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Sex Crimes FAQ

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney

Sex Crimes Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Go to Jail?

If you are convicted of a sex offense in Pittsburgh, it is likely that you will be forced to serve jail time. Prosecutors, judges and elected officials love to prove they are tough on crime. Rarely is that more true than when a sex offense is involved. Your best defense is an aggressive offense. Please contact an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer.

Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

Probably. If you are convicted. There are a wide variety of sex offenses for which registration is required, typically for a minimum period of 10 years, but for many cases registration is required for life. Your defense lawyer must work to minimize these risks, either by beating the charges, reaching a plea agreement or winning a reduction or dismissal of charges requiring registration.

Is Consent a Defense to a Pittsburgh Sex Offense?

Unless a minor is involved, consent may be a valid defense to a sex crime in Pennsylvania. However, lack of dissent is not a defense. This often arises when an alleged victim is intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated. Or when a victim lacks the mental capacity to resist.

Is Entrapment a Defense to a Sex Crime?

Entrapment may occur in the increasing number of cases in which police conduct sting operations, typically to catch those soliciting prostitution or to catch online criminals. Essentially, entrapment means law enforcement enticed a defendant to commit a crime he otherwise would not have committed. An experienced sex crimes defense attorney in Pittsburgh must always carefully review arrests that result from law enforcement sting operations.

What Are the Valid Defenses to Sex Offenses in Pennsylvania?

There are many ways to defend a sex crime in addition to actual innocence. False allegations is a leading cause of unfair charges. Challenging probable cause, search warrants and physical evidence may also result in a reduction or dismissal of the charge. Consent can be a defense. And challenging the manner in which a defendant is charged can have a dramatic impact on a case. Sex charges are more subjective than most any other area of criminal law. Many charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony. Arguing the manner in which a defendant is charged can have a positive impact on the outcome of a case. Reaching a plea agreement may also be beneficial to a client. Prosecutors often charge a case higher than the expected outcome as a means of intimidating a defendant. In reality, these are often cases based largely on the testimony of a victim. And, in many cases, a victim wants to avoid being forced to testify in open court.

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