Being charged with a sex crime like indecent assault in Philadelphia is one of the most frightening and depressing things you can experience.
You are not only at risk of going to prison, but you can also feel devastating effects on other parts of your life like your job, your marriage and your reputation. If you are charged with indecent assault you will need to retain an experienced sex crimes attorney in PA immediately.
What You Need To Know About Indecent Assault
In Pennsylvania, indecent assault means that you brought an alleged victim into unwilling contact with bodily substances that include semen, urine and feces.
- The offender did not have the other person’s consent.
- They used force or threatened to use force.
- The contact had sexual intent.
- The alleged victim may have been unconscious or unaware of what was happening.
- Drugs or alcohol could have been used to make the alleged victim unaware.
- The alleged victim may have had a mental disability that made them unable to consent.
- The offender made contact with a child younger than 13.
- The offender made contact with a between 13 and 15, and is 20 or older and not married to the victim.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, such as whether or not this was a single incident or part of a continuing pattern of behavior, if you are charged with indecent assault you can be found guilty of either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is a related but more serious crime. In aggravated indecent assault, an offender penetrates the anus or genitals of another person without their consent.
- The offender uses force or threat of force.
- There was no medical, hygiene or law enforcement reason for the penetration.
- The alleged victim was unconscious or unaware of what was happening.
- Drugs or alcohol may have been used to make the alleged victim unaware.
- The victim might have a mental disability that makes them unable to consent.
- The victim was younger than 13, or the victim was younger than 16 and the offender was 20 or older and not married to them.
If you are charged with aggravated indecent assault, you are facing up to 10 years in prison.
If you are charged with aggravated indecent assault on a child, a separate but related crime, you can be sent to prison for as many as 20 years.
Your Defense Against Indecent Assault
The most important defense you can provide for an indecent assault charge is that the alleged victim was a consenting adult.
What To Do If You Are Charged
If you are charged with indecent assault, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. The police will make the decisions about your charges and especially in sex crimes there may be several choices that they could make that are of varying severity.
You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
- If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
What Your Philadelphia Sex Crimes Attorney Can Do
Your PA attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- They will try to find out if the alleged victim was an adult who consented.
- If it is a you-said/they-said situation, where the only evidence against you is an accusation, you will be in a stronger position.
- Your attorney will investigate very closely to see if there is any evidence other than the alleged victim’s story to prove their claims.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence. They will find and note any contradictions, and point out any parts of the victim’s accusations that are impossible to have happened.
Your sex crimes attorney will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How a Philadelphia Sex Crimes Attorney Will Help
When you are up against an indecent assault charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Indecent Assault Law
Indecent assault is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.
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.