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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Delaware County Sexual Battery Lawyer

Facing charges related to a sexual battery can be devasting and life-altering. Sexual battery, or sexual assault, refers to sexual intercourse that occurs without the consent of one party or due to a specific age difference between the parties. If you are accused of sexual assault or a related criminal offense, a Delaware County sexual battery lawyer may be able to assess your circumstances and help defend your reputation and standing in the community.

All too often, the public makes erroneous assumptions about situations that involve allegations of sexual or indecent assault. Even if entirely false, the publicity and rumors that can stem from these cases can be highly damaging to your life and your future. With the help of a skilled defense attorney, you may be able to prevent some of the potential harms to your personal and professional life.

Sexual Battery in Delaware County

Generally, under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1, sexual assault occurs when individuals engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with others and without their consent. Statutory sexual assault under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1 happens when individuals engage in sexual intercourse with others who under the age of 16 and are not their spouses, and they are at least four years older than the complainants.

Pennsylvania law also provides for indecent assault, which is an offense similar to sexual assault. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126, individuals commit indecent assault when they have any indecent contact with others without their consent, by force or threat of force, or in situations in which others are incapacitated in some way. For this statute, indecent assault includes any intentional contact with the seminal fluid, urine, or feces of individuals to arouse sexual desire in either party.

Indecent assault covers a broader range of behaviors than sexual assault. Some of the situations involving indecent contact that might trigger indecent assault charges include those in which the complainants are:

  • Unconscious or others know that they are unaware that the contact is occurring
  • Mentally disabled to the extent that they are incapable of consent
  • Substantially impaired and unable to judge or control their conduct due to others administering drugs or other intoxicants to them without their knowledge
  • Less than 13 years of age or less than 16 years of age and the accused persons are more than four years older than the complainants and not married to them

The consequences of a conviction for sexual assault or indecent assault can be highly damaging. As a result, accused individuals may wish to contact a knowledgeable lawyer in Delaware County for advice and counsel.

Penalties for Sexual Battery or Assault

Sexual assault typically is a second-degree felony. Statutory sexual assault also is a second-degree felony. However, statutory sexual assault becomes a first-degree felony if individuals are more than 11 years older than and not married to the complainants, who are under the age of 16.

For a second-degree felony, the potential penalties include a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $25,000 fine. These penalties increase to a prison term of up to 20 years and a $25,000 fine in the case of a first-degree felony.

Indecent assault can be a second-degree misdemeanor, first-degree misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony, depending on the nature of the alleged crime and other circumstances surrounding the incident. For instance, if the indecent assault involves a child under the age of 13, it is a first-degree misdemeanor, unless one of the following factors is present, in which case it is a third-degree felony:

  • Second or subsequent offense
  • A course of conduct of indecent assault
  • Involves the touching of sexual or intimate parts between the parties

A third-degree felony conviction can result in a seven-year prison sentence and a $15,000 fine. Even misdemeanor indecent assault convictions can be a negative mark that will appear on background checks by prospective employers. As a result, individuals who are facing allegations of sexual or indecent assault may wish to contact a sexual battery attorney in Delaware County for advice.

Speak with a Delaware County Sexual Battery Attorney Today

Facing charges of sexual assault, indecent assault, or related offenses can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. You may feel as if no one believes or even cares about your side of the story. In this situation, a Delaware County sexual battery lawyer may be able to help.

Sexual assault and indecent assault charges have the propensity to follow you around for the remainder of your life. They can make any attempts to better your personal or professional life very difficult. As such, getting legal advice may be essential.