Indecent Assault Attorney
In Pennsylvania, indecent assault charges can upend your life. Depending on the specific act alleged, you might be charged with indecent assault or aggravated indecent assault. This means that you could face a misdemeanor or felony charge. Regardless of the offense’s level, indecent assault is a sex crime. Like other sex offenses, the penalties for indecent assault include much more than jail time. A sex offense conviction can ruin your future and potentially require you to register as a sex offender long after your sentence has been discharged. The high stakes involved with facing indecent assault charges should prompt you to seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney at DiCindio Law. We can help you to understand your case and the legal options that you have.
What Is Indecent Assault In Pennsylvania?
Indecent assault is defined in 18 Pa.CS 3126. Under this statute, an indecent assault occurs when a person has indecent contact with someone else or causes the victim to come into contact with feces, urine, or seminal fluid when any of the following circumstances apply:
- There was no consent.
- The actor uses forcible compulsion.
- The actor threatens forcible compulsion to prevent the victim’s resistance.
- The victim is unconscious or unaware.
- The actor administers drugs or intoxicants to impair the victim from being able to resist.
- The victim cannot consent because of a mental disability.
- The victim is under the age of 13.
- The victim is younger than 16, and there is at least a four-year age difference between the actor and the victim.
Indecent assault is a second-degree misdemeanor when the contact occurs without the victim’s consent or when a four-year age difference exists between a victim younger than age 16 and the actor. The other types of indecent assault are first-degree misdemeanor offenses. When the victim is younger than age 13, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, if it is a second offense or if the act was committed by touching the victim’s genitals with the actor’s genitals, it is a third-degree felony.
What Are The Penalties For Indecent Assault In Pennsylvania?
If you are convicted of first-degree misdemeanor indecent assault, you could be sentenced to serve up to five years in prison and to pay a fine of up to $10,000. If you are convicted of second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault, you could be sentenced to serve up to two years in prison and to pay a fine of up to $5,000. If you are convicted of third-degree felony indecent assault, you could be sentenced to serve up to seven years in prison and to pay a fine of up to $15,000. A conviction for indecent assault also could require you to register as a sex offender for 15 to 25 years.
Indecent Assault vs. Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is a more serious crime than indecent assault. This offense is found in 18 Pa.CS 3125. Aggravated indecent assault happens in the same scenarios as indecent assault. However, aggravated indecent assault involves genital or anal penetration that can be slight or brief. In general, aggravated indecent assault is a second-degree felony carrying a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. When the victim is younger than age 13 and compulsion, threats, drugging, mental disabilities, lack of consent, or the victim’s mental disability are involved, it is a first-degree felony carrying the potential for up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Defending Against Indecent Assault Charges In Pennsylvania
The defenses that might be raised in your case will depend on the facts and circumstances of what occurred. Your attorney will analyze the reports and evidence to determine which defense strategies to use. Some of the common defenses that might be raised to these types of charges include the following:
- Alibi – You were somewhere else and could not have committed the crime.
- Misidentification – The victim identified you when someone else committed the crime.
- False accusation – The alleged victim falsely accused you of committing an indecent assault when it did not occur.
- Consent – The alleged victim consented to the sexual contact.
To help build your defense, your criminal defense attorney will thoroughly investigate your case. He or she might retain experts to analyze DNA and other forensic tests so that you can challenge the evidence the state is using against you. Your attorney might also work with investigators to interview witnesses to help your case. Finally, he or she might secure copies of text messages and other information that demonstrates the alleged victim’s motivations for accusing you and the nature of your relationship. By building a strong defense, your attorney might secure a much more favorable outcome to your charges. In some cases, a strong defense can lead to a dismissal of these types of charges.
Talk To An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer At DiCindio Law
If you are facing indecent assault charges, you should seek help from an experienced sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Sex offenses carry severe penalties and can cause lasting consequences long after you have completed your sentence. An experienced defense lawyer at DiCindio Law can analyze your case and help you to understand your options. Call us today at 610.430.3535 to request a consultation.