What’s The Difference Between Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault?

Woman concerned for man sitting next to her

Unfortunately, thousands of women and men are victims of sex crimes each year. To better understand your case and the potential results, the Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. put together this blog that discusses the key differences between sexual and aggravated assault.

Sexual Assault

According to Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 § 3124.1, a person commits sexual assault when “A person commits a felony of the second degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse or deviates sexual course with a complaint without the complainant's consent.”

The punishment for an average sexual assault case is a second-degree felony with a maximum of 10 years in prison. Fines can add up to around $25,000, depending on the offense.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

These definitions do sound similar, but there is a difference. Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 § 2702.1, any person who “attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such an injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” A sexual assault case is elevated to aggravated sexual assault when:

  • Cause serious bodily harm to the victim, or attempt to kill the victim or another person while committing sexual assault.
  • Use a deadly weapon while committing sexual assault.
  • Drugs or impair the victim’s ability to give consent or resist assault.
  • Commit a sexual crime against a person under 14.
  • Commit a sexual crime against an elder or disabled individual.
  • Commit assault during the execution of another felony.

Aggravated assault under subsections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 results in a second-degree felony and up to 10 years in prison. If an aggravated assault charge falls under subsections 1, 2, and 9, the perpetrator can face a first-degree felony including up to 20 years in prison. Click here to find out which subsection your case may fall under.

Pennsylvania Injury Attorney

Here at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. we take crimes of sexual assault seriously. If you’ve been injured in a sex crime, we recommend contacting our firm to see what options you have. When you’re ready, contact our legal office at (844) 383-0565 or visit our website to get started on a consultation form. Let us help you during this difficult time.

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