Types of Sex Crimes in Anne Arundel County
Sex crimes in Anne Arundel County can range from the most serious kind of sex crime, which is an aggravated rape or rape in the first degree—which can carry up to life in prison—all the way down to very small or minor sex crimes, like fourth degree sex offenses, which are misdemeanor sex offenses.
These kinds of charges have varying penalties associated with them, however all carry the possibility of jail time and all also carry the possibility of being on a sex offender registry. Judges do have some discretion when it comes to the sex offender registries for some sex offense related cases, but the risk of being on the registry applies to all sex crimes, whether it is a first degree rape or a fourth degree sex offense making it imperative an Anne Arundel sex crimes lawyer is contacted to mitigate the potential penalties and consequences.
Common Felony Sex Crimes in Anne Arundel County
Common felony sex offenses in Anne Arundel County include rape in the first degree, rape in the second degree, sex offense in the first degree, sex offense in the second degree, and sex offense in the third degree. Those are the sex crimes in Anne Arundel County that are considered felonies when there is an adult victim involved.
They also apply when there is a child that is the complaining witness in a case and those charges would be sex abuse of a minor, or sexual offense against the minor. All of those offenses would carry not only the possibility of extensive amounts of incarceration, but also registration for a period between 10 years and life on the sex offender registry. Due to the seriousness of these potential punishments it is always recommended to consult a lawyer when facing felony sex offense charges.
What Are The Associated Penalties?
Penalties vary among these charges depending on the degree of violation that is alleged. For example, a first degree rape would usually involve some kind of force and actual penetration of one party by another, which could be the most serious kind of sexual offense. A fourth degree sex offense—which is still a serious offense, but a misdemeanor—refers to the other end of the spectrum in terms of violation.
It could usually involve some kind of over the clothes touching, usually of a person’s backside or maybe their breast area—something that was considered a violation, but not as serious as a penetration or even touching under the clothes as opposed to over the clothes. Those varying degrees of sex offense carry different penalties as all of those kinds of offenses are seen within the court system on a regular basis.
Another aggravating factor that can come into play in these cases is the age of the complaining witness or the victim. That could change the nature of the defense. For example, what might be considered a fourth degree sex offense if the victim was an adult would elevate to a third degree or a second degree sex offense if the victim was under a certain age. The magnitude of the offense would increase based on the vulnerability of the victim.
How These Crimes Are Investigated
An investigation of a sex crimes case is not all that different from other cases in terms of how it begins. It usually begins with a complaint of some kind or with information that the police or prosecutors receive about a criminal activity that is taking place.
What is different from the government’s perspective in sex crimes cases is the unique training that the detectives and prosecutors who handle sex crimes cases have. The defensive nature of the offenses; the kind of words that are used; and the conversations that have taken place between prosecutors and complaining witnesses—who are sometimes adults and also sometimes children—requires that both the prosecutors and the detectives have that specialized training to recognize how to deal with those particular witnesses and prepare them for court.
Similarly, from the defense’s perspective, the investigation is different in that they are dealing with the extent and nature of the charges and potentially dealing with or discussing very personal issues with their clients about their sexual history or potential sexual issues that they might suffer from. There really has to be specialized training in this field of law for a defense attorney to work on the cases. An Anne Arundel lawyer must be able to handle all the sensitive issues involved, while still aggressively representing their client in the case where they are charged as sex offenders.