Child Molestation

Children are not able to give consent to sexual intercourse, so any type of sexual contact or involvement with a child in a sexual way can lead to criminal charges in the state of Pennsylvania. Child molestation is taken very seriously and the penalties can be harsh, including sentences up to life in prison.

Because of the grave penalties that are associated with a conviction for child molestation, it is very important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney who specializes in sex crimes as soon as accusations are made. Your lawyer will help you deal with law enforcement during any investigation and will assist you in raising defenses or entering into a plea if you are arrested so that you can avoid the most serious and harsh consequences of a child molestation conviction. At the Pennsylvania criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin, we have successfully represented many clients accused of child molestation and we can put our legal experience to work on your case. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

Pennsylvania Child Molestation Laws

A number of different types of sexual encounters with children have been criminalized under Pennsylvania law. For instance:

  • The rape of a child is classified as a first degree felony under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3121.
  • 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125 defines aggravated indecent assault as engaging in even slight penetration of the genitals or anus of a person under age 13 and classifies aggravated indecent assault as a first-degree felony.
  • Indecent assault or any type of indecent contact with someone under age 13 is classified as a first degree misdemeanor under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126.

Not only do you face prison time and fines as a result of these felony and misdemeanor charges, but you will also have to register as a sex offender if convicted of child molestation. Under Meghan’s Law, this means that information about your sex offender status will be made available to the public. You will also need to check in regularly with law enforcement and notify law enforcement whenever you move to a new residence.

Defending Yourself Against Child Molestation Charges

The offense of child molestation is a serious one and you should explore any potential defenses that may be available to you in order to potentially avoid conviction. Your Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer can help you to explore defenses including:

  • False memory or false accusations. Sometimes, children are made to remember things that didn’t really happen. False memories can be planted by parents, psychiatrists or other individuals either intentionally or accidentally.
  • Mistaken identity. Sometimes, especially in cases of stranger molestation, children may become confused about who molested them.
  • Lack of evidence. It is the burden of the prosecutor to prove that you molested the child—you do not have to prove you are innocent, you just have to introduce enough reasonable doubt that the judge or jury won’t convict you.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will help you to understand what defenses may be best for you in your situation and will assist you in building a defense or, when no defense is available, in plea bargaining the charges down to minimize the penalties you face.

To learn more about how a criminal defense lawyer can help you, contact the experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin today at 610-357-3506 or using our online form.

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