In addition to the criminal penalties associated with sex crimes in Pennsylvania, these types of crimes can also damage your reputation and provide the accused with a great deal of stress. For this reason, the following is information on what to expect before and during a sex crimes case in Philadelphia. If you would like to learn more specific information about your charges or learn how you can build the strongest defense possible contact a Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer today.
Sexual crimes in Philadelphia can be charged as both felonies and misdemeanors. Usually penetration differentiates the two types of crimes. Obviously felonies carry a higher sentence and penetration is connected directly with this type of sex crime. However, a conviction for even a misdemeanor can require mandatory reporting under Meghan’s law and further prohibit participation in work related and social activities involving children, elderly persons, and mentally challenged individuals. Either felony or misdemeanor the crimes alleged as sexual crimes can destroy an individual’s life, liberty, and future.
In Philadelphia, sex crimes are prosecuted vigorously by the Family Violence Unit of the District Attorneys Office. With the aid of multiple government agencies, experts, forensic technicians and DNA scientists prosecutors are able to build there cases.
Sex crimes in Philadelphia can be heard by a Judge or Jury with the accused and prosecution having the right to allow either. Over my two decades of defending sex crimes in Philadelphia jury trials are the most common for these charges. However under certain circumstances a Judge sitting without a jury may be the better choice. Each case is unique and each case has different consequences. Only an experienced Philadelphia sex crimes attorney can advise the accused on what the best route to defend their case is.
Sex crimes cases can often reflect upon constitutional issues. An accused has the right to remain silent and no negative inference can be made from their silence. Additionally, an individual can object to court ordered DNA samples taken from the accused. A victims prior record and prior false reporting can be requested despite constitutional protections. Lastly, attempting to obtain medical records including psychiatric records are at issue and often conflict with constitutional protections. An experienced Philadelphia sex crimes lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to fight for what is needed to prove your innocence.
In Philadelphia there is no requirement to be tested; nonetheless, a Court may order the victim and/or the accused to submit to one. These are constitutional issues that are often fought pretrial. However, in cases where the person accused is in custody then such a test is always performed.