Philadelphia Sex Crimes Lawyer
Getting convicted of a sex crime can ruin your life. Not only will you have to endure a prison sentence and possible fines, you will also have to bear the burdens of registering as a sex offender, paying your legal fees, and facing diminished employment prospects upon your release. If you or a family member has been charged with a sex crime, you will need a skilled and experienced Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer to stand a chance at avoiding the harsh consequences of a conviction.
When people think of sex crimes, they mostly think of rape. But in Pennsylvania, you could get charged with a sex crime for a wide range of conduct, such as drunkenly skinny-dipping in a hotel pool, inappropriately touching a coworker, or texting lewd pictures to a minor. If confronted by the authorities about your alleged sexual misconduct, you should exercise your right to remain silent and call a lawyer immediately.
Fighting Your Sex Crime Charges
There is such a stigma attached to sex offenders that sex crime suspects face an uphill battle when facing the criminal justice system. Prosecutors are under a lot of pressure to lock away sex offenders—especially in rape or child molestation cases that may receive media attention. In such cases, even weak evidence or flimsy testimony can result in a conviction—unless you have a good Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer.
In any criminal trial, the prosecutor must prove every element of his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt. Your Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer’s job is to highlight the weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence, testimony, and arguments to show to the jury that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you committed the sex crime. An experienced lawyer may be able to find inconsistencies in the testimony against you, or prove that the witnesses are unreliable or have a motive to lie.
In other cases, it may be possible to show that you became a suspect after a botched police investigation. In many investigations, the police rely on fluid and DNA samples, which are vulnerable to tampering or contamination. If a laboratory test shows that you committed a sex crime, it may be the case that the incriminating sample was mishandled. You need to hire a lawyer who will closely examine every aspect of the case against you to find such weaknesses.
Registering as a Sex Offender In Pennsylvania
After you’ve served your time and paid your legal fees and any criminal fines, you’ll probably need to register as sex offender. Failure to register as a sex offender will result in harsh consequences. Information about you and your conviction will be public information, available immediately to anyone with an Internet connection. Specifically, you will be required to register as a sex offender if you get convicted of one or more of the following offenses:
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent assault on a child younger than 13
- Promotion of prostitution with victims that are minors
- Unlawful contact with a minor
- Unlawful communication with a minor
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Kidnapping of a child
Your registration must include information about the crime you committed, a sample of your DNA, your hand prints, your home address, your workplace, and a photograph. You must report to the local authorities four times per year to update this information, and give advance notice of any international travel plans. If you fail to comply with the registration requirements, you could get charged with a felony involving a five-year prison sentence.
Because of how easy it is to access the information contained on the sex offender’s list, sex offenders find it extremely difficult to find a job or a place to live. Even those who are not required to register on the sex offender’s list may still face difficulties in finding a job or obtaining a professional license because of the sex crimes conviction visible on their permanent criminal record.
Hiring a Philadelphia Sex Crimes Lawyer
Any criminal charge should be treated seriously, but this holds especially true for sex offenses because of the harsh penalties and stigma attached to these crimes. This means that if you get arrested—or even if you suspect you are under investigation—for a sexual offense you should retain the services of a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Fienman Defense, we can defend against a wide range of sex crimes, including:
- Rape, including rape of a child
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), including IDSI with a minor
- Sexual assault, including statutory sexual assault
- Indecent assault, including aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent exposure, including exposing yourself to a minor
- Child pornography, including downloading child pornography from the Internet
- Unlawful contact with a minor, including being caught by a sting operation
- Incest, including incest and Pennsylvania marriage laws
- Failure to register
- Obscene materials and performances
Our goal is to give each and every one of our clients the best chances possible when passing through the criminal justice system. This means providing them with personal attention and aggressive advocacy to ensure that their rights are respected throughout the criminal process. If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, call us today at (215) 839-9529 for a free and confidential consultation of your case.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.