Misunderstandings, false accusations and inappropriate conduct commonly result in sexual assault charges for people in Philadelphia, and throughout Pennsylvania. Like many how find themselves in this situation, you may not understand the charges you are facing. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, people often ask us what it means to be charged with sexual assault. As such, we will discuss what constitutes sexual assault in the state of Pennsylvania, and the consequences you could face if convicted of this offense.
Pennsylvania state law defines sexual assault as having sexual intercourse with another person without his or her consent. This includes deviate sexual intercourse, or penetration of another using a foreign object. For example, you and your date return to her house after dinner and have sexual intercourse. You thought it was consensual; however, she later claims that she said no and accuses you of sexual assault. In general, sexual assault differs from rape in that it does not involve the use or threat of force.
Under most circumstances, sexual assault is considered a second-degree felony offense. If you are convicted, you could face a range of penalties. Pennsylvania state law stipulates that you could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of this offense. Additionally, you could also be fined up to $25,000. The judge overseeing your case will typically determine the type and severity of consequences you will face. To do this, he or she will consider a number of factors, including the circumstances of the case, your prior criminal record and your mental health.