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Montgomery County, PA Sex Crimes Lawyer
Prosecutors and police are often very aggressive when going after people suspected of sex crimes. A conviction could result in you being forced to register as a sex offender, depending upon the offense you are charged with. Because the stakes are high, is important that you understand your legal rights if you are under investigation or have been charged with a sex crime. A Montgomery County sex crimes lawyer can help you to understand options for responding to these types of charges.
Sex Crimes in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Code criminalizes certain sexual behaviors in Title 18 Chapter 31. Offenses include:
- Rape: It is a first degree felony under Pennsylvania Code Section 2131 to use force or threats to make someone engage sexual intercourse. It is also a first degree felony to engage in intercourse with someone who is unconscious and cannot consent, who is mentally disabled and cannot consent, or who has been drugged to prevent resistance to intercourse.
- Statutory Sexual Assault: It is a second degree felony under Code Section 3122.1 to engage in consensual sexual intercourse with someone under 16 who you are not married to if you are between four and 11 years older than the minor. If you are more than 11 years older, it is a felony of the first degree.
- Indecent Exposure: It is a first degree misdemeanor to exposure your genitals in public if you know there are people present are under the age of 16. If those present are adults, then indecent exposure is a second degree misdemeanor.
You may also be charged for other sexual offenses including sexual assault; sexual intercourse with an animal; child pornography; unlawfully sharing sexual images; soliciting a prostitute; or offering or engaging in sex for money. A Montgomery County sex crimes lawyer can help you to understand your charges and decide how to plead.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Montgomery County, PA
If you are convicted of a sex crime, penalties will vary depending upon the degree of misdemeanor or felony you are charged with. For a first degree felony rape, the potential consequences could include 20 years incarceration. For a first degree misdemeanor offense, potential penalties include up to five years incarceration. For some offenses, like soliciting a prostitute, a first offense is not likely to result in any jail time.
Certain convictions will result in required registration as a sex offender. For example:
- You will be required to register for 15 years if you are convicted of a “Tier 1” sexual offense, including luring a minor into a building or vehicle; or committing indecent assault.
- You will be required to register for 25 years if you are convicted of a “Tier 2” offense, including the sexual exploitation of a child, or sex trafficking by force.
- Lifetime registration is required for “Tier 3” offenses, including rape.
The Pennsylvania State Police provide a complete list of different sex offenses that can necessitate registration.
How a Montgomery County, PA Sex Crimes Lawyer Can Help
A Montgomery County sex crimes lawyer can provide you with important legal advocacy as you respond to sex crimes charges. You will need to make many choices when responding to your charges, including how to plead and what defenses you should consider raising in court.
Your attorney can help you to talk to prosecutors and try to negotiate down to a lesser charge or lesser offense, or can assist you in preparing for trial and presenting evidence to a jury. You can try to introduce doubt about your guilt, or raise defenses like mistaken identity, or consent for certain types of offenses.
To learn more and to get help from a legal advocate, contact a Montgomery County sex crimes lawyer today.