Ocean City Sex Crime Trials
The overwhelming majority of sex crimes fall within the definition of felony offenses. Some are misdemeanors, but for a sex crime to be a misdemeanor, there must be limited to some sort of illegal touching. Often, these offenses are way beyond an issue of simply a touching or are more advanced so they are felonies. If you are facing an Ocean City sex crimes trial, an experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you during the trial, by guiding you through the process and representing you in court.
Law Enforcement Approach
Sex crime cases are prosecuted very aggressively. The state’s attorney’s office has a dedicated prosecutor for child abuse and sex offenses. That attorney specializes in these types of offenses and is prepared to prosecute them to the full extent of the law. When there is an allegation of a sex crime, it is taken seriously because someone’s privacy and body are violated and their right to consent to who may touch them is disregarded. Because of the vigor of the opposition, it is extremely helpful for someone to have an experienced attorney by their side in an Ocean City sex crime trial.
Consider too that Ocean City is a tourist destination. For the state of Maryland, it is the vacation spot in the summer. Law enforcement and prosecutors want to do everything they can to ensure the safety of visitors. However, there are sex offenses that come with too much alcohol, acquaintance rape, date rape, and the like. The authorities prosecute those cases vigorously because they want to send the message that when someone does something like here, they will suffer the consequences.
Whether a sex crime case is heard by a judge or a jury is within the discretion of the person charged. Some may want their case heard by a jury because these are 12 people from the community. They are not lawyers, they are not professional triers of fact like judges. Therefore, they have a different approach to hearing the evidence.
There are situations where allegations are made but are untrue. There are reasons why an accuser would fabricate a story like that. For instance, they may be in a sexual relationship with someone besides their significant other and if they are caught they allege that they did not consent to the sex act.
Other times, a charge is used in a retaliatory way in an Ocean City sex crimes trial. The accusation is made out of vindictiveness. Juries have a much better sense of that than judges and may be more skeptical about why someone waited a week to disclose that they were the victim of a crime. Quite often, it is preferable to have a case like that heard by a jury. However, when it is more a question of law, it may be better for a case to be heard by a judge.
Constitutional issues regarding search and seizure may occur during the course of an investigation for a sex crimes offense. Whenever the police search for or take something to be used as evidence against the person charged, there should be an analysis as to whether the Fourth Amendment applies. If the Fourth Amendment applies and it was somehow violated during the search and seizure, the argument can be made that the evidence should be suppressed. That means the state cannot use that evidence at an Ocean City sex crimes trial.
Another constitutional issue that arise in Ocean City sex crime trials involves the Fifth Amendment, which protects individuals from self-incrimination. When somebody gives a statement or any time they are questioned by the police, there is a possibility that the Fifth Amendment may apply. That could be an important issue, especially if the statements of the person charged are the bulk of the state’s evidence.
If there is a way to have those statements suppressed, that is to the benefit of the person on trial. Another constitutional issue is the Sixth Amendment because it provides the right to be represented by counsel. If the police attempt to question someone and that person requests a lawyer, it is possible that the statements they make can be suppressed if they were not afforded the right to counsel.
How An Attorney Can Help
Charges of this nature are taken seriously and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Because of this, having an attorney with extensive experience in the jurisdiction can make a big difference in the outcome of an Ocean City sex crime trial. Such an attorney will be able to guide and advise you throughout the often intimidating and overwhelming process.