The legal consequences and social stigma that come with being accused or convicted of a sex crime can affect all aspects of your life. If you have been accused of a sex crime, it’s important to know exactly what charges you could be facing and which penalties may apply. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and advise you of the consequences a particular level of sex crime may carry.
Felony Sex Crimes in PA
Generally, rape is defined as forcible sexual intercourse and is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse refers to using an object to penetrate another person’s body, and is also a felony in PA. There are many other sex crimes in Pennsylvania that can be charged as felonies, including statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, and institutional sexual assault. Potential penalties include:
- A third-degree felony conviction can result in up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
- A second-degree felony conviction can result in up to ten years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine
- A first-degree felony conviction can result in up to 20 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes in PA
Crimes like indecent exposure, prostitution, solicitation, and lewd conduct are charged as misdemeanors in Pennsylvania, and may result in the following penalties:
- A second-degree misdemeanor conviction can result in two years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine
- A first-degree misdemeanor can result in up to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine
Regardless of whether you’re facing felony or misdemeanor charges, it’s critical to seek the counsel of an experienced sex crimes lawyer. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected and may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case.
Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registry
Although some crimes are considered more serious than others, those convicted of sex crimes usually have to register as sex offenders under PA Megan’s Law and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Depending on the crime, generally, an offender is classified as a Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III offender, although there are other classifications for sexually violent predators and sexually violent delinquent children.
These distinctions are very important, as the length of time someone is required to register depends on their classification. Failing to register is a felony, and can result in prison time and up to $25,000 in fines.
Sex offender registration requirements in Pennsylvania are as follows:
- Tier I – 15 Year Registration
- Tier II – 25 Year Registration
- Tier III – Lifetime Registration
- Sexual Violent Predator – Lifetime Registration
- Sexual Violent Delinquent Child – Lifetime Registration
Juvenile offenders are no longer required to register in Pennsylvania unless they are classified by the Court as a Sexually Violent Delinquent Child.
Whether you have been accused of a crime or you’re a victim of sexual assault, our experienced team of legal professionals can help. Our criminal defense attorneys, domestic violence lawyers, and drug crime lawyers provide exceptional legal representation in all matters of criminal law without judgment. If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, we can assist you with filing a Protection from Abuse order as well.