As a firm experienced with sexual assault and child sex offense cases, Miller Lyden P.C. has successfully defended many clients facing these serious charges. In some cases, we have even stopped the investigation of our clients, resulting in no charges being filed. While in others, we have obtained mitigated charges and reduced penalties.
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to protect the rights of anyone charged with a sex offense. Besides the embarrassment and social ramifications of being charged, such crimes also carry serious consequences. While these matters are often very emotional, it is essential that the outcome of the case be based on facts, evidence, and the law. Few crimes can carry the level of social stigma that is associated with sex offenses.
A person accused of a sex crime faces not only the criminal justice system, but the court of public opinions as well. Although those accused are legally innocent until proven otherwise, the sensitive nature of such allegations makes it seem otherwise. It is vital to your reputation, your freedom and your future that you begin an aggressive defense against sex crimes charges immediately. Any delay can compromise the ultimate success of your case.
Anyone charged with a sex crime may face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence and the label of “sex offender.” In Pennsylvania, adult sex offenders are required to register anywhere from 10 years to life after they are released from jail. The length of required registration depends on the crime. After a conviction for a sex crime, the state of Pennsylvania may require you to register as a sex offender — a requirement that can dramatically affect where you live, your social reputation and your ability to do normal things such as attend movies or visit a museum. If you fail to register or fail to notify police when you move or start a new job, you may face additional criminal charges.
A skilled and experienced criminal defense team is the best shot toward avoiding the consequences of sex offender registration. Miller Lyden P.C. will aggressively pursue the dismissal of your charges or work to reduce the potential penalties in your case, during the criminal court process, through negotiation or a trial in the courtroom.
Child Pornography & Internet Sex Crimes
Child pornography, also known as sexual abuse of children, is a very serious crime in Pennsylvania, and carries harsh penalties for those facing such charges. Prosecution is swift and absolute and due to stiff punishments, prosecutors are often unwilling to negotiate. In addition to fines and incarceration in prison, those convicted face lengthy sex-offender registration and the social stigma of a conviction. These consequences demonstrate why it is critical to pursue a solid defense strategy from the start.
Under Pennsylvania’s sexual abuse of children statute, it is illegal to make, possess or distribute child pornography. It is a second-degree felony to photograph, videotape or otherwise record a person younger than 18 engaging in prohibited sexual acts, which include all sex acts as well as nudity when it is used for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification. These crimes may be punishable by as many as 10 years in prison. Dissemination of Child Pornography is the next category of this offense. It is a third-degree felony to knowingly distribute child pornography or possess it for distribution. Finally and most commonly charged is possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony. Both dissemination and possession violations carry up to seven years in prison on a first offense. Child pornography includes any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction, or other material depicting a child younger than 18 engaging in or simulating prohibited sexual acts. In addition to prison terms, a conviction for child pornography carries a mandatory sex offender registration.
At Miller Lyden P.C., our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in counteracting the prosecution of these types of cases. We understand the stakes and are familiar with new laws and defense techniques to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.
The word “rape” generates strong emotions, and few criminal cases generate the types of reactions that a rape charge brings. Prosecution is often swift and one-sided. Sentencing guidelines are high and bail requirements on such charges are even higher. It is extremely important to have an attorney represent the accused as early as possible during the criminal court process, in these cases.
Rape is a crime in Pennsylvania where the defendant forcibly or under threat of force engages in sexual intercourse with another person. Rape also exists when a defendant substantially impairs a victim’s ability to control their conduct through intoxication without knowledge. Rape also exists where it is established that a victim has a mental disability.
Rape is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania and as such carries a sentence of up to twenty years in prison. This term can be enhanced by an additional ten years in prison if the victim was administered any form of intoxicating drug during the commission of this offense. Lastly, rape of a child is the most serious form of this offense and maximum sentences can range from forty years up to life in prison, if serious bodily injury to the child also occurred.
Miller Lyden P.C. has experience dealing with these cases on behalf of our clients. We explore the facts and determine whether any defenses, like consent or lack of force, exist. Lastly we negotiate for you, and insulate you and your loved ones from the exposure created by a rape allegation. Contact Miller Lyden and speak to an experienced lawyer dedicated to your best interests.
Statutory Sexual Assault & Sexual Assault
The term statutory sexual assault means having sexual relations with an underage person, as defined in the state statutes, or law. Due to the age of the victim, the law recognizes an inability for the victim to give consent. Force is not necessary and the acts may be consensual. But they are nonetheless illegal. Similar to Statutory Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault simply means sexual intercourse with another adult, again, where the victim does not give consent. Often occurring between people who know one another, like an alleged ‘date rape’ incident, the parties of these actions can be very similar to you and I.
Whether the charge is Rape, Sexual Assault or Statutory Sexual Assault, there are rarely eyewitnesses to an allegation, and the evidence typically consists of “he said, she said” statements. For this reason, a thorough investigation is paramount to a successful outcome. The credibility of each party comes to the forefront along with any physical evidence that may exist. When charged with sexual assault crime, the mere accusation of the crime can have a devastating effect on your life, including serious harm to your reputation, career and personal relationships. A sex crime conviction can follow you for the rest of your life
Too often, inexperienced defense attorneys are reluctant to aggressively defend clients against sexual abuse charges that are considered to be distasteful by the public. They lack the intensity to do what it takes to win your case. Depending on the strength of the sex crime case against you, negotiating with the prosecutor may allow us to reduce the charge or potential penalties against you. A case can even be dropped if the prosecutor has serious doubt that you could be convicted. The attorneys at Miller Lyden P.C. will aggressively defend you against these allegations and help you and your family return to a normal life.
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI) and Aggravated Indecent Assault
IDSI is a little-known crime that, when involving a child victim carries one of the greatest prison mandatories in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Sexual contact involving oral or anal sex can expose an accused to a 10 year mandatory for each and every count when a victim is under the age of 16. Moreover, the law does not discriminate as to whether the accused has given or was the recipient of such contact–and considers each incident as a separate crime. For these reasons it is extremely important to have an attorney represent the accused as early as possible in these cases during the criminal court process.
In order to convict you of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, the District Attorney must first prove that penetration of the genitals or anus of another person has occurred. Second, the District Attorney must be able to prove that during the penetration you: used force or threat of force; the intercourse was with someone unconscious or unaware of your actions; used drugs or alcohol to prevent the person from resisting; had sexual intercourse with someone mentally disabled; or had sexual intercourse with a victim less than 16 years of age or four or more years younger than you.
IDSI, Aggravated Indecent Assault, and other sexual crimes against children carry the harshest mandatory penalties shy of the crime of murder. At Miller Lyden P.C., our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in counteracting the prosecution of these types of cases. We understand the stakes and are familiar with new laws and defense techniques to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.