Baltimore Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you are questioning whether or not you need to contact a Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer, the answer is already clear. At the first sign of trouble, and especially if you or a loved one have already been arrested and accused of a sex crime, you must get the help of a qualified Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer immediately. Failure to do so will leave you vulnerable to exaggerated claims, excessive penalties, and even outright lies about your case.. Contact our office today to find out how a sex crimes lawyer in Baltimore can help you in your specific situation.
Sex Crimes in Baltimore
As a large city, Baltimore certainly sees its share of crime every year. Its violent crime rate is still far higher than the national average, although it has declined sharply in recent years. Given these high rates, police are on high alert and take any report of sexual assault, attempted rape, or human trafficking very seriously. This is particularly true in troubled neighborhoods such as Sandtown-Winchester, Berea, and Elwood Park. On and around the campuses of Johns Hopkins, University of Baltimore, Morgan State University, and other area colleges, rowdy parties and late-night activities sometimes generate calls to the police claiming sexual offenses as well.
Unfortunately, it is very easy for a “victim” to claim sexual assault or attempted rape when it did not actually occur. A spiteful ex, a jealous friend, or even a mean-spirited prankster can easily get someone into serious trouble with the law by making up a story and getting them arrested. Other times, a person simply misunderstands or exaggerates a situation. Either way, once the accused individual faces charges, he or she needs a Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer who will help set the story straight with hard evidence and reliable testimony.
The SOR in Maryland
If you don’t know what the SOR is, you are not fully aware of the danger that you are in when accused of committing a sex crime. People who are convicted of a sex crime in Maryland have their names added to the state’s Sex Offender Registry (SOR), which is public and posted online. It is essential for you to do everything in your power to keep your name off this list as it may have a drastic impact on where you can live, what you can do, and what others will believe about you for many years to come. It is truly devastating when someone gets their name on this list simply because they pled guilty to exaggerated charges or didn’t have a competent Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer representing them.
Visitors to the city of Baltimore sometimes run into trouble with prostitution or pandering charges. This is more common than you might think, and it doesn’t take much for a police officer to arrest someone on suspicion of selling or soliciting sex. A simple conversation between a man and a woman in a bar might be overheard and misunderstood as prostitution. An undercover police officer might deceive someone into offering or asking for sex in exchange for money, when they would not have done so on their own. Or, again, a vindictive individual could make up a story claiming illegal prostitution activity just to see you taken away in handcuffs. Don’t rely on your own ability to explain things to the court; it takes a Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer to file the appropriate paperwork, build your defense, and work to negotiate an acceptable outcome to your case.
Examples of Sex Crime Accusations
You may have been accused of raping or otherwise sexually assaulting someone, but those are certainly not the only sex crimes in Maryland . Here are some other common charges:
Attempted sexual assault or rape. You might think that if no actual assault or rape occurred, you cannot be convicted of a crime. In fact, a conviction of attempted rape or assault can get you up to 20 years in prison.
Possession of child pornography. If child pornography is discovered on a computer or in physical form (photos/videotape) in your possession, you could face up to five years in prison. Subsequent offenses carry sentences of up to ten years in prison.
Video surveillance. If the court finds you guilty of secretly recording another person’s activities, you could spend up to a year in jail. In addition, the victim of the recording may choose to file a civil suit against you, thus compounding your legal problems.
Maryland’s Sex Offender Registry
Perhaps you are considering simply pleading guilty or doing your best to defend yourself without the help of a Baltimore County sex crimes lawyer. Even after your arrest, booking, and trial are over, your trouble will continue to follow you. Convicted sexual offenders are listed on the public Sex Offender Registry (SOR), maintained by Maryland’s police force. Any future neighbors, employers, family members, social contacts, schoolmates, coworkers, and even complete strangers will be able to find out that you are considered a sexual criminal. This stigma will have incredible consequences on opportunities in every area of life for many years to come. Avoiding a conviction or negotiating for a lesser charge that will not put your name on the offender’s registry should be top priorities for you and something a Baltimore County Sex Crimes Attorney can assist with
Maryland Laws and Penalties for Sex Crimes
The term “sex crimes” actually encompasses a significantly broad array of different types of crimes in the state of Maryland. The most serious type of sex crime in the state of Maryland is first degree rape. First degree rape is defined in Maryland as a rape that occurs with violence or a threat of violence. If a person uses a weapon in the commission of rape, that individual faces the prospect of a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Under Maryland law, a weapon is very broadly defined, and certainly not limited to a gun, knife or the like. If a person over the age of 18 perpetrates rape on someone under the age of 13, that individual faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted in a court in the state of Maryland. Second degree rape, a lesser charge of forcible vaginal intercourse, carries a sentence of up to 20 years. The sentence is enhanced if a weapon is used. Other less serious sex crimes in Maryland are classified as sex offenses in the first, second, third and fourth degree. Although these crimes do not carry sentences as long as those for rape, they nonetheless are very serious criminal charges.
Residential and Other Restrictions
The aftermath of a conviction for a sex crime in Maryland does not end with prison time and sex offender registration. Once convicted of a sex crime, Maryland law can restrict where you live and even where you go on a day to day basis. For example, you cannot live or be near a school in some cases when you have been convicted of a sex crime in Maryland.
After serving a prison term, Maryland law requires that sex offenders serve what amounts to a significantly restrictive and tightly-monitored term of parole. This can include being required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet or a GPS monitoring unit. Monitoring can include frequent reporting requirements to a parole officer, as well as recurring drug testing to ensure that a person is sober and not using mind altering substances. In addition, a person paroled after serving a prison sentence for a sex crime will likely be obligated to participate in intensive therapy.
Call Today for Help
Penalties for sex crimes in Maryland are very high, and they do not end with a fine, treatment, or even a stay in prison. If convicted, you will face years of questioning about your criminal record and might be forced to live under restrictions as a sex offender. As soon as you know you are in trouble, call our office to get a Baltimore city sex crimes lawyer in your corner. We look forward to hearing your story, giving you an honest opinion about your chances, and doing all in our power to get your case dropped. Even if that proves impossible, we may be able to get your charges reduced or negotiate to have your penalties minimized. Let us help you preserve your future and put your legal trouble in the past.