Indecent Assault

Indecent assault is a sex offense under Pennsylvania law. Indecent assault is divided into two categories: simple indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault. Depending on the wrongful act you commit, the age of your victims and the method used to commit the assault, this means you may face either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Because indecent assault is a sex offense, the potential penalties go beyond just jail time. Not only can the mere accusation of indecent assault ruin your reputation and career, but if convicted you may also be required to register as a sex offender and have your status broadcast to the public. To avoid these serious and life-altering consequences of a conviction for indecent assault, it is advisable to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Pennsylvania criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin has represented many clients who have been accused of indecent assault and we can work with you on your case to help you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Pennsylvania Laws on Indecent Assault

Simple indecent assault is defined under Pennsylvania code section 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126. Under this code section, you may be found guilty if you engage in indecent contact in the following circumstances:

  • Without the consent of the alleged victim.
  • By using force to compel the alleged victim to allow the indecent contact
  • By threatening to force the indecent contact and/or subdue the resistance of the alleged victim
  • When the alleged victim is conscious or you otherwise know that he/she is not aware of what is occurring.
  • If you drug or otherwise subdue the alleged victim or alter his/her resistance or mindset.
  • When the alleged victim has a mental defect or disability that prevents him/her from giving consent.
  • When the alleged victim is under 13, or under 16 and the alleged party engaging in he assault is more than 4 years older.

These examples of simple indecent assault will generally be charged as second degree misdemeanors; however, if the victim was under 13 then the charges are first-degree misdemeanor charges.

Aggravated indecent assault, on the other hand, is defined under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126. It occurs in the same situations as simple indecent assault; however, the difference is that some type of anal or genital penetration occurs in aggravated assault cases rather than just indecent contact. This penetration still counts even if it is very slight or lasts only briefly.

How a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

When you are facing charges for indecent assault or aggravated indecent assault, it is important you protect your legal rights and explore all possible defenses that may exist including false accusations, mistaken identity or lack of evidence. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from the law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin can provide you with comprehensive assistance in determining what your best course of action is for responding to the indecent assault charges against you. Contact us today using our online form or via phone at 610-566-0610 to learn how we can help.

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