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Sex Offender Sentencing

Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney

Sex Offender Sentencing

The sentencing of sex offenders is among the most complex issues a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can handle. Many sex offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Law enforcement often likes to pile on charges – a felony charge for each illicit image in a child pornography case, for example. Sentences can run consecutively or concurrently. And issues involving sex-offender registration can impact the rest of their life.

Attorney Blaine Jones has the knowledge and experience to protect a client's rights during sentencing in all manner of sex offense cases. Work done on the front end of a case, either in preparing for trial or negotiating a plea with prosecutors, can go a long way toward determining a defendant's future in the wake of a sex-offense conviction.

Pittsburgh Sex Crimes: Grooming & Other Enhancements

Additionally, there are many enhancements a defendant may face as a result of being charged with a sex crime in Pennsylvania. In 2010, the state increased the penalties for "grooming" offenses, or those offenses perpetrated by a person in position of trust, such as a priest or teacher. Those charged with corruption of a minor will now face a felony rather than a misdemeanor. That increases the penalty to up to 7 years in prison.

An additional 10-year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine may also be applied when a victim is incapacitated by a drug or other substance, without knowledge of the victim. Lawmakers also continue to increase the penalties and sanctions for conviction. GPS monitoring devices and social networking restrictions could be in the future for those convicted of a sex offense. And local governments continue to push the limits of restrictions. In 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a law in Allegheny County that would have prohibited offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a child care facility, school, public park or recreation center. The court said the law would create "localized penal colonies" of sex offenders with little access to jobs, families or support.

Pittsburgh Sex Offender Registration & Sentencing

Among the most critical aspects of sex-offender sentencing are the requirements of registration and other restrictions imposed by the court. In some cases, restricting a defendant's access to children may prevent him from visiting relatives or even returning home. An experienced Pittsburgh criminal lawyer must use his knowledge and influence in best representing a client's interest during plea negotiations or sentencing.

And few sentencing requirements will have a greater impact on a client's right to privacy and quality of life than sex-offender registration requirements. Depending upon the crimes for which a defendant is convicted, registration can be required for a period of 10 years to life. Failure to register or comply with the law can result in a new felony charge and lengthy prison sentence. Among other requirements, offenders must register with law enforcement whenever they move, change jobs or enroll in school.

Those clients who are deemed sexual predators by the court could face community notification of their past crimes, including their residential address and mug shot. These are just a few of the issues that must be weighed when dealing with sex offender sentencing issues in Pennsylvania. Each case is unique. Even in cases in which a prosecutor offers a deal agreeable to the defendant, an experienced attorney must keep an eye on the sex-offender reporting ramifications and all of the other details that comprise the true nature of a client's sentence.

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