULIET PROVISION
There are exceptions to every rule, however. Occasionally referred to as the Romeo and Juliet provision, and designed to protect two teenagers who are close in age from facing serious sexual assault allegations, sex between a minor age thirteen (13) or older and a defendant who is less than four (4) years older, is not a statutory sexual assault.
Not all States have this provision, but Pennsylvania does have a Romeo and Juliet provision.
In addition, there is a marital exemption. If the two parties include an adult and a minor, but they are married, there is no crime.
MISTAKE AS TO AGE
If a victim is under 14 years of age, it is “no defense that a defendant did not know the age of the child or reasonably believed the child to be the age of 14 years or older.”
However, if the victim is 14 years or older, a “mistake as to age” could be a valid defense in Pennsylvania.
PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT IN PENNSYLVANIA
If you are found guilty of statutory sexual assault in Pennsylvania, it is likely that you will spend a significant amount of time in jail. You will be charged with a felony.
It is a felony of the second degree if a person engages in sexual intercourse and:
- The adult is four (4) years older, but less than eight (8) years older than the victim
- The adult is eight (8) years older, but less than eleven (11) older than the victim
It is a felony in the first degree if a person engages in sexual intercourse and:
- The adult is more than eleven (11) years older than the victim.
In Pennsylvania, a second-degree felony is punishable by:
- Up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
A first-degree felony is punishable by:
- Up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: TO HAVE YOUR SEXUAL ASSAULT 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 statutory sexual assault 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. There are many defenses to sex crimes.
Professional and social implications are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to facing prison time and a lifelong stigma of being known as a sex offender.
If you are facing statutory 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 that 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 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.
If your case goes to trial, we will be by your side at every turn, to prepare you and your family for possible questioning and keep you informed so that together we can make the best decision for you and your family.
Our goal is to have your case dismissed and charges reduced; if that is not possible, we will fight aggressively to keep your name off the national registry of sex offenders.
FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION
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:
- Pittsburgh Sex Crime Lawyers
- Consequences of a Sex Crime in Pennsylvania
- Defenses to Sex Crimes in Pennsylvania
- Indecent Assault
- Open Lewdness Charges
- Sexual Assault Charges
- Rape Charges
- Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse Charges
- Online Solicitation of a Minor Charges
- Child Pornography Charges
- National Sex Offender Registry Laws
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Learn more about Ketchel Law:
- Criminal Attorneys Pittsburgh
- Attorney Justin J. Ketchel
- Our Client Testimonials
- View Our Case History / Results
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