Being accused of a crime is never a pleasant experience, but to be accused of sexual assault can be particularly embarrassing and stressful. When you face such a serious charge, your life is literally on the line, and your well-being hinges directly on whether or not you are convicted. Your reputation, your freedom, and your basic rights as a human being are all up in the air as you await trial. Just the stigma of such an accusation can follow you for years, and a conviction can have a lifetime of negative connotations and repercussions, not just for you if you are sent to prison, but for your family as well. If you have been accused of or arrested for sexual assault, reach out to an experienced and Butler County sexual assault attorney immediately for help.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
In the United States, all defendants in criminal court are innocent until proven guilty. And being charged with sexual assault does not automatically mean that your future is sealed with a guilty verdict. An experienced Butler County sexual assault attorney looks at elements that may be true in each sexual assault case, such as the existence of consent between adults or issues with intoxication during the event, along with other viable defenses. Oftentimes, false charges are filed in sexual assault cases, and disproving the allegations against you is of the utmost importance as a defendant. Your liberty depends on it, which makes it important to choose an experienced and aggressive attorney who understands the nuances involved in such a monumental case and is willing to serve as an advocate on your behalf.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Pennsylvania
Aside from the humiliation of being dubbed a sexual offender or predator, sex crimes in Pennsylvania are among the state’s most serious offenses. The state of Pennsylvania is extremely tough when it comes to sentencing for those individuals convicted of sexual assault. A first-degree sexual assault is a felony offense that comes with a 20-year jail sentence and fines of up to $25,000.
In addition to these stiff penalties, convicted sex offenders must register with the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification system known as SORNA. The whereabouts of SORNA registrants are publicized and tracked, sometimes for the life. And convicted offenders who fail to register a move or other required action face additional felony charges and time in prison as well as additional fines. And once you become a convicted sex offender, getting a job or even renting an apartment also becomes more difficult, since employers and landlords generally look on convicted felons with disdain and mistrust.