Philadelphia Sex Crimes Lawyer

Sex crimes carry not only severe penalties but also a harsh societal stigma that can follow you far into the future. Mandatory sex offender registration can ensure that no one forgets about a sex crime conviction. A Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer could explain the full implications of a conviction for a sex crime and help you determine the best defense strategy in your case.

Allegations of a sex crime can result in your community, family, and friends prejudging you before you have entered a courtroom. Even when accusations are false or exaggerated, you still may be subject to unfair scrutiny by the public. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to assist you in defending yourself against these accusations and clearing your name.

Common Sex Crimes Charges

Pennsylvania law provides for various sex crimes that carry the potential for a range of penalties. Most sex crimes are felony offenses, although a few can be charged as misdemeanor offenses, depending on the situation. Regardless of the circumstances, individuals facing charges for any of these sex offenses may wish to contact a sex crimes lawyer in Philadelphia for advice and guidance.

Sexual Assault

One common sex crime in Philadelphia is sexual assault. Under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3124.1, sexual assault occurs when individuals have non-consensual intercourse with others. Another variation of this offense is statutory sexual assault according to 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3122.1, which occurs when individuals engage in intercourse with others under the age of 16 and are at least four years older.

Indecent Assault

Indecent assault involves specific non-consensual sexual contact with others, as well as sexual contact carried out by force or threats of force, or when others are incapacitated in some way. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126, indecent assault can be a misdemeanor or felony offense, as it covers a broader variety of situations than sexual assault. For more information, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.


One of the sexual offenses with the potential for the most severe punishments is rape, as defined in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121. Rape is a high-level felony offense that occurs in six specifically defined situations, such as where individuals have non-consensual sex with others by force or while they are unconscious.

Potential Penalties for Sex Crimes

The penalties for a sex crime conviction vary widely depending on the nature of the offense and in many cases, the relative ages of the accused persons and the alleged victims of the crime. For example, sexual assault typically is a second-degree felony, but it can be a first-degree felony in some cases. Rape also is a first-degree felony offense.

A conviction for a second-degree felony can carry the potential for a maximum ten-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. For a first-degree felony, the potential prison sentence increases to 20 years and a $25,000 fine. Due to the gravity of these criminal charges, individuals may want to get the advice of an experienced sex crimes attorney in Philadelphia.

Indecent assault charges can range from a second-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony based on the circumstances involved in the offense. A third-degree felony conviction can result in seven years in prison and payment of a $15,000 fine.

Misdemeanor offenses also carry the potential for incarceration, from two years for a second-degree misdemeanor to five years for a first-degree misdemeanor, plus varying fines.

Let a Philadelphia Sex Crimes Attorney Assist You

Charges for a sex crime can destroy your reputation, cost you thousands in fines, and put you behind bars for years. You also may be subject to sex offender registration, which makes your conviction publicly known to anyone you might encounter, including prospective employers and landlords.

If you may face these sanctions as a result of your criminal charges, you may need the assistance that only a Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer can offer.

Once you become aware that someone has accused you of a sex crime, you may find it beneficial to act quickly and consult legal counsel about your rights and options. Getting legal advice may be the only means of effectively defending yourself against these grave charges.