Scranton Sex Crimes Lawyer
It is extremely challenging any time a person is charged with a sex crime. From the time of arrest, throughout the investigation and the trial, an individual’s life will change dramatically. It can affect a person’s reputation, and if they have made any mistakes at all in the past, they will likely be brought forward and scrutinized. This will all be done in order to prove a person is guilty, even when they are completely innocent.
It is for these reasons and more that hiring a sex crime lawyer in Scranton is so important. An attorney will work hard to exonerate innocent individuals so they can retain their freedom and reclaim their reputation. Sex crime charges are some of the most serious in Pennsylvania, and no one should try to fight them on their own.
Types of Sex Crimes in Pennsylvania
There are many different sex crimes a person may face in Pennsylvania. These include:
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Indecent assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual harassment
- Indecent exposure and lewdness
- Possession, creation, or distribution of obscene materials
- Prostitution and solicitation
- Rape including statutory rape and date rape
- Unlawful contact with a minor, with the intention of committing a sex offense
Penalties for Sex Crimes
Due to the fact that sex crimes are considered to be extremely serious in Pennsylvania, many think that all of them are charged as felonies. However, this is not always the case. However, even a misdemeanor charge for a sex crime can carry very harsh penalties. Some sex crimes have associated penalties within the statute for the crime. Others do not have penalties included within the law. When that is the case, sex crimes will be penalized as follows:
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail, and a maximum fine of $5,000
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Third-degree felony: Up to seven years in jail, and a maximum fine of $15,000
- Second-degree felony: Up to ten years in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000
- First-degree felony: Up to 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $25,000
In some cases, a harsher punishment may be part of a sex crime case. Rape is one such crime in which enhanced penalties may be considered. Individuals convicted of rape that substantially impaired the ability of the victim to consent through the use of alcohol or drugs may be given a more severe sentence. This can include ten years in prison, as well as an additional fine of $10,000. Those convicted of raping a child may face life in prison due to harsher sentences.
The Sex Offender Registry
Anyone convicted of a sex crime in Pennsylvania is required to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registry operates on a tiered system, with some offenders required to be listed on the registry for only a certain number of years.
There are three tiers included in the sex offender registry. Tier I offenses require those convicted of a sex crime to be registered for 15 years. Individuals are required to register every year with the registry. Tier II offenses are required to be listed on the registry for 25 years, with registration occurring every six months. Tier III offenses, the worst on the registry, require individuals to be registered for the rest of their life, with registration occurring every three months.
It is highly recommended that anyone required to register on the sex offender registry obtain the help of a sex crime lawyer that can help them do it. Failing to register, either after being initially convicted of a crime or any time an individual is required to re-register, is considered an additional crime. It is also important individuals ensure they are properly registered. If they are not, this can also constitute an additional crime. An attorney will have the knowledge necessary to help individuals register, and re-register when required.
Contact a Scranton Sex Crime Lawyer That Can Help
Being charged with a sex crime can feel like a hopeless situation. However, it is not. There are several defenses available for sex crimes and a sex crime attorney in Scranton can help individuals use them to build a strong defense for their case.
At the office of Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire, we understand just how devastating these charges can be. They can prevent a person from obtaining employment, can tarnish their reputation, and can even keep a person from obtaining a loan or admission to a post-secondary school. If you have been charged with a sex crime, do not hesitate to call us at 570-558-5970. We offer free consultations, so contact us today so we can begin reviewing your case.