Unfortunately, being accused of committing a crime is the beginning of one of the most stressful and challenging experiences of most people’s lives. The jarring and alien process of being arrested, brought to jail, fingerprinted, photographed, and questioned can be extremely traumatic, to say nothing of the uncertainty ahead. Needless to say, people who are facing criminal allegations tend to worry about what impact their present situation may ultimately have on their professional reputation, their ability to earn income, and even their freedom.
For individuals who have been accused of committing a crime related to sexual assault, there is often a special set of concerns pertaining to the charges. Defendants may worry about being placed on a registry. They may worry about losing their rights to visit certain venues or live in certain communities, or about the way other people’s perceptions of them may change. While the details vary from one person to the next, the common thread is a feeling of anxiety, worry, and fear. So what should you do to protect yourself?
How is Sexual Assault Defined in Pennsylvania?
Under Pa. Cons. Stat. §3124.1, a person commits sexual assault:
“…when that person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.”
It is also important to be aware that under Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3122.1, in cases where the complainant is under the age of 16, it is considered to be statutory sexual assault.
Additionally, under Pa. Cons. Stat. §3124.2, if a person commits sexual assault while he or she is an employee of certain types of agencies, sexual assault charges may be considered institutional sexual assault charges. These agencies include:
- Correctional Facilities
- Facilities for the Developmentally Challenged
- Juvenile Facilities
- Mental Health Institutions
- Residential Youth Facilities
Penalties for Sexual Assault Crimes in Pennsylvania
The penalties for a sexual assault conviction vary depending on the type of sexual assault which has been determined. However, all Pennsylvania sexual assault offenses are considered felonies. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and can be penalized very severely.
Sexual Assault and Statutory Sexual Assault Penalties
Sexual assault and statutory sexual assault are considered to be 2nd Degree Felonies. The maximum penalties include:
- Prison: 10 years
- Fine: $25,000
Institutional Sexual Assault Penalties
Institutional sexual assault is considered to be a 3rd Degree Felony. The maximum penalties include:
- Prison: 7 years
- Fine: $15,000
The Sex Offender Registry
In addition to huge fines and long periods of incarceration in prison, individuals who are convicted of crimes which are sexual in nature must register with the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry. The Pennsylvania Registry is also visible through the National Registry. The nature of your conviction determines the amount of time you must be placed on the Registry:
- Sexual Assault: Life (Tier III)
- Statutory Sexual Assault: 25 years-life (Tier II-Tier III)
- Institutional Sexual Assault: 15 years-life (Tier I-Tier III)
If you are placed on the Sex Offender Registry, you will be searchable and visible to any member of the public who wishes to visit the Registry website. This includes your friends, family members, neighbors, employers, potential employers, landlords, and potential landlords.
Data which the public will be able to view includes your name, birth date, address, place of education, place of work, license plate number, date of conviction, description of conviction, and the victim’s status as a minor where applicable. There will also be a photograph of you, accompanied by any pertinent information about scars, tattoos, and other physical features.
Our Bensalem, PA Sexual Assault Lawyers Can Fight for Your Protection
At the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we understand how nerve-wracking criminal charges can be. Our mission is to minimize the stresses you are facing by guiding you through every step of your case with care and transparency; vigilantly protecting your legal rights; and providing comprehensive and aggressive defense strategies in the courtroom.
For more than two decades, our knowledgeable and experienced sexual assault attorneys have been providing the highest quality criminal defense litigation for men and women accused of committing sexual assault in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. It’s our firm’s philosophy that regardless of the allegations which have been made against you, you are innocent until proven guilty. No matter how complicated your case may seem, our sexual assault lawyers have more than 20 years of experience handling these matters. With a Bensalem, Pennsylvania sexual assault lawyer from Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates supporting you, you’re in good hands.
If you are facing allegations of committing sexual assault, a conviction could dramatically alter the course of the rest of your life. You could lose your freedom, your career, and your personal relationships, and if you are placed on the Sex Offender Registry, you face being socially ostracized by your community. It is critical that you speak with a Bensalem, Pennsylvania sexual assault attorney as soon as you are able. For a free and confidential case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.