Philadelphia Sex Offense Attorney Brian M. Fishman
There is no criminal charge that can have a more profound effect on your life than a sex offense. While you will serve life in prison if convicted of first- or second-degree murder, a strong argument can be made that those penalties are lighter than those faced by some convicted sex offenders. If convicted of a serious sex offense, not only are you facing significant jail time, but upon release, the community stigma, inability to obtain employment or to be around minor children and the requirements of Megan’s Law, can make society your own prison and a living nightmare.
Therefore, you need Philadelphia sex offense attorney Brian M. Fishman by your side when faced with these charges. Mr. Fishman was a former prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit. There, he prosecuted individuals charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child (EWOC), statutory sexual assault, corrupting the morals of a minor (CMOM) and many other serious sex offenses. He learned how to prepare a child witness to testify against her alleged attacker. He knows the strategies employed by prosecutors and therefore knows how to counter-attack with cross-examination that can destroy a sex offense witness’ credibility.
When charged with committing a sexual offense like rape, IDSI, statutory sexual assault, guilt or innocence usually hangs on the credibility of the witness. Why? Because there are generally no other witnesses to a sex offense. They often do not occur out on the street for others to see or get caught on video. They are crimes that occur behind closed doors. Whether the complainant is believed or not, is absolutely vital to the case. Therefore, you need a criminal defense attorney who is prepared to use prior inconsistent statements to police or during a preliminary hearing, conflicting statements about the actions of the victim after the alleged crime, the body language and manner of testimony on direct examination and all other evidence at his disposal, to attack the credibility of the witness. And, most importantly, you need a lawyer who is not afraid to go after and attack the alleged victim. Brian M. Fishman is the criminal defense attorney you want standing next to you if you want the best chance of hearing the jury say, “Not Guilty” at the end of your sex offense trial.
Convictions for sex crimes can ruin a person’s reputation and good standing in the community. If you have been charged with a sexual assault offense, you need an attorney who is capable of protecting your rights as well as your reputation. Attorney Brian M. Fishman has devoted his career as an attorney to protecting his clients from undue harassment and the stress that often accompanies being charged with these types of offenses.
Sex Offenses in Philadelphia
Sex offenses take many forms. They range from minor offenses to violent crimes and prosecutors will go to great lengths to convict an offender who has been charged with a sex crime. Registration on Megan’s Law and the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is mandatory for many sexual offenses. Some of the most common sex offenses are:
- Rape: Rape is the use of unlawful force to engage in sexual intercourse with another without their consent. Rape can also occur where the complainant is unconscious, suffering from mental disabilities or has been drugged by the perpetrator to the point where they do not have knowledge of the sexual intercourse and therefore the ability to consent. In addition to its ordinary meaning, “sexual intercourse” includes oral and anal intercourse, with some penetration however slight; and the emission of semen is not required.
- Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI): A first degree felony in which a person engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another by forcible compulsion. “Deviate sexual intercourse” is defined as anal or oral sexual intercourse between two individuals and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal. The term also includes penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of another person with a foreign object for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedure.
- Sexual Assault: Sexual assault occurs when one person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent. In other words, it is rape or IDSI without the force requirement. It is graded as a felony of the second degree and punishable by up to ten years of incarceration.
- Aggravated Indecent Assault: Aggravated indecent assault is defined as non-consensual or forcible penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the person’s body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedure. Aggravated indecent assault most often refers to digital (finger) penetration of another by force or without their consent.
- Indecent Assault: Indecent assault occurs where the defendant has indecent contact (touching) with the complainant, or causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the defendant or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the defendant or the complainant. Indecent conduct can simply be the touching of the private parts of another, including the butt, breasts, vagina or penis. The contact can occur over one’s clothing and still be consider indecent assault.
- Rape of a Minor Child: A person commits the offense of rape of a child, a felony of the first degree, when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant who is less than 13 years of age. Clearly consent is not an issue as a child less than 13 cannot give consent.
- Statutory Sexual Assault: Statutory sexual assault is broken into a few subsection. A person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant to whom the person is not married who is under the age of 16 years and that person is either (1) four years older but less than eight years older than the complainant or (2) eight years older but less than 11 years older than the complainant. It is broken up into these two sections for purposes of Megan’s Law reporting requirements. Furthermore, one commits a felony of the first degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the age of 16 years and that person is 11 or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.
- Internet Sex Crimes: Sexual crimes perpetrated over the internet. This may include but is not limited to solicitation, distribution of pornography, possession of child pornography, etc. This most often occurs when one is unknowingly “sharing” pictures or videos of child pornography over the internet using peer-to-peer sharing networks such LimeWire or other popular bit torrent sharing sites. You may be viewing child pornography and think that it is only on your computer but your settings are such that you are also sharing any content with others who are on similar sites. Police departments, including the Pennsylvania State Police, now have entire units simply dedicated to patrolling these sites seeking individuals sharing illegal content. Furthermore, these officers will access chat rooms and seek to lure an adult individual to a location for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with a minor.
- Possession or Distribution of Child Pornography: Being in possession of or distributing photographs of a sexual nature that contain children under the age of 18, either naked or partially nude or involved in sex acts of various kinds. No person may possess or disseminate explicit sexual materials. “Explicate sexual materials” is defined as materials which are obscene or: (1) any picture, photograph, drawing, motion picture film, videotape or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors; or (2) any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter however reproduced, or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.
Being charged with a sexual offense is a traumatic experience. Having a qualified Philadelphia sex offense attorney at your side will provide you the best chance of salvaging your reputation and repairing any damage the charge may have caused. Don’t settle for just any Philadelphia County sex offenses lawyer. Attorney Brian M. Fishman is here to help you through this difficult time and provide you with the best possible defense.
The Fishman Firm, LLC, is a criminal law firm located in Philadelphia, PA. Attorney Brian M. Fishman is a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice on defending the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. He has successfully defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, and will aggressively defend your rights in court and in negotiations outside the courtroom. If you have been charged with any criminal offense in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks or Chester county, contact Brian M. Fishman at his Philadelphia office now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer.