“Sexual Offenses” in Pennsylvania

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PA Criminal Defense LawyerPennsylvania, like most states, has classified a large number of crimes as “sexual offenses.” This type of offense often comes not only with serious penalties imposed by the court upon conviction but also with a stigma among family, friends, and community. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rape
  • Statutory Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Statutory Sexual Assault
  • Institutional Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Assault By Sports Official Or Volunteer Or Employee Of Nonprofit Association
  • Indecent Assault
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Unlawful Dissemination Of Intimate Images
  • Child Pornography
  • Prostitution/Solicitation

Several sexual offenses do not require the use of any force or intimidation. One of the most recent additions to that list is “sexting”—which only requires that a person send or receive a sexually explicit photo of someone under the age of 18.

Potential Penalties

Although the penalties vary greatly for the various crimes that have been classified as sexual offenses in Pennsylvania, one thing is true for all of them: a conviction—or a guilty plea—has lifelong consequences. This is because all of these crimes carry a social stigma that is different than almost any other crime—and because many of them require registration on the state’s sex offender registry (Note: failing to register—or failing to update where you are living—can result in additional criminal charges).

Most sexual offenses in Pennsylvania have been classified as felonies, which generally means that a conviction or plea deal will involve a lengthy prison sentence. Furthermore, some of these offenses are considered to be Felony 1 crimes, which is the most serious felony level in Pennsylvania and can result in life sentences.

Under the original version of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, offenders had to register—and report—for either 10 years or life. Those requirements, however, were expanded to 15 years, 25 years, or life by the 2012 enactment of the Sex Offender and Notification Act.

Call a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a member of your family has been charged with a sexual offense—or you are concerned that you or a member of your family might be charged with one—call the Skinner Law Firm today at 610-436-1410 for a free consultation or send us an email through our online contact form. The earlier we get involved, the more we can help.

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Getting Your License Back After a DUI in Chester County, PA

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Pennsylvania DUI LawyerIt’s only human to make mistakes, but when poor judgment leads to a drunk driving charge, the consequences of a DUI conviction in Chester County can be severe. Not only do you face fines, points on your driving record, and criminal charges, but you’re also looking at a potential suspension of your driving privileges. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is the agency charged with handling driver’s license suspensions, but the actual procedure for getting your license back after a DUI depends on the nature of the charges. It’s wise to retain a DUI license suspension hearing attorney to assist with your case, but some general information is helpful.

DUI-Related Offenses Leading to Driver’s License Suspension

Your driving privileges may be suspended depending on how much alcohol is in your system based upon the results of a chemical test for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC); if you don’t take the test, you can also be penalized with a driver’s license suspension.

  • General Impairment at 08. to .099 Percent: You’re not subject to a suspension until your second or subsequent offense, when your driver’s license may be suspended for up to a year.
  • High BAC of .10 to .159 Percent: Both a first and second offense for High BAC may lead to a one year suspension; at your third DUI violation, it increases to an automatic 18 months.
  • Highest BAC at .160 Percent or Above: The most severe of DUI charges, a Highest BAC carries a one year suspension for the first offense. After that, an 18 month suspension is automatic.
  • Refusing Chemical Testing: If you don’t consent to a test to assess your BAC, your driver’s license is suspended for one year.

Reinstating Your Pennsylvania Driver’s License

In general, you’ll need to satisfy the suspension requirements before you can request that it be reinstated by PennDOT. The best way to figure out exactly what you need to do is to obtain a restoration requirement letter, which will likely instruct you to:

  • Finish an alcohol highway safety course at an approved school;
  • Undergo alcohol and/or drug treatment;
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car;
  • Finish out a jail sentence, for High and Highest BAC; and,
  • Pay all fines as ordered by the court according to the DUI offense.

A Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Can Assist with License Reinstatement

You may be tempted to take on your own representation when facing drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania, but there are risks to handling this type of case yourself if you don’t have a legal background. The laws and rules are quite strict, and even a slight mistake can lead to problems with reinstating your driver’s license. An experienced DUI lawyer knows the intricate details of the law and can help you navigate the complicated process. If you have questions about your options, please contact the West Chester, PA offices of the Skinner Law Firm. Our license suspension attorneys will represent your interests and fight for your rights to ensure the best possible outcome.

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