Unlawful Contact with Minor in PA (Max Penalties and Defenses)

Unlawful Contact with Minor is a criminal charge in PA that will land you on Megan’s Law List and/or as a Sexually Violent Predator if you are not careful. It can carry with it a lifetime of problems…. if you choose the wrong attorney. When it comes to finding the best Pennsylvania Sex Crimes attorney, we are it. 



The Law

You can read the entirety of the law here: 18 Pa.C.S. § 6318

Remember that at all times simply being charged and accused of a crime does not mean you are guilty. Instead, the opposite is true. Unless a jury changes things, you are innocent. The government and the government alone has the very heavy burden of proof. You don’t have to prove your innocence. We, like the law, presume you to be innocent.

What the government must prove

In oder to be convicted of this crime, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • the accused
  • was intentionally
  • in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties who has assumed the identity of a minor,
  • for the purpose of engaging in an activity prohibited under any of the following:
    • Any of the offenses enumerated in Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses).
    • section 5901 (relating to open lewdness).
    • section 5902 (relating to prostitution and related offenses).
    • Obscene and other sexual materials and performances as defined in section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).
    • section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).
    • section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).
  • and either the person initiating the contact or the person being contacted is within this Commonwealth:

Maximum Punishment for Unlawful Contact with Minors

The law reads as follows:

an offense of the same grade and degree as the most serious underlying offense in subsection (a) for which the defendant contacted the minor; or a felony of the third degree; whichever is greater.

A few common examples include:

Scenario one:

Where the accused and the underage person (real or LEO sting) agree to engage in consensual sex that would be Indecent Exposure in PA. Indecent Exposure in PA is a M2 or misdemeanor of the second degree in PA (2 year prison max and $5,000 max fine). But because the statute reads “whichever is greater”, then this count would become a felony of the third degree. As such the max is 7 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $15,000.00

Scenario two:

Where the accused and the underage person (real or LEO sting) agree to engage in consensual sex that would be Statutory Sexual Assault in PA. Statutory Sexual Assault is either a felony of the second degree (10 year prison max and $25,000 max fine) or a felony of the first degree (20 year prison max and a $25,000 max fine). So the court would not punish you as a felony of the third degree, but instead as a F1(20 year prison max and $25,000 max fine) or F2 (10 year prison max and $25,000 max fine).

Following you for life (Megan’s Law and SVP)

In addition to the Maximum Penalties and Fines, one type of Unlawful Contact with Minor charge carries with it a Tier II Megan’s Law mandatory reporting requirement which is a 15 year registration and the possibility of being designated as a Sexually Violent Predator. If you are found to be an SVP, there comes a lifetime of Megan’s Law registration, monthly counseling and neighborhood notification.

Felony Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania

Removable offense (Deportation)

One case, Mondragon-Gonzalez v. AG of the United States, 884 F.3d 155 (3d Cir. 2018) with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found specifically that the Board of Immigration Appeals did not err in finding that an alien’s conviction of Unlawful Contact with a Minor was a “crime of child abuse” and grounds for removal. It approved the removal (deportation) under 8 U.S.C.S. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) which includes crimes involving an “intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent act or omission,” because this section requires proof of intentional contact with a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual abuse of children.