Bethesda Sex Crimes Lawyer
The mere accusation of a sex offense can have an immediate impact on the person accused, even in the absence of any physical evidence. For some people, an allegation of a sex crime can cause difficulties in both personal and professional relationships. Although a person is to be considered innocent unless proven guilty of any crime, when it comes to sex crime allegations, the accused is often treated with suspicion. A Bethesda criminal lawyer can help you preserve your rights and protect your reputation while you aggressively fight the charge.
Benefits of Hiring a Sex Crimes Attorney
Often, when a person is accused of wrongdoing or questioned about possible impropriety, the first instinct is to try to explain the situation. However, when the case involves suspicion of a criminal act, the first step should be to decline to speak to anyone about the matter and to insist upon having an attorney present.
Hiring a Maryland sex crimes lawyer at the beginning of the case can provide you the legal counsel you need to prevent saying things that can be manipulated and used against you.
Common Sex Crime Charges in Maryland
Maryland sex crimes range from forcible sexual contact to sex offenses involving no contact at all. Rape, sexual assault, statutory rape, and internet sex crimes including solicitation of a minor and downloading or distributing child pornography are among the sex crimes penalized by Maryland law.
Rape and Attempted Rape
Maryland criminal law classifies rape as either first degree rape or second degree rape. Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-303 and § 3-304 describe each classification of rape:
- First degree rape includes non-consensual sexual intercourse accomplished through threat or force involving the use of a dangerous weapon; suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, or serious bodily injury; the assistance of another person; or occurring during a burglary. The maximum sentence for first degree rape is life in prison without parole. If the crime is committed by a person aged 18 or older against a minor under 13, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
- Second degree rape involves force or threat of force; sexual intercourse with a person who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 14 by a person at least four years older. Second degree rape is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. If the offense involves a child under 13 and an offender aged 18 or older, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
If you are accused of first degree rape, second degree rape, or attempted rape, call to speak with a sex crimes lawyer in Bethesda.
Maryland Sexual Offenses
Sex crimes involving physical contact that falls short of rape are typically charged as “sexual offenses” under Maryland law:
- First degree sexual offense (§ 3-305) – forcible sex acts, additional sex acts committed during the first degree rape of a minor under 16, sex acts with a minor under 13; punishable by a maximum of life in prison or life without parole
- Second degree sexual offense (§ 3-306) – sex acts with a person who is unable to provide consent due to mental deficiency or physical helplessness, or a person under the age of 14; punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison
- Third degree sexual offense (§ 3-307) – sexual contact, even apparently consensual contact, between a person under the age of 14 and someone 4 years older or sexual contact between someone aged 14 or 15 and an adult aged 21 or older; punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison
- Fourth degree sexual offense (§ 3-308) – sexual contact between a person in a position of authority and a person under his or her authority or supervision, such as the relationship between a teacher and student; a fourth degree sexual offense is a misdemeanor sex crime punishable by a maximum of one year in jail
In addition to these sexual offenses, the state prosecutes sex crimes including the “unnatural sex acts” of sodomy and oral sex; solicitation of minors; and child sexual abuse.
If you have been accused of illegal sexual contact or the attempt to commit an illegal sex act, contact a Bethesda sex crimes lawyer immediately.
Sex Crimes Defense: Bethesda Criminal Lawyers
Conviction of sex offenses in Bethesda brings not only the possibility of lengthy prison sentences, but also mandatory sex offender registration and the restrictions that apply to registered sex offenders. Do not try to handle your case without aggressive defense representation. Call today to speak with a Bethesda sex crimes attorney who can fight for your rights.