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Pittsburgh Sexual Assault Lawyer

Representing Clients in Sexual Assault Cases in Western Pennsylvania

All across the nation, crimes involving sexual assault and rape are viewed upon as some of the most heinous actions against a victim. For this reason, social and legal ramifications for someone who is charged with sexual assault are especially severe and prosecution of these cases is done with the utmost determination to obtain a conviction. Because of the social bias against alleged sex offenders, it is much easier to accuse someone of sexual assault than it is to accuse them of any other crime. In both the courtroom and in the media, there is a significant lean towards the accuser, the alleged victim of sexual assault, which interferes with the defendant's right of being presumed "innocent until proven guilty."

With the legal environment bent towards alleged victims of sexual assault, one must wonder if there is anyone willing to provide the accused with an equal chance at being proven innocent. At Blaine Jones Law, LLC, we believe that everyone should have access to quality legal defense no matter what they are being accused of. Our Pittsburgh sex crime attorneys stand ready to defend those accused of sexual assault and to demand a just and fair trial, regardless of what has allegedly taken place.

Pennsylvania lists a number of different charges under sexual assault, depending on the type of assault and the nature of the victim. The fundamental action required for a sexual assault is any type of penetration into the body of the alleged victim. The only exception to this is a charge of indecent sexual assault, which is explained in further detail below. While charges of sexual assault may vary by degree and severity of punishment, one thing remains clear: anyone who is convicted of any type of sexual assault will invariably experience long-term ramifications.

Types of Sexual Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

As previously mentioned, there are number of kinds of assault that can take place, according to Pennsylvania law. Factors that determine what type of charge someone faces for an alleged offense include:

  • The social position of the defendant
  • The age of the victim, especially in comparison to the age of the defendant
  • The extent of bodily injury
  • The methods used to "arouse sexual desire" in the defendant

Generally speaking, most sexual assault charges are processed as felony offenses, meaning that jail time is almost a definitive facet of a conviction sentence. Felony offenses in Pennsylvania are measured by degree, from first degree to fifth degree, which will determine the minimum sentence for a conviction. Some of the most common sexual assault charges, other than rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in Pittsburgh include:

Indecent Assault
This offense has the potential to be the least serious under Pennsylvania law. Indecent assault occurs when the defendant forces the accuser to come into indecent contact with anything for the purpose of arousing his or her sexual desire. A charge of indecent assault may vary between a misdemeanor and felony depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. Penetration does not have to occur in order for an individual to be charged with indecent assault. However, the existence of penetration has the potential to increase the charge to one of aggravated indecent assault.

Institutional Sexual Assault
Any sexual assault that occurs between a trusted professional and his or her client/patient is considered institutional sexual assault. Certain occupations inevitably involve a special degree of trust by the patient or client towards the professional. In these times, it may be easier for the professional in the position of influence to abuse his or her client's trust by crossing the boundaries of decent behavior. According to this charge, certain institutional employees are held to higher standards of behavior because of their position and deviation from that standard for the purpose of sexual gratification can constitute criminal penalties.

Sexual Assault on a Child
This is perhaps one of the most widely discussed charges, involving alleged victims under the age of 14. Sexual assault on a child, also known as statutory sexual assault, occurs when an adult has a sexual relationship with a child under the age of 14. Consent does not play a role in sexual assault involving children, meaning that any sexual intercourse that occurs between an adult defendant and a child under the specified age is reason for a criminal charge of statutory sexual assault.

Arrested for a sexual assault?

Being accused of sexual assault can have a negative impact on the rest of your life, compromising personal, social, and employment relationships as well as resulting in a permanent criminal record. In some cases, you may be required to register as a sex offender, which will haunt you for the rest of your life. Because of the dire consequences related to a sexual assault conviction, you will want a skilled and experienced attorney working on your behalf to minimize the damage to your life that may result. By discussing your case with a Pittsburgh sexual assault attorney at our firm, you will be taking a proactive step in your defense.

If you have been accused of sexual assault in Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas of western Pennsylvania, it is crucial that you contact our firm to arrange for a consultation with a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner our firm is involved in your case, the more effective we can be in pursuing defense actions on your behalf. When you retain the services of our attorney, we will go to work immediately in investigating the charges you may be facing and exploring all of the legal options available. Our criminal defense firm provides aggressive and capable legal representation to clients involved in these very serious charges.

Blaine Jones Law, LLC - Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 600 Grant St #660 Pittsburgh, PA 15219. View Map
Phone: (412) 475-0062
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