Sex crimes are treated in a very serious fashion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The types of sex crimes with which an individual may be charged often involve either unsolicited sex with adults and/or sexual crimes against children. Sex crimes often involve the most protected individuals in our community, as such, these crimes are taken very seriously by the courts.
In general, most offenses involving sexual crimes are subject to Megan’s Law, which requires authorities to notify communities of the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders. Often, Megan’s Law requires that an individual report to a sexual abuse registry for life. Such registries can, in turn, prevent that individual from living in a particular area, from obtaining certain employment, or from going to any area in which children and/or individuals of a protected vulnerable class exist.
Moreover, in Pennsylvania, sexual crimes generally carry the longest incarceration sentences and harshest civil penalties for almost all crimes. Such consequences are compounded by the fact that courts are often not very fair in the treatment of individuals they deem sexually violent predators.
Sex crimes are sentenced very seriously in Chester County, Pennsylvania; the negative consequences associated with a sex crime conviction can affect the convicted individual for life. Therefore, it is essential that any individual targeted as a possible defendant in a sex crime in Chester County, Pennsylvania immediately reach out to an experienced sexual assault attorney. Only such an attorney can work to ensure that such an individual’s rights, reputation, and employment are protected.
In general, sexual offenses in Chester County can be treated as anything from misdemeanors of the third degree to felonies of the first degree. The manner in which a sexual offense is sentenced is dependent upon a number of factors, such as the nature of the alleged act, the age of the alleged victim, and the mental capacity of the alleged victim.
More serious sex charges, such as rape or involuntary deviate sexual assault, are graded as felonies of the first degree. As such, sentences for such crimes can carry 10 to 20 years of incarceration and $2,500 in fines, per offense.
Other serious sexual offense charges range from felonies of the second degree to felonies of the third degree, depending on the age of the victim, and the use of force. For example, statutory rape is considered a felony of the second degree. Statutory rape occurs when an individual has sex with an individual between the ages of 16 and 18, and who is four or more years younger than him or her. As a felony of the second degree, statutory rape can carry an incarceration sentence of up to 10 years, as well as hefty fines. Here, it is important to note that, in statutory rape cases, the presence of consent is not an adequate defense.
The sentencing process is just as important as the trial process. However, the right attorney can help to ensure his or her client has the best chance of an acquittal or, in the alternative, favorable sentencing that does not involve any Megan’s Law mandatory reporting requirements.