Philadelphia Aggravated Indecent Assault Lawyers

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Fight Back Against Aggravated Indecent Assault Charges

If you are facing criminal charges or are under investigation for indecent assault, we can help. Our award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended thousands of clients in criminal cases in jurisdictions throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We regularly defend clients who are facing sex crimes charges in state and federal court, and our experienced and understanding Philadelphia criminal lawyers and sex crime attorneys are able to provide a strong defense to indecent assault charges. Our lawyers regularly defend clients who are facing all types of sex offenses with great success. We recognize the defenses to these serious, stigmatizing charges and are able to provide a defense which may be able to help you avoid a conviction and registration on Megan's Law. Call 267-225-2545 to speak with a defense attorney today.

What is Aggravated Indecent Assault?

The crime of Aggravated Indecent Assault is codified under 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 3125. In general, Aggravated Indecent Assault involves penetrating another person’s genital or anus without consent. The statute provides:

A person who engages in penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the person's body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if:

(1) the person does so without the complainant's consent;

(2) the person does so by forcible compulsion;

(3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

(4) the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the penetration is occurring;

(5) the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;

(6) the complainant suffers from a mental disability which renders him or her incapable of consent;

(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or

(8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

What is the Difference Between Aggravated Indecent Assault and Indecent Assault?

Aggravated Indecent Assault is a more serious version of Indecent Assault. Indecent Assault generally involves touching someone in an unwanted sexual manner without consent in order to obtain sexual gratification. Indecent Assault becomes Aggravated when the touching involves penetration, thereby making the charge more serious than just groping. Indecent Assault is codified under 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 3126. The statute for Indecent Assault provides:

A person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant and:

(1) the person does so without the complainant's consent;

(2) the person does so by forcible compulsion;

(3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

(4) the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is occurring;

(5) the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;

(6) the complainant suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent;

(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or

(8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

Accordingly, the main difference between the two statutes is penetration. Aggravated Indecent Assault requires penetration (or at least an attempt to penetrate the complainant) whereas Indecent Assault does not have this penetration requirement. Additionally, Indecent Assault is, with some exceptions, usually a less serious misdemeanor offense. Further, it usually has shorter Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (hereinafter “SORNA”) requirements than Aggravated Indecent Assault because many forms of Indecent Assault require fifteen years on Megan’s Law whereas the Aggravated form typically requires lifetime registration.

What is the sentence for Aggravated Indecent Assault in Philadelphia?

If the complainant is thirteen years or older, then the grading of Aggravated Indecent Assault is a felony of the second degree. This has a maximum sentence of ten years and has an offense gravity score (“OGS”) of 10. However, if the complainant is under the age of thirteen, then the grading is a felony of the first degree. That would make the OGS of 12 with a maximum penalty of 20 years.

In Pennsylvania, defendants who have pleaded guilty or been found guilty will be sentenced after the judge has considered the sentencing guidelines. To calculate the relevant sentencing guidelines, one must first determine the OGS of the crime and then determine the Prior Record Score “PRS”) of the defendant. The PRS of a defendant ranges from 0-REVOC depending on the defendant’s criminal history. To give an example of a possible sentence, let’s assume that the defendant is a “0,” however he was convicted of Aggravated Indecent Assault and the complainant is under thirteen. The guidelines for this defendant, who had never been convicted of a crime before, would be 48-66 months with plus or minus 12 months for aggravating or mitigating circumstances. In this hypothetical, a four to eight year sentence of state incarceration would be considered a “guideline” sentence. This means that a conviction for Aggravated Indecent Assault can carry a significant state prison sentence even for a defendant with no prior record, making it a very serious offense.

Will I be on Megan’s List if I am convicted of Aggravated Indecent Assault?

Yes. If you are convicted of Aggravated Indecent Assault, you will be placed on SORNA (“Megan’s List). Aggravated Indecent Assault, regardless of the complainant’s age, is a Tier III offense and thus has a lifetime registration requirement. The SORNA requirements can be very intense and demanding. In essence, any time you move, change jobs, or even go on a vacation, you must notify the Pennsylvania State Police. SORNA can be very intrusive and devastating. Again, if you are charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault, or any sex crime, you should contact an experienced attorney who is willing to fight for you.

What are the defenses to Aggravated Indecent Assault Charges?

There are several defenses to Aggravated Indecent Assault. Some common defenses may include fabrication, consent, and misidentification. For example, let’s assume that a defendant’s girlfriend accused him of Aggravated Indecent Assault. However, it comes out that the defendant had been caught cheating on her the day that she reported that this incident occurred. A defense could be that the complainant is lying about this to get back at the defendant for his infidelity. However, it is worth pointing out that each case is different and some theories are not as persuasive as others given the facts. Our experienced attorneys have tried countless sexual assault cases. Additionally, we thoroughly investigate all of our cases so we can prepare the best possible defense for each case. Every defendant in a criminal case has the right to a trial by jury at which the Commonwealth must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and our experienced criminal defense lawyers will fight for you.        

Facing Indecent or Aggravated Indecent Assault Charges? We can help.

 Goldstein Mehta LLC Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers

Goldstein Mehta LLC Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers

If you are facing criminal charges or under investigation by the police, we can help. We have successfully defended thousands of clients against criminal charges in courts throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have successfully obtained full acquittals and dismissals in cases involving charges such as Attempted Murder, Rape, and Aggravated Indecent Assault. Our award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers offer a free criminal defense strategy session to any potential client. Call 267-225-2545 to speak with an experienced and understanding defense attorney today.