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Sex Crimes

Any offense that involves sex has a strong negative stigma. Under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it’s a stigma that lasts, too. Sex offenders are required to register in the sex offender database, where details of their conviction are available to anyone with internet access 24 hours per day.

Despite the significant negative consequences, sex crime charges can be based on weak evidence and false or exaggerated claims. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can bring the faults in the prosecution’s evidence to light. Juries are tough on accused sex offenders, but effective counsel can show them why they must pay attention to any reasonable doubt.

Philadelphia Sex Crime Lawyer

If you are facing charges for any kind of sexual offense, including rape, sexual assault or indecent assault, there is a risk you could be going through the rest of your life with a mark on you. A highly qualified Philadelphia sex crime defense lawyer who can talk to a jury and show them the holes in the prosecution's argument can make all the difference.

Our attorneys at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC know how to fight for the rights of people accused of sex crimes. We are experienced in the criminal courtroom with some of the toughest cases, and are not afraid to take on difficult matters. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation to discuss the accusations against you.

We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties. We also serve clients in New Jersey.


Pennsylvania Sex Crime Information Center


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Different Types of Sex Offenses Under Pennsylvania Law

Rape (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 3121):

Rape is when the accused makes another person engage in sexual intercourse against that person's will using either force or threat of force. Sexual intercourse can include vaginal, anal and oral sex, and can include penetration by objects, although the charge may be called "involuntary deviate sexual intercourse," which carries the same penalties as a rape charge.

It can also include situations where the victim is unable to give consent because she or he is unconscious, drugged by the accused or has a mental illness that would prevent him or her from being able to give consent.

Sexual intercourse with any child who is 12 or younger can be charged with rape of a child. If the child was injured, the charges could be rape of a child with serious bodily injury. It is a defense that the accused's Philadelphia criminal defense attorney must prove with a preponderance of evidence that the defendant reasonably believe that the child was 13 or older.

Any rape charge is a first degree felony.

Sexual Assault (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 3124.1):

The charge of sexual assault covers any sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse that occurs without the victim's consent that is not covered by rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges. Sexual assault is a second degree felony.

Aggravated Indecent Assault (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 3125):

Aggravated indecent assault charges mean that a person is accused of, under the same conditions as rape, penetrating or causing the penetration of a person's genitals or anus by a part of the body for any reason other than medical, hygienic or law enforcement purposes. The charges are a second degree felony, unless the victim is younger than 13, in which case it is a first degree felony.

Indecent Assault (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 3126):

Indecent assault charges can occur if the accused allegedly caused the victim to come into contact with seminal fluid (like semen), urine or feces without the victim's consent or if the victim was too young to give consent, and the purpose was to satisfy sexual desires.

Indecent assault is a second degree misdemeanor if the contact was simply unconsented, or if the victim was younger than 16 and the accused is more than four years older. It is a first degree misdemeanor if the contact was forcible or by threat of force, if the victim was unconscious, drugged, mentally disabled or otherwise unable to give consent, or if the victim was younger than 13.

If the victim was younger than 13 and the prosecution can establish a course of conduct of indecent assault, it was a second or subsequent offense, or certain other conditions apply, it may be a third degree felony.

Indecent Exposure (Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 3127):

Indecent exposure means to expose one's genitals in a public place or any place where others are present in a way that is likely to offend, affront or alarm. Indecent exposure is generally a second degree misdemeanor. However, if the prosecutor can prove that the accused knew or should have known that children younger than 16 were present, then it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.


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Punishments for Philadelphia Sex Crimes

Any sex crime has penalties that may include time in prison and hefty fines. The range of penalties can be:

  • For a Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine;
  • For a First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine;
  • For a Third Degree Felony; Up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine;
  • For a Second Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; and
  • For a First Degree Felony: Up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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Registering as a Sex Offender in Pennsylvania

Punishment for a sexual offense does not stop at prison time or jail, however. A person is required to register as a sex offender if he or she is convicted of one of a number of certain offenses, including:

  • Rape
  • Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault
  • Indecent Assault on a child younger than 13
  • Promotion of Prostitution with Victims that are Minors
  • Unlawful Contact with a Minor
  • Unlawful Communication with a Minor
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • Kidnapping of a Minor

If you register, information about your offense, where you live, where you work and other details will be available along with an update photo of you to anyone on the internet. You might have a very difficult time finding work or a place to live.


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Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC | Sex Crime Arrest Lawyer in Pennsylvania

With such dire consequences, you'll want a skilled Philadelphia sex crime lawyer fighting for your best interests — someone able to take these difficult and uncomfortable matters and explain to the jury how reasonable doubt can exist and how they cannot convict. Our defense attorneys at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC are highly skilled in the criminal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to schedule a consultation.

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