If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual assault or rape in Pennsylvania, know that you have legal rights. A Pennsylvania sexual assault lawyer can review your case and help defend you against criminal charges. Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 680-7842 to find out what legal options you have.
What “Sexual Assault” Means Under Criminal Law
According to the Department of Justice, the term” sexual assault” is defined as “any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.”
In the state of Pennsylvania, it is categorized by the following:
Sexual assault: the act of forcible sexual intercourse.
Indecent assault: the act of any sexual interaction where the person did not give consent such as forcible penetration of a foreign object on or into a person’s genital area, touching of a person’s genitals or private areas, and involving a child to commit sexual acts.
From here, it is divided into different classifications that are subject to different punishments, such as rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and institutional sexual assault, amongst others.
Some of these are very technical terms found within the statutes of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. They come with a whole slew of specific definitions, different degrees of offense, and differing punishments.
Nonetheless, if convicted of any such assault, you may be facing heavy penalties, including prison time and fines, that can disrupt your life and ruin your future. A criminal defense attorney can help you through these matters to determine your legal options.
The Implications of a Sexual Assault Charge in Pennsylvania
A sexual assault charge is embarrassing, and it is frustrating to be falsely accused of rape or similar sexual assault. Furthermore, if you are convicted, your entire life can turn upside down by the consequences you may face.
These are some of the things you may face if you are convicted of sexual assault in Pennsylvania:
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Jail time
- Having to register as a sex offender
- Having a sex charge on your permanent record
- Uncertainty of employment
- Professional licenses suspended
- Paying damages to the victim
- Damaged reputation
Depending on the type of sexual assault you are being accused of, you may be looking at life in prison, according to the Pennsylvania Code Title 18, § 3121.
Additionally, it is not just you who will feel the weight of the penalties associated with a sex crime of this degree. Your family can also suffer. The emotional strain caused by the consequences of a sexual assault conviction against you will also affect them. You may also lose child custody.
You can try to avoid these serious punishments by enlisting in the help of an attorney. A Pennsylvania sexual assault lawyer can review your case and help defend your legal rights.
How a Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Lawyer Can Help You
People are sometimes wrongfully accused of rape crimes. Sometimes offenders of these crimes think the evidence showing their innocence is obvious. Sometimes it is, but it may not be enough. Do not let this happen to you.
The following is a list of things you may not be familiar with or prepared for but a sexual assault attorney can help to:
- Interpret complicated legal jargon
- Inform you of your rights
- Investigate the victim
- Determine if you had an alibi
- Protect you from being taken advantage of
- Build a case to help achieve a fair outcome based on the evidence
Criminal cases involving sexual assault are complicated matters and a defendant can especially feel helpless and hopeless in front of a jury or judge. The average person may not know what to expect in a rape case, including handling defenses from the prosecutor. A criminal defense lawyer can help guide you and counsel you while you are facing charges of sexual assault.
Your Next Steps After Being Charged With Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania
If you are facing sexual assault charges, you should stay calm and review the circumstances that led to the accusations against you. Remember that you do have legal options to pursue.
If you hire a criminal defense attorney, do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney. This includes the police. Once you retain an attorney for your case, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions, make statements, or provide any tests or DNA to investigators. Leave this up to your legal team.
You should also save any evidence, such as texts, documents, and receipts, that may prove your innocence. Anything related to the criminal allegations against you can help your lawyer build a case in your defense.
Contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. to Protect Your Rights
Your future depends on the outcome of your criminal case. Having a Pennsylvania sexual assault lawyer by your side can help protect your rights. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we want to help you to defend your rights and help you avoid significant penalties if you have been accused of sexual assault in or around Montgomery County.
Once you hire us, we are available whenever you need us, by phone, text, email, or whatever method you are most comfortable with. We can explain all the legal terms to make sure you understand all your options before we proceed with your case. We are then able to conduct an investigation, including interviewing witnesses, taking statements, and reviewing the evidence in your case.
You have the right to pursue legal help to back you in your criminal case. To get started, speak with a member of our team by calling McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. at (610) 680-7842.