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Maryland Sex Offense Attorney

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Sex offense cases are prosecuted very very intensely by the State’s Attorney’s Offices in the state of Maryland. Every county has a unit that’s dedicated to this particular kind of crime. Sex assault cases don’t just involve what you would expect to be felony-type situations. There are ranges from misdemeanor sex offenses, which include a Fourth Degree sex offense, all the way up to the far more serious rapes in the First and Second Degree.

The penalties associated with these cases can be anywhere from a year in jail, all the way up to life in prison. So obviously the range with the type of cases that these sex offense prosecutors are prosecuting is significant and varies greatly. You can also expect to see significant time on a period of supervised probation and, probably most importantly, participating in the sex offender registry in the state of Maryland.

This can range in a registry of 15 years, all the way up to registration for life. Because of these additional consequences it’s important to talk to an attorney who is well versed in these kinds of cases.

Sexual crimes in Maryland are covered by Title 3, Subtitle 3 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code. Upon conviction, the vast majority of sexual crime charges result in a felony record as well as a prison term of up to life. Even in the case of a shorter prison sentence, the reflection of a felony sex crime conviction on your permanent record could make it virtually impossible to find future housing, employment, loans and more. In order to preserve your quality of life and prove your innocence, your best legal recourse is to hire the help of a qualified, experienced Maryland sex crimes lawyer, who will handle your case professionally and use every possible resource to create a strong, winning defense. For a more in-depth look at the statutes surrounding sex crimes, visit our Maryland sex crime laws page. We also have specific pages on Maryland rape laws and Maryland sexual offense laws.

For more information on sex crimes charges in the State of Maryland, visit our Sex Crimes FAQs page available here.

If you are facing sex crime charges, consulting with a Maryland sex crimes lawyer can help you to be well prepared when defending your case. Call (301) 761-4842 to speak with a Maryland sex crimes lawyer for a free consultation regarding your case.

First Degree Rape

Rape in the first degree is covered by Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-303. According to this code, it is illegal to engage in vaginal intercourse with another individual by force or intimidation without the other individual’s consent, while doing one or more of the following:

  • Displaying or employing a dangerous weapon or other object the victim believes to be a dangerous weapon
  • Disfiguring, strangling, suffocating or otherwise inflicting serious physical injury to the victim or another individual in commission of the crime
  • Threatening to kidnap, seriously injure, disfigure, strangle, suffocate or kill the victim
  • Committing the crime with the help of another individual
  • Committing the crime while also committing first, second or third degree burglary

The penalty associated with first degree rape is a felony conviction, as well as an incarceration term of up to life in prison. If the victim is under the age of 16, the penalty is life in prison with no possibility of parole. The penalty is the same if the victim is under 13 and the offender is over the age of 18.

Second Degree Rape

Rape in the second degree is covered under § 3-304. According to this code, an individual may not engage in vaginal intercourse with another individual:

  • Through the use of force, or the threat of force, without the other individual’s consent
  • If the alleged victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally defective or physically helpless, and the offender knows this
  • If the victim is younger than 14 years of age, and the offender is 4 or more years older than the victim

Most of what is colloquially known as date rape in Maryland falls under the classification of second degree rape. More specific information on “date rape” in Maryland and date rape lawyers is available here.

The penalties associated with second degree rape include a felony conviction, as well as a prison term of up to 20 years. If the victim is younger than 13 and the offender is over the age of 18, the penalty involves a prison term of between 15 years and life. 15 years is the mandatory minimum sentence in this case, and it cannot be suspended.

Sexual Offense Crimes

While crimes of rape are those that include vaginal intercourse, sexual offense crimes are those that include other types of sexual acts, including anal intercourse, analingus, cunnilingus, fellatio, sexual penetration with an object, or any act deemed for sexual gratification or sexual arousal, or abuse of either party. Sexual offense encompasses similar acts known as sexual assault in other jurisdictions.

First Degree Sexual Offense

Criminal code § 3-305 covers sexual offense in the first degree. According to this code, it is illegal to engage in any sexual act with another individual by force, or by intimidation, without the consent of that individual while doing one or more of the following:

  • Displaying or employing a dangerous weapon or other object the victim believes to be a dangerous weapon
  • Disfiguring, strangling, suffocating or otherwise inflicting serious physical injury to the victim or another individual in commission of the crime
  • Threatening to kidnap, seriously injure, disfigure, strangle, suffocate or kill the victim
  • Committing the crime with help from another individual
  • Committing the crime while also committing first, second or third degree burglary

The penalty associated with first degree sexual offense is a felony conviction, as well as up to life in prison. If the victim is under the age of 16, the penalty is a maximum of life in prison with no chance of parole. If the victim is under 13 and the perpetrator is over 18, the penalty is a prison sentence ranging from 25 years to life, again without the possibility of parole.

Second Degree Sexual Offense

Criminal code § 3-306 covers sexual offense in the second degree. According to this code, it is illegal to engage in sexual acts with another individual by force or via the threat of force without the other individual’s consent, or if one of the following are true:

  • The victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally defective or physically helpless, and the offender knows this.
  • The victim is under the age of 14, and the offender is at least 4 years older than the victim. This is one of three types of Maryland felony offenses commonly referred to as statutory rape.

The penalties associated with second degree sexual offense include a felony and a prison term of no longer than 20 years. If the victim is younger than 13 and the offender is older than 18, the penalty involves a prison sentence of between 15 years and life.

Third Degree Sexual Offense

Crimes of third degree sexual offense are covered under § 3-307, and largely deal with age. While crimes of non-consented sexual contact can be charged as third degree sexual offense rather than first or second degree sexual offense depending on the circumstances of the case, this code is usually invoked for the following circumstances of sex, even if said sex is agreed upon by both parties:

  • The victim is younger than 14, and the offender is at least 4 years older than the victim
  • The victim is either 14 or 15 years of age, and the offender is 21 years of age or older

These offenses are also commonly referred to as statutory rape, although this is not a term used within the Maryland legal system. For more details on what “statutory rape” is, please visit this link.

The penalty associated with third degree sexual offense is a felony as well as a prison term not to exceed 10 years.

Fourth Degree Sexual Offense

Sexual offense in the fourth degree is covered by Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-308. According to this code, it is illegal for a person in a position of authority to engage in a sexual act with a minor student. A person in a position of authority is defined as a person who is 21 or older, supervises the minor, and is a full-time employee of a private or public preschool, elementary school or secondary school.

The penalty for sexual offense in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor, as well as a fine of up to $1,000.00 and up to one year in jail. For repeat offenders, the penalty is a fine of up to $1,000.00 and a jail term not to exceed three years.

Attempted Rape or Attempted Sexual Offense

Crimes of attempted rape and attempted sexual offense in the first and second degrees are covered under § 3-309 through § 3-312. According to these codes, it is illegal to attempt to commit first degree or second degree rape or sexual offense, even if said attempts don’t lead to vaginal intercourse or sexual contact.

The penalty for attempted first degree rape or sexual offense is a felony, as well as up to life in prison. The penalty for attempted second degree rape or sexual offense is a felony, as well as up to 20 years in prison. For this reason, it is important to consult with a Maryland sex crimes lawyer if you are facing any sex crime charges.

Child Sexual Abuse

Sex crimes against children, particularly those who were in the legal custody or care of the perpetrator, are prosecuted vigorously and punished harshly in the state of Maryland.  Visit our Maryland sexual abuse & sexual assault lawyer page for more information.

Federal Sex Crimes

Sex offenses that transpire across state lines, such as sex trafficking in which the victim is transported from one state to another, are prosecuted at the federal level. Visit our sex trafficking lawyer page here to learn more.

Sex crimes committing over the Internet are generally prosecuted at the federal level, as well. This is particularly true of child pornography. More information on child pornography charges and penalties is available here.

Almost all of these charges are felonies.  Our federal sex crimes lawyer page provides more information on these crimes.

Maryland Sex Offender Registry

A conviction for most sex crimes in Maryland, whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony, requires the guilty party to submit his or her name and other information to register as a sex offender in Maryland.  Visit our Maryland Sex Offender Registry FAQ page for more detailed information.

A Sex Offense Lawyer can Help

Sexual offense charges in Maryland must be taken very seriously, as virtually all of them result in felony convictions as well as lengthy prison sentences. If you’re convicted of a rape or sexual offense, you could face life in prison, potentially without the possibility of parole depending on the circumstances of your case. At the same time, many sexual offense charges are highly subjective, and come down to the word of the plaintiff against the word of the defendant. A reputable, licensed Maryland sex crimes lawyer will examine the details of your case in order to build the strongest defense possible, one that draws upon every legal resource in order to maximize your chances of having a favorable outcome in court.

Other resources:

If you are seeking information or representation concerning sexual offense charges in the District of Columbia, please visit our DC criminal defense attorney website: available right here.

Kush Arora in His Own Words

Below are several links to question-and-answer pages excerpted from an interview with Kush Arora in which he discusses sex offense cases in the state of Maryland.