The most common kinds of sex crimes (Title 18, Chapter 31 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/18/00.031..HTM) that are prosecuted in Pennsylvania include indecent exposure, sexual assault, statutory rape, and human trafficking. The penalties for these crimes can range from moderate to severe, but they are always prosecuted harshly. If you have been charged with a sex crime, call a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney right away.
Your attorney will work with you to help you understand the charges against you, what penalties you are facing, and what defenses you have when you appear in court for your trial.
Someone is guilty of indecent exposure if they expose their private parts (genitalia) in a public area or somewhere where other people may see it against their wishes.
If charged with indecent exposure, you are facing a third degree misdemeanor, meaning you may be facing up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2000. However, if it was in the presence of children under the age of sixteen, you are facing a first degree misdemeanor (up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000). The best defense for indecent exposure charges is lack of intent to expose.
Sexual assault is defined in Pennsylvania as having sexual intercourse with another person against their will. Indecent assault covers other sexual acts besides intercourse with another person against their will.
Sexual assault is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Indecent exposure is either a second or first degree misdemeanor, meaning up to two or five years in jail and up to $5000 or $10,000 in fines. The most common defense against sexual assault is that the other person did in fact consent.
In the state of Pennsylvania, it is against the law for an adult (age 18 or older) to have sexual intercourse with a minor (age 16 or younger). Even if the sex is consensual, it is still against the law, and you will be charged with statutory rape.
Pennsylvania considers statutory rape to be a felony of varying degrees depending on the age of the minor. Sex with minors under 13 is a first degree felony (up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000). Sex with minors older than 13 but under 16 is a second degree felony (up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000). Indecent assault of a minor, or sexual acts without penetration, result in a first degree misdemeanor (up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000). Because consent is not a valid defense for these crimes, those charged usually have to argue that the act never occurred.
Under Pennsylvania law, human trafficking is defined as recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining someone with the knowledge that that person will be forced into labor or services, often prostitution.
Human trafficking is a second degree felony, unless the person being trafficked is under 18 or unless that person suffers bodily injury. In that case, you will be charged with a first degree felony, facing up to twenty years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Defenses to human trafficking include a lack of knowledge about the person being forced into labor, a lack of intent, or that the criminal act never happened.
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These crimes are very serious, and if you are convicted, you face enormous fines and many years behind bars. Let our experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers help you with your case.