Sex crimes cover a large range of offenses and they are very serious charges to be accused of. False imprisonment, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault are just a few of the crimes classified as sex crimes under Pennsylvania law. Depending on the particular grading of each offense, a conviction for a sex crime will result in the Defendant being required to register with the Pennsylvania State Police for a period of 15 years, 25 years, or even for the rest of their life. This registration status can make it difficult for a parent to visit their child’s school, defend themselves in custody court and it can have irreparable harm to a person’s reputation in the community. These cases must be handled with care and with extreme attention to detail.
Mounting a defense for a sex offense case is a careful process. There are some common defenses that are used to defeat these types of cases. The Pittsburgh criminal attorneys at Joe Pometto Law have experience defending cases on the theory of consent, alibi and motive. For example, in many types of sex offenses, there may be a material question of fact as to whether one party consented to sexual contact. Understanding how these facts play out in a court of law is crucial to defending sex offense cases.
Another tactic used by defense attorneys is to have the prosecution reduce the grading of the crime from a sex offense to some other type of non-registration charge. This is sometimes possible, but not always. Such a settlement can be favorable to all parties involved as the person accused can avoid registration while the prosecution can still obtain a conviction and see that the Defendant is supervised in the future. These cases are so sensitive, that many people accused of such crimes would rather serve time in jail than become a registered sex offender. Sex offender status can damage someone for the rest of their life. We have a Pittsburgh criminal attorney standing by, prepared to defend these types of cases, aggressively and diligently.
A further classification of sex offenses, which only make quality representation at the outset even more important, are offenses related to the registration itself. Once a person is classified as a sex offender, and they fail to meet the demands of registration, the Commonwealth can charge that person with felony level offenses. These “failure to register” crimes are also extremely serious. They oftentimes carry penalties that include state prison time and lengthy periods of parole or probation. All the more reason to hire seasoned counsel to fight the original registerable offense and to fight any subsequent offenses that may arise from the registration. There is very little that can be as damaging to your life as a conviction for a sex crime. You need to be ready to fight and negotiate with all available means.
Joe Pometto Law is a Pittsburgh criminal defense firm that stands by ready to defend these cases and use all means possible to get the best result for our clients.
Here is a link to the Pennsylvania State Police page that details registration requirements for a particular offense.