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Sexual Assault in Maryland

The state of Maryland has a lot of complex laws as it pertains to assault and sex crimes. Anyone who has been charged with such a crime needs to understand where they can go to ensure their case is tried fairly – and to get the best possible outcome. Sexual assault deals with the assault of another person of a sexual nature. Contact a sexual assault lawyer in Maryland for a free analysis of your case.

Maryland law calls sexual assault "sexual offense," and defines sexual offense as engaging in any sexual act with another person by force, threat of said force, or without the consent of another. The laws of the state also break down the charges by first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree. If you are seeking information about assault generally, or another kind of assault charge, please click here.

First Degree

Section 3-305 says that a sexual offense in the first degree is when a dangerous weapon is used, suffocation or strangulation is used, a threat is made to cause fear within the person that could imminently lead to death, suffocation, serious physical injury or being kidnapped, if a crime was aided and abetted by another person, or if the crime is connected with a burglary.

There are also age considerations. A person who violates specific subsections with a person under the ages of 16 or 13 may be subject to additional penalties.

If convicted, the punishment could be imprisonment not to exceed life. A mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years, with the possibility of life without parole in the circumstances of the age considerations.

Second Degree

Section 3-306 discusses a second-degree sexual offense in which force, threat of force, or lack of consent is present and the victim may be mentally incapacitated, physically helpless, or under 14 years old with the person performing the assault being at least four years older. The penalty for second degree sexual assault in Maryland is a minimum 15-year prison sentence, with the possibility of up to life.

Third Degree

Section 3-307 is of a sexual offense in the third degree, in which sexual contact is made without the consent of another and either a dangerous weapon is used, serious physical injury is being inflicted or threatened, or sexual contact is made with someone who is mentally incapacitated. There are also age considerations; these include engaging in sexual contact with someone who is under the age of 14 with the perpetrator being at least four years older, engaging in a sexual act with a 14- or 15-year-old with the perpetrator being at least 21 years old, or engaging in vaginal intercourse with a 14- or 15-year-old with the perpetrator being at least 21 years old.

The penalty for a sexual offense in the third degree is imprisonment not to exceed 10 years.

Fourth Degree

In Section 3-308, the law states that an individual who is at least 21 years old and is in a position of authority – such as an employee of a school, a teacher, a principal, or someone who exercises supervision over a minor while attending school – and engages in sexual contact with a minor is committing fourth-degree sexual assault. Exceptions to this that render higher charges include sexual contact with an individual under the age of 14 and any vaginal intercourse with a 14- or 15-year-old.

The penalty of such a sexual assault is imprisonment of a maximum of one year, a fine of $1,000, or both. However, if the perpetrator has a prior Maryland sexual assault conviction of any kind, the maximum possible period of incarceration rises to three years.

Sexual Abuse

Understanding the differences between varying offenses of sexual abuse is very important. Consent, the age of the person, and the other crimes that coincide with the abuse must be taken into consideration. Anyone charged with such a crime needs to seek legal representation immediately to ensure there is a full investigation carried out to learn the details of the alleged crime. Finding a competent lawyer that understands the laws of Maryland is crucial; you want an attorney committed to negotiating all through the legal process to protect your freedom and your name. Sexual assault is treated seriously everywhere; visit Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law's website here to learn more about sex crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia.