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Ocean City Statutory Rape Lawyer

Maryland statutes dictate the crime of statutory rape in Ocean City. The phrase statutory rape, however, is not what it is actually called. The slang  term of statutory rape refers to the laws that prohibit people from engaging in certain types of sexual behaviors with an individual who is of or below a certain age.

It is designed to protect people who are too young and therefore not capable of giving consent. Even if they wanted to or even if they did agree to any type of sexual behavior, under the law, they are not capable of consenting, and so anything sexual that happens with them is a crime. Because of this, and should you find yourself facing charges, the most important thing you can do is contact an Ocean City statutory rape lawyer immediately. Such an attorney will  help you navigate the process of building a defense and making sure all the facts of the case are considered.

Elements of Statutory Rape

In a case of this type, the state has to prove the age difference between the claimant and the defendant only. It is important to note that, beyond that, they do not have the additional burden of proving that the actions were done by force.

To prove a statutory rape under rape in the second degree, the state simply has to prove that the claimant was under the age of 14 and that the defendant was at least four years older. An Ocean City statutory rape lawyer will be imperative in defending against this type of offense.

Unique Aspects of These Charges

The biggest distinction between statutory rape charges and other similar but different ones has to do with the fact that age is directly related to the charge. When the term rape is used under Maryland law, it specifically refers to unlawful vaginal intercourse that would be unconsented to by the plaintiff.

Therefore, statutory rape is unique in that the state does not have to prove that whatever took place was unwanted or was an act of violence or force, because the crime refers to engaging in that behavior with someone who is too young to give consent.

Law Enforcement Perspective

Criminal cases in Ocean City are prosecuted by the Worcester County state’s attorney’s office, which is very aggressive in prosecuting felonies and any statutory rape case would fall under that category. They also typically have a prosecutor whose main focus is handling the rape and sex offense cases. That prosecutor is very specialized and very targeted in their approach which makes it important that the accused party has an experienced Ocean City statutory rape attorney on their side.

Building a Defense

The biggest defense, because of the way the statutes are written and because of the fact that they are age-based offenses, is to claim that there was no intercourse; there was no sexual relationship between the parties.

In order for this to be a viable approach, there has to be a good reason given why the victim would fabricate something like this. After the arguments presented by the attorneys, jurors are judges alike are tasked with evaluating the credibility of each witness.

Invalid Arguments

The defendant or their Ocean City statutory rape lawyer cannot raise the defense of saying the other party consented to the act or was okay with it, because it is irrelevant to the elements of the charge.

It is also important for people to understand that it is not a valid defense in court to argue that the defendant thought that the accuser was older. While a young teenager may look older than their real age, it is essential to confirm the fact. If a person says they are 18, it is not enough to go on their word alone.

Even if the defendant was lied to about the age of the accuser, the crime has taken place nevertheless, and therefore will be tried in court.

Benefit of An Ocean City Statutory Rape Lawyer

It is important to look for an attorney who has a lot of experience in these types of cases–both felonies in general, and sex crimes in particular. The benefit is that they will have faced multiple jury trials and will know how to best approach them should the case come to that.

Somebody who has experience engaging members of a jury, which is a very unique process, will be best equipped to understand what sort of behavior they might tolerate or what evidence they might need to in order to convict or acquit a defendant.

With these types of cases, it is also helpful to have an Ocean City sex crimes attorney who knows the judges and is therefore familiar with what sort of sentences they tend to pass down. It is also important to be able to speak to the prosecutor’s office and have somebody who is actually willing to communicate with and bargain with.

Sometimes, the only way to resolve the case for the defendant is through a plea. As in other steps of the process, having an experienced attorney who has a good working relationship with the prosecutor’s office will increase the likelihood that you can get the very best plea offer possible.

Ocean City Statutory Rape Lawyer
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