Being charged with any crime is a terrible burden, but allegations of sexual assault and other sex crimes can be particularly damaging. Being charged with committing a sex offense can destroy a person’s self-esteem, hurt their personal and professional relationships, and impose anxiety, stress, and fear. A conviction could lead to years of incarceration, extremely expensive restitution fines, and mandatory placement on a public sex offender registry. If you have been charged with sexual assault, rape, or other sex crimes, it is critically important that you contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can.
Sexual Assault vs. Rape in Pennsylvania
Rape and sexual assault are distinct offenses with different definitions and penalties under Pennsylvania law. However, both offenses are extremely serious and are considered to be felonies.
Sexual assault is handled by Pa. Cons. Stat. §3124.1. Under §3124.1, a crime is sexual assault when a person:
“…engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.”
Rape is addressed by Pa. Cons. Stat. §3124. Under §3124, a crime is rape when a person “engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant” and:
- Uses or threatens force.
- Uses substances to make the victim more compliant (e.g. drugs, alcohol).
- The victim is unconscious.
- The victim is unable to consent due to a mental disability.
Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault in Philadelphia, PA
Sexual assault and rape charges can range from 3rd to 1st Degree Felony.
3rd Degree Felony
- Prison: 7 years
- Fine: $15,000
Institutional sexual assault is a 3rd Degree Felony. Sexual assault is institutional when an employee of any of the following institutions assaults a resident:
- Correctional Facilities
- Developmental Disability Facilities
- Juvenile Facilities
- Mental Health Institutions
- Residential Youth Facilities
2nd Degree Felony
- Prison: 10 years
- Fine: $25,000
1st Degree Felony
Rape is classified as a 1st Degree Felony.
- Prison: 20 years
- Fine: $100,000
Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry
In addition to the prison time and massive fines which are associated with many felony offenses, sexual offenses are unique in that they are frequently penalized by placement on a sex offender registry. Needless to say, placement on such a registry comes with a destructive social stigma, and can interfere with everyday life long after physical incarceration comes to an end.
If you are convicted of rape or sexual assault, you can be placed on the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry. You may be required to remain on the Registry for a period of 15 years to life.
Other offenses which can lead to placement on the Registry include:
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Abuse of Children
- Statutory Sexual Assault
- Unlawful Contact with a Minor
Once you have been added to the Registry, anyone with internet access will be able to view the following information about you:
- Conviction Date
- Date of Birth
- License Plate Number
- Location of School
- Location of Work
- Identifying Photographs
- Names and Nicknames
- Offense Details
- Physical Description
Call Our Philadelphia Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys Today
It is our unwavering belief that you are innocent until proven guilty. Regardless of the charges which have been made against you, you deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. Our Philadelphia sexual assault lawyers have over 30 years of experience defending clients from a broad spectrum of criminal charges, and however overwhelming your situation may feel, our aggressive attorneys are armed with the practical knowledge your case needs. Our legal team also includes former prosecuting attorneys, giving us a unique inside perspective on the cases we handle.
If you or someone you love has been charged with committing sexual assault, your future and the course of your life could be changed forever. You need to protect yourself against the charges. To speak confidentially with a Philadelphia sexual assault attorney, 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. Your first consultation is free of charge, so call now.