Being accused of sex-related crimes in Pennsylvania can have a lasting effect on a person's life. When there is a criminal conviction, the penalties are severe and, in many cases, do not end after the debt to society has been paid. The stigma with these allegations is vast and will hinder the person in myriad ways.
The requirement of registering as a sex offender will affect where the person lives and the types of jobs he or she can get. When dealing with these allegations, it is imperative to have a strong defense. One crime that is often misunderstood is indecent assault. Having legal advice on how to combat these allegations is a must.
If a person is accused of indecent contact with another and the alleged victim says he or she came into contact with seminal fluid, fecal matter or urine so the accused could be sexually aroused, it is indecent assault. In addition, the act must have happened: without the person's consent; by force; with the threat of force; while the person was unconscious and did not know the acts were occurring; as the person was impaired by drugs or other intoxicants that were administered by the accused to render the person compliant; while the person was suffering from a mental disability making consent impossible; when the person was younger than 13; or when the person was younger than 16 and the accused is more than four years older and they are unmarried.
The potential crimes and penalties for indecent assault are as follows: if it is done without consent or the age difference is four years, it is a second-degree misdemeanor. If it is done by force, via impairment or the alleged victim is mentally disabled, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. It will be a felony if it is a second or subsequent offense, there was a course of conduct with indecent assault by the accused, it was committed by touching the person's intimate areas or the intimate areas of the victim and the accused touched.
The penalties for these crimes can be severe and it is imperative for a person who is dealing with a criminal charge under this law to know what they are facing and how it can damage their lives. The accusations could be unfounded. There might have been a misunderstanding. No matter what, a legal defense is a must. Having help from a law firm that is experienced in state charges and federal charges related to sex crimes is the first step toward forming a coherent and effective defense.