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Annapolis Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crime charges always carry a certain kind of stigma with them. It is almost as if that person is convicted of the offense before they even have an opportunity to go to trial. When someone is alleged to have committed a sex crime, their biggest concern is what their record shows. They also may be required to be on a sex offender registry for the rest of their lives or for some significant portion of their life. Working with an Annapolis sex crimes attorney is an important first step in avoiding, or at least mitigating, these intimidating consequences.
Defining Sexual Offense
A sexual offense is an offense that involves some kind of sexual interaction between parties that is not consented to. Any kind of sex crime can be charged in Annapolis, including rape, as well as sex offenses in the first, second, third, and fourth degree. The most serious sex offense is rape and involves having sexual intercourse with another party without their consent.
The most minor kind of sex offense is an offense in the fourth degree. That involves touching somebody inappropriately in areas that are considered private to them such as their buttocks or their breast area. Those are minor in nature, but are still considered sex offenses for criminal purposes in Maryland.
Common Felony Sex Crimes
The most common sex crimes in Annapolis are rape charges, in addition to sex offenses in the first, second, and third degree. These sex-related offenses happen with minors. Oftentimes, if an adult is involved in a sex crime with a minor that might be of a marginal nature, like a fourth degree sex offense, it is elevated to a felony third degree sex offense because of the age of the victim involved in the case.
Sex Crimes Investigations
Sex crime investigations are different than other cases because they involve a very sensitive topic. The assumption is that people who are victims of sex crimes are among the most vulnerable members of society and do not have the ability in many circumstances to protect or defend themselves. This is the reason for sex offender registries which alert the community to people who are convicted of committing sex crimes. The victim has some justice by seeing their assailant receive a criminal conviction on their record and being subject to the punishment. Also, the community is warned for the future that this person is out there and has this history that could pose a danger to the community.
It is important to work with a sex crimes attorney in Annapolis who has experience handling these cases because that attorney can assist in dealing with the straightforward consequences such as the possibility of jail time, probation, and fines, but also help with other collateral consequences like significant registration periods on the sex offender registry. An attorney who has experience with sex-related cases can identify all of those issues and tailor a defense to protect their client from the consequences of a case like this.
Benefit of an Annapolis Sex Crimes Lawyer
An attorney in a sex crimes case can be responsible for reviewing all discovery or evidence in the case and assist in identifying all available defenses. They should also take responsibility to investigate the case, aid witnesses that they feel are important for their case, and gather any other evidence there might be to demonstrate their client’s innocence in a particular case or to show the state’s failures in producing the evidence they need to successfully prosecute. An experienced Annapolis sex crimes lawyer knows what kinds of strategies can be employed in the courtroom to make sure the jury or the finder of fact has a clear understanding of the victim’s statements or allegations. They also know the inconsistencies in those allegations and how to bring those to light to ensure someone has a fair opportunity to be heard in his case.
Often in sex crimes cases the reputation of the person making the allegations, previous relationships with the defendant and with other people, and other forms of bias are very important. The lawyer reveals these details so that the court case provides a full picture for the finder of fact.
Additionally, an attorney is responsible for negotiating with the prosecution and also potentially assisting in mitigation. They can have their clients evaluated by a licensed sex therapist, who can assist the court in making determinations about whether or not they will re-offend based on their history and the nature of this particular offense. A complete psychological evaluation of the client is done to make sure the doctor has a full understanding and can communicate with the judge about whether or not this person is likely to be a danger in the community or to himself in the future.
Trust in Client-Attorney Relationships
The value of trust in a client-attorney relationship is critical because an attorney needs to ask the client very intimate and personal questions about their sexual history, the kinds of things that they have engaged in the past, and their own sexual development. The client needs to be very comfortable talking to their attorney about these kinds of things to prepare a strong defense.
Additionally, the attorney is going to be extremely important in acting as a spokesperson with the court and the prosecutor throughout the process of resolving your case.
Cases sometimes last from several months up to a year or beyond. On many occasions, when a case lasts for that long a period of time, the client must be confident that the defense attorney is doing everything possible in all of those meetings and throughout all of those conversations to assist the client in the progress of their case.