Being accused of a sex crime like indecent assault is devastating for both you and your family. You may find that your relationships and employment have already been affected by the charge, alone. It is also incredibly scary as you face large fines and possibly a lengthy prison sentence if you are convicted. You also face the restrictions and embarrassment of being placed on the sex offender registry.
Even if the court of public opinion has already determined you are guilty, you have the right to a fair trial and to defend yourself against these allegations. A Norristown indecent assault lawyer can help by listening to your side of the story, gathering evidence, and providing an aggressive defense.
Attorney David McKenzie III is a former criminal prosecutor who can put his insider knowledge to work for you and defend you against the indecent assault charges. For a free review of your case, contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 680-7842.
Understanding Indecent Assault
According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (PA C.S.) § 3126, someone is guilty of indecent assault if they intentionally and unjustifiably touch a victim’s private area and the person does so:
- Without the victim’s consent
- By forcible compulsion
- By threat of forcible compulsion
- While the victim is unconscious or unaware that the event is occurring
- By administering drugs, intoxicants, or other substances to prevent the victim from resisting
- To a victim who suffers from a mental disability
- To a victim who is less than 13
- To a victim who is less than 16 and the person is four or more years older than the victim
Another closely related crime is aggravated indecent assault, where the person engages in penetration of a part of the victim’s body, per PA C.S. § 3125. Like indecent assault, the person commits aggravated indecent assault when they engage in even slight penetration if:
- They do so without the consent of the victim
- Do so by forcible compulsion
- The victim is unconscious or does not know the penetration is occurring
- They have given the victim drugs or intoxicants without the victim’s knowledge in order to prevent them from resisting
- The victim has a disability, is under the age of 13, or is under the age of 16, and the person is four or more years older
If you are facing one of these charges or another type of sex crime, a Norristown indecent assault lawyer can help explain the charges, listen to your side of the story, and work with you to form a strong defense. For a free, no-risk review of your case, contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 680-7842.
Penalties for Indecent Assault
The penalties under PA C.S. Title 18 for indecent assault vary depending on the exact nature of the crime.
Second Degree Misdemeanor
The crime is a second-degree misdemeanor if the victim is under 16, and the person is four years older, or if the person touches the victim without their consent. If you are convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor, you could face a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to two years.
The crime is a first-degree misdemeanor if the person has indecent contact with a victim and does so by forcible compulsion or threat of forcible compulsion, by using drugs or intoxicants to prevent the victim from resisting, the victim is unconscious, has a mental disability, or is under the age of 13. For this offense, a conviction could mean a fine of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to five years.
If someone has been convicted of indecent assault in the past, another conviction would result in a third-degree felony charge. It also is a third-degree felony if the person touched their sexual parts with those of the victim. A third-degree felony carries a fine of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of up to seven years.
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is a second-degree felony in most cases. However, if the victim is under the age of 13 and the crime happened against their consent, by forcible compulsion, by threat of forcible compulsion, the victim has a disability, was unconscious, or had been drugged to prevent them from resisting, then it is a first-degree felony.
A second-degree felony carries a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment of up to 10 years. According to PA C.S. Title 18 § 1101, a first-degree felony can carry a fine of up to $25,000 and, according to PA C.S. Title 18 § 1103, a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
How a Norristown Indecent Assault Lawyer Can Help
As you can see, the ramifications of a conviction for indecent assault or another sex crime are severe. It could mean enormous fines and potentially years of your life in prison.
A Norristown indecent assault lawyer can help by investigating your case, examining the evidence, and contesting invalid evidence. They can also work with experts to gather and examine forensic evidence while crafting a strong defense for your case.
A defense lawyer with experience working on cases like these can explain the charges you are facing, listen to your side of the story, and help you understand your rights. Being charged with the crime does not mean you are guilty or that you will be proven guilty. However, memories do fade with time, and the sooner you contact a defense lawyer, the sooner they can get to work gathering evidence related to your case.
The compassionate team at McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. understands that your future and your rights are at stake. We are here to fight for your rights. Contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 680-7842.