West Chester Indecent Assault Lawyer
Indecent assault charges in Pennsylvania can lead to serious consequences and ongoing negative impacts on your life. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the act you are accused of committing, you could be charged with simple or aggravated indecent assault. Since indecent assault is a sex crime, your potential penalties could continue after you have completed your sentence. You may be required to register as a sex offender and could lose your job and your family. At DiCindio Law, we understand the serious nature of indecent assault charges and fight to protect the freedoms and rights of our clients.
What is simple indecent assault?
Simple indecent assault is found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126. Under this statute, an indecent assault occurs when a person indecently contacts the victim or causes the victim to indecently contact the person or his or her urine, feces, or semen without the person’s consent. There are several ways that the offense can be committed, including the following:
- 1. Without consent
- 2. By forcible compulsion
- 3. By threatening forcible compulsion
- 4. When the person is unconscious
- 5. By giving the victim intoxicants or substances which prevent him or her from consenting or resisting
- 6. The victim has a mental disability that prevents him or her from consenting
- 7. The victim is younger than age 13; or
- 8. The victim is younger than age 16 and the defendant is more than four years older than him or her.
Under the statute, indecent assault is charged as either a second- or first-degree misdemeanor, depending on the particular way it was committed. Indecent assaults that are committed under numbers one and eight in the list above are second-degree misdemeanors. Indecent assaults that are committed under numbers two through six in the list above are first-degree misdemeanors. An indecent assault under number seven on a person who is younger than 13 is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with two exceptions. If the offense is the second or subsequent offense, it is a third-degree felony. If the offense was committed by contacting the victim’s genitals with the defendant’s genitals, it is also a third-degree felony.
What are the penalties for simple indecent assault?
The penalties that you might face if you are convicted of indecent assault will depend on the grade of the offense. If you are convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault, you will face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are convicted of first-degree misdemeanor indecent assault, you will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are convicted of a third-degree felony indecent assault, you will face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. A conviction for one of these sex crimes will also require you to register as a sex offender.
Aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania
Aggravated indecent assault is a more serious crime and is committed in similar situations as were previously described. This offense is codified at 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125. This offense involves the same eight scenarios that are listed in the simple indecent assault statute. However, with aggravated indecent assault, there is a penetration of the genitals or anus that is slight or that is brief. This offense is a class two felony unless the victim is under the age of 13. If the victim is under the age of 13, it is a first-degree felony.
If you are convicted of second-degree felony aggravated indecent assault, you will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. If you are convicted of first-degree felony aggravated indecent assault, you will face a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Potential defenses to indecent assault charges
The defenses that might be available to you will depend on the circumstances of what occurred. Some of the potential defenses that might be raised to these types of charges include the following:
- You have an alibi
- You were misidentified
- Your DNA is not the DNA that was found
- The alleged victim consented and was not incapacitated, a minor, or a person with a mental disability
- You have a mental defect that prevented you from understanding right and wrong
Get help from DiCindio Law
Being accused of committing an indecent assault or aggravated indecent assault can be frightening. These types of allegations can destroy your job, your employment prospects, your ability to find housing, your relationships, and your freedom. Retaining a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial for helping to present a strong defense to the charges against you.
Michael DiCindio of DiCindio Law is a former prosecutor and dedicated criminal defense attorney who has represented clients who have faced all types of criminal charges. His law firm is based in West Chester, and he defends people throughout the area. Contact our office today to learn about your case and the potential defenses that could be raised on your behalf by filling out our online contact form.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.
Mike DiCindio is a criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale as well as in Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Berks County.