Philadelphia Sexual Assault Lawyer | Defending Against Sexual Assault Charges in PA and NJ

Award-Winning Criminal Defense Lawyers for Sexual Assault Charges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

If you are facing allegations of criminal sexual assault or charges for any other sex offense, the Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers of Goldstein Mehta LLC can help. Our defense attorneys will fight for your rights on trial and appeal. We have successfully defended countless cases involving sexual assault allegations, and we can help with all types of state and federal charges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer a free 15-minute criminal defense strategy session to anyone who is facing charges or may be under investigation. If you are facing criminal charges, call 267-225-2545 to speak with one of our experienced and understanding criminal defense lawyers. 

What is Sexual Assault? 

Under Pennsylvania law, criminal sexual assault occurs anytime someone engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant's consent. This means that any kind of vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse which occurred without consent would qualify as sexual assault. Sexual assault is a felony of the second degree, and it is often charged along with other offenses like Rape and Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse. Because sexual assault occurs anytime sexual intercourse takes place without consent, prosecutors could bring sexual assault charges in cases where the complainant was unable to consent due to the influence of drugs or alcohol even if the defendant did not provide the complainant with the intoxicating substances.   

POTENTIAL Defenses in Sexual Assault Cases

Zak T. Goldstein, Esq. - Philadelphia Sexual Assault Lawyer

Zak T. Goldstein, Esq. - Philadelphia Sexual Assault Lawyer

Sexual Assault charges are extremely serious. However, there are often defenses in these types of cases. The first step in any criminal case is to conduct a thorough investigation for potential witnesses and other exculpatory evidence. Once we are retained, our investigators will immediately begin seeking out helpful witnesses and other potential evidence such as surveillance footage. Additionally, there are a number of potential defenses in the court room. Each criminal case is different and will depend on the specifics of the evidence and the allegations, but potential defenses to sexual assault charges could include: 

  • Pre-Trial Motions. There are a number of pre-trial motions which are frequently litigated in criminal cases. First, in every case, the prosecution must be able to show that the police and other law enforcement officers followed the requirements of the Constitution when obtaining the evidence that the prosecution seeks to introduce at trial. If investigators did not follow the rules, then the evidence that they obtained illegally could be excluded at trial by filing a Motion to Suppress. This means that if the police conducted an illegal search or obtained a coerced or un-Mirandized confession, we may be able to have the evidence suppressed and excluded from trial. Once a motion to suppress is filed, the prosecution bears the burden of showing that the police did not break the law in obtaining the evidence. It is also very common for us to file pre-trial motions in limine as part of the defense to criminal charges. Motions in limine ask the judge to rule on the admissibility of certain evidence before the jury can hear it. For example, depending on the case, it may be appropriate to file a motion in limine asking the judge to exclude certain irrelevant evidence that could be unfairly prejudicial to the defendant, and in others, it may be necessary to file a motion in limine to permit cross-examination into the complainant's background if there is something in the complainant's background that could show that the complainant has a motive to fabricate the allegations.  

  • Challenges to Forensic Evidence. In many sex crimes cases, the prosecution will have obtained some type of forensic evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, or other bodily fluids. However, forensic evidence is not nearly as conclusive or reliable as it appears to be on TV. Our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in challenging the various types of forensic evidence, and we have even had success in cases involving DNA and fingerprints. In many cases, it may be necessary to retain an independent expert to review the police lab's conclusions and check for errors. Many forms of forensic science have recently come under scrutiny even from prosecutor's offices such as the Department of Justice because they simply are not reliable, and our defense attorneys are well versed on how to challenge forensic evidence at trial. In other cases, it may be that there is some other innocent explanation for the forensic evidence.  

  • Witness Credibility and Trial by Jury. Cases involving sexual assault allegations often involve the credibility of the witness. In many cases, there will not be forensic evidence or any other independent, unbiased witnesses. Instead, the case could come down to the complainant's word against the defendant's word. In these cases, we will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations and review of the evidence and prior witness statements so that we can highlight any inconsistencies for the judge or jury and hold the prosecution to its burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, in every case, the defendant has the right to a trial by jury. At a jury trial, the prosecution must prove every element of every offense beyond a reasonable doubt to a 12-member jury. Any verdict rendered by the jury must be unanimous. We have taken countless cases to trial before judges and juries and won, and we will use our skills in cross-examination to fight for your rights. 

Consequences of a Sexual Assault Conviction

Demetra Mehta - PA Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

Demetra Mehta - PA Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

Sexual assault charges are extremely serious. The reality is that accusations of sexual assault are life-shattering even in the absence of criminal charges and lawsuits. You can easily lose your job, get kicked out of school, and have your reputation destroyed based on an allegation that does not result in charges. However, once formal criminal charges have been brought for any kind of sex offense, the consequences can be extremely serious.

Under Pennsylvania law, Sexual Assault is a felony of the second degree, which means that it can be punished by up to 10 years in state prison. Additionally, Sexual Assault is a Tier III Megan's Law offense, which means a conviction will result in life-time registration on Pennsylvania's sex offender registry. Given the real potential for a significant jail sentence and Megan's Law registration, it is extremely important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn that you are under investigation or that a report could be made. It is also extremely important to speak with a defense attorney prior to agreeing to any kind of interview or polygraph exam with the police. Once you have spoken with a criminal lawyer, you can make a more educated decision as to whether it makes sense to give a statement to authorities. 


Contact A Philadelphia Sexual Assault Lawyer Today

If you are facing sexual assault charges, we can help. We know the defenses to these charges, and we will do everything in our power to keep you off of the Megan's List registry. We stand ready to thoroughly investigate your case and begin building a defense to these types of life-shattering allegations. We know how difficult it can be to pick up the phone and talk about these subjects with a stranger, so we offer a free, completely confidential criminal defense strategy session with a Philadelphia sexual assault lawyer who has dealt with these issues, will keep the conversation completely private, and who can provide solid legal advice you can depend on without any kind of judgment. Call 267-225-2545 today to speak with an award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.  

 

 

 

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Recent Criminal Defense Awards

10.0Zak Taylor Goldstein
Zak Taylor GoldsteinReviewsout of 17 reviews

The Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Statute:

§ 3124.1.  Sexual assault.

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape) or 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant's consent.