Most terms for criminal charges are part of our everyday language. For instance, anyone would be able to loosely define offenses such as assault, theft, murder, or rape. Other crimes, like involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), are less familiar. If you or a family member has been arrested for IDSI in Pennsylvania, it is important that you understand exactly what the allegations involve. The Philadelphia sexual offense lawyer at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long can help you fight your IDSI case. In this article, we’ll explain what involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is and the legal differences distinguishing IDSI from similar sex crimes.

Differences Between IDSI and Other Sexual Charges

To a person who has never heard the phrase before, the term “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse” sounds like it could be a synonym for rape. While these two offenses are both felony sex crimes which share several similarities, there are also important nuances which distinguish them from one another. Being charged with IDSI is not the same as being charged with rape (and vice versa). The better a defendant understands what he or she is being accused of committing, the more prepared the defendant will be for court hearings.

Rape is defined under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121(a), which states that a person commits rape when the defendant has sexual intercourse with another under one of these situations:

  • By force
  • Under threat of force where a reasonable person believed they could not prevent the unwanted sexual intercourse
  • With an unconscious person or a person who is not aware that the sexual intercourse is occurring
  • With an individual who is substantially impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants that a defendant secretly administered or is aware of
  • With an individual who suffers from a mental disability

Involuntary sexual deviate intercourse is described almost identically at 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3123(a), with the added condition that IDSI may also be charged when all three of the following statements are true: (1) the victim is 15 years old or younger, (2) the defendant is at least four years older, and (3) the victim and defendant are not married to each other.

The key to understanding the difference lies in the wording which begins each definition. Let’s compare the statutes directly, side by side. With deviate sexual intercourse, the key prerequisite for charging IDSI, as opposed to rape, is defined at 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3101: the crime involves “sexual intercourse per os or per anus between human beings.” “Per os” in the first description refers to the mouth, meaning IDSI generally refers to rape involving oral or anal penetration instead of vaginal.

Penalties for IDSI and Rape

Both rape and IDSI are charged as first degree felonies, placing them among the most serious crimes a defendant can ever be charged with. In Pennsylvania, first degree felonies are normally subject to up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. However, under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3121(b), certain individuals who plead guilty to or are convicted of rape may be sentenced to an additional 10 years (for a total sentence of 30 years) and an additional fine of up to $100,000 (for a total fine of $125,000). 

These additional penalties apply in cases where the defendant used any chemical substance (e.g. drugs, alcohol), without the victim’s knowledge, to “prevent resistance,” “induce memory loss,” and/or “substantially impair the [victim’s] power to appraise or control his or her conduct.” In other words, defendants who somehow impair their victims with substances are subject to extra penalties.

Furthermore, both rape and IDSI charges carry enhanced penalties when the victim is a child (defined as anyone 12 years old or younger), or when the defendant inflicts “serious bodily injury” upon the victim. “Serious bodily injury” is a specific legal term and is more serious than “bodily injury,” because it denotes permanent, long-term, and potentially lethal injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime, defendants may be facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole (early release from prison).

Philadelphia, PA Sexual Assault Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Your Sexual Assault Allegations

If you or a family member was accused of an involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge, you should consult with an experienced rape defense attorney. Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Lloyd Long has represented clients at various stages of the criminal process in Pennsylvania. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long have handled several types of sex crime cases, ranging from child pornography possession to statutory sexual assault. We have utilized this experience to get our clients the legal outcome that they deserve. We represent clients in Philadelphia and across the region. To schedule a free consultation regarding your IDSI case, call us at (215) 666-0381.

Law Offices of Lloyd Long
1845 Walnut St #525
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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