You have probably seen the stories on the news about someone being arrested for a sex crime, but you may not have put much thought into it. The mugshot goes up and you see a list of charges, all of which seem heinous.
But what happens if you have been charged with a sex crime?
What if you are the one on the news?
At SMT Legal, we understand that these charges are serious. If you or a loved one are facing a sex crime charge, call us today so we can provide you with a Washington County sex crimes attorney who will have your back from the beginning and work to get these charges dismissed.
What Can Happen?
There are various sex crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. This can include:
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual assault
- Indecent assault
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Internet sex crimes
- Spousal rape
- Statutory rape
You could also face charges against a minor, including:
- Child pornography charges
- Child sexual assault
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Child molestation
What Are The Penalties?
Anyone convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania faces serious penalties. Consider the following:
- Second-degree misdemeanor can mean 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- First-degree misdemeanor can mean 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Third-degree felony can mean up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
- Second-degree felony can result in 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
- First-degree felony can result in 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Please note that nearly everyone convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania will be required to register as a sex offender. This is usually life-long and has major consequences including having your photo, address, and charges posted on the internet for everyone to see. This can make it difficult to find a place to live and nearly impossible to find a good job.
Why This Is Tough
Juries are notoriously tough on those accused of committing a sex crime. Prosecutors use this to their advantage when it comes to making plea deals. Even if they have little evidence, they can threaten to take the case to a jury, leaving you facing the maximum sentence for each crime you were charged with. This can be detrimental because, as is often the case with these crimes, prosecutors and law enforcement throw every possible charge at an alleged suspect and hope that some of them stick.