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Sex Crime Lawyers in Harrisburg, PA

About Sex Crimes, SORNA & Adam Walsh Act Defense

Being charged with a sex crime in Pennsylvania has dire consequences, even before a person is convicted. Sex crimes are often the most sensational stories that newspapers, television, and internet news write stories about, often revealing very intimate details about the life and background of the accused. Unfortunately, our society is quick to judge those accused of a sex crime as guilty, often even before hearing the government’s evidence or the statement of the accuser. For this reason, it is necessary to retain the services of a lawyer immediately to begin the process of establishing a defense to the accusation, both in court and out of court.

Call Foreman & Caraciolo, PC today at (717) 208-8359 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled sex crime lawyers in Harrisburg, PA.

Defending against a Sex Crime

Sex crimes often rely on testamentary evidence – that is, the statement of the accuser detailing her or his versions of the facts of the crime. Therefore, it is important to begin establishing a defense early on and to begin an independent investigation immediately upon being informed of the allegations of criminal conduct. The investigation must focus on determining facts to establish an alibi, witnesses to the allegations, background on the accuser, and a technical attack on the investigation of the police. It is imperative that this investigation commences immediately as the police will continue to gather evidence against an accused up until the day of trial.

Communication with Police

Because evidence of many sex crimes is often of the “he said/she said” variety, the police investigation will often focus on obtaining statements from the accused. Police will sometimes make promises to the accused of favorable treatment in exchange for a brief conversation. When an accused person consents to this interrogation without the presence of an attorney, the conversation will often result in a lengthy confrontational ordeal that is designed by the police to elicit a confession. The design relies on breaking down the will of the accuser in an attempt to force the accuser to make statements of an admission just so the ordeal will end. In much the same way as the results of torture often lead to inaccurate information, this type of police interrogation can result in false confessions and untrue admissions by the accuser. It is important to speak with a lawyer prior to agreeing to speak with the police so the lawyer can counter police tactics and make sure that the accused person’s rights are not being violated and their well-being is secured.

The police sometimes rely on recorded conversations in the form of wire-tapping or “consensual telephone monitoring” to elicit statements to be used against the target of a criminal investigation into a sex crime. These forms of monitoring and recording telephone calls can occur when the accused is not expecting to be interrogated and her or his guard may be down. The police will often secure the services of the accuser to call the accused to obtain a confession – even asking that the accuser lies to the accused with the unscrupulous goal of gathering evidence to be used at trial. Although it is often difficult to obtain the services of legal counsel to protect against this type of police-state monitoring, experienced counsel is crucial to mount a defense that attacks the credibility, admissibility, and constitutionality of the recording so that the recording is never heard by a jury.

Type of Sex Crimes

Under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, sex crimes are generally split between Chapter 31 dealing with sexual offenses and Chapter 63 dealing with minors, and include numerous criminal charges.

These charges include:

  • §6320 Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • §6318 Unlawful Contact with Minor
  • §6312 Sexual Abuse of Children
  • §6301 Corruption of Minors
  • §3129 Sexual Intercourse with Animal
  • §3127 Indecent Exposure
  • §3126 Indecent Assault
  • §3125 Aggravated Indecent Assault
  • §3124.2 Institutional Sexual Assault
  • §3124.1 Sexual Assault
  • §3121 Rape
  • §3123 Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse
  • §3122.1 Statutory Sexual Assault

Although the sex crimes and sections of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code listed above is not an exhaustive list, the ones above seem to be the most common charges in sex crime cases. It is important that your attorney is familiar with both the specific language of each section, as well as the possible defenses against the allegations of these sex crimes.

Sex Crimes against Children

Sex crimes against children are generally the most harshly punished of the Crimes Code, sometimes including mandatory periods of incarceration with a minimum of 10 years in a State Correctional Institution. Even where no mandatories exist, a first offense categorized as a sex crime against a child often eliminates any diversionary program reserved for first-time offenders, such as ARD, and can have the same offense gravity score as that of murder. Sentences for sex crimes against children frequently preclude probation only and require periods of incarceration.

Collateral Consequences of Sex Crime

On December 20, 2012, Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law underwent major changes. The Pennsylvania State Adam Walsh Act, Act No. 2011-111 (Pa Senate Bill 1183) was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett on December 20, 2011, indicating that the new provisions became effective on December 20, 2012. This bill is Pennsylvania’s response to the Federal Adam Walsh Act, also called the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act (SCORNA) which was passed in 2006 by President Bush. Under the new provisions of SORNA, individuals who have not completed their period of registration under the former Megan’s Law by December 20, 2012, must comply with the SORNA or face criminal prosecution and potential prison sentences starting at 2 years and going as high as 25 years.

Call us today at (717) 208-8359 to speak with one of our sex crime attorneys in Harrisburg, PA and find out how we can help you.

Why Choose Foreman & Caraciolo, PC?

  • We have a previous district attorney on our legal team.
  • Our firm has proudly served the area since 1950.
  • We handle a full range of legal matters, from criminal
    and DUI cases to complex family law matters.
  • We are committed to maintaining accessibility and
    frequent lines of communication with our clients.
  • Our office is conveniently located across from the
    Dauphin County Courthouse. Come visit us anytime.