If you’re charged with unlawful conduct with a minor in Pennsylvania, you may be accused of doing several illegal acts. As a serious sex crime, you potentially face years in prison.
You probably have just one chance to defend yourself against unlawful conduct with minor allegations. Early intervention by the right lawyer is essential. Below we’ll discuss some of what you can expect, but in Chester County, you can call Michael Skinner today at (610) 436-1410 for a free and confidential consultation.
How Pennsylvania Defines Unlawful Contact With a Minor
State law defining unlawful contact with a minor creates a list of sex-related crimes, some specific to children, which can be used to charge someone. It covers intentional contact with a minor or a law enforcement officer assuming the identity of a minor, to engage in activity prohibited under the law, including:
- Any offense listed in Chapter 31 of Pennsylvania statutes – rape, sexual assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, unlawful dissemination of an intimate image, and sexual extortion
- Open lewdness – any lewd act which the person knows is likely to be seen by others who would be upset or alarmed
- Prostitution and related offenses
- Obscene and other sexual materials and performances
- Sexual abuse of children
- Sexual exploitation of children
If found guilty, you face the penalties for each of the listed crimes or those of a third-degree felony, whichever is greater. These are the felony degrees in Pennsylvania:
- First: Up to 20 years in prison and or fines of up to $50,000
- Second: Up to 10 years in prison and or fines of up to $25,000
- Third: Up to seven years in prison and or fines of up to $15,000
Depending on the facts, there can be an overlap between what prosecutors use to charge you. For example:
- Unlawful conduct with a minor covers intentional contact with a minor to engage in an illegal activity
- Criminal solicitation occurs when a person – with the intent to promote or facilitate committing a crime – encourages or asks another to engage in a crime or try to commit a crime
Getting Legal Help Early Makes a Big Difference
It’s crucial to retain qualified and capable legal counsel as early as possible, especially if you learn you’re under investigation and before you’re questioned or arrested:
- A lawyer may be able to prevent charges from being filed by showing police there’s not enough evidence to justify an arrest
- If a report is filed, police will probably want to interview you. They will ask questions to get your side and try to incriminate you. Even if you’re innocent, you may say things that make you appear guilty. Do not consent to an interview unless your attorney is present. Your lawyer can advise you of your rights, counsel you on your responses, and prevent you from answering inappropriate questions
- If an arrest warrant is issued, police will probably try to take you into custody at your home or workplace. This public spectacle in front of neighbors or your boss and co-workers will be highly embarrassing and possibly cost you your job. A lawyer can arrange a date and time for you to present yourself to limit the harm you’ll suffer
Get the Help You Need From Attorney Skinner
Pennsylvania’s criminal system can be overwhelming. With hearings, appearances, and pressure like you’ve never felt before. It’s essential to have an experienced defense lawyer on your side. With an impressive history of getting favorable outcomes for people in similar situations, attorney Michael Skinner will get you through the process with compassion and aggressive representation.
Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.