Sex crimes in Salisbury and around Maryland come in varying degrees of severity. While many people may imagine a rape or other serious example of sexual violence when they consider a sex crime, in reality, any sexual conduct that is performed without the permission of the other party is a sex crime. If you were accused of such an offense, contact a Salisbury sex crimes lawyer immediately.
Due to the nature of the offense, sex crimes convictions can range in severity from life sentences for rape to misdemeanors carrying a maximum jail sentence of one year. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, it typically benefits all defendants facing a sex crime allegation to defend their rights aggressively. This may include working with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Lawyers who are familiar with sex crime cases could help an accused person understand the relevant laws, evaluate the legality of any police work in the case, and cross-examine any state witnesses at trial. Call today and set up a legal consultation to begin reviewing your case.
Misdemeanors Sex Crimes
Not every sex offense is a felony that will result in a multiple year prison sentence after a conviction. In fact, many offenses are relatively minor accusations that simply involve sexual conduct. An example of a misdemeanor sex crime is a sexual offense in the fourth degree under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-308. This is a baseline offense that prohibits any unwelcome physical touching of a sexual nature. As a result, an unwelcome touch on the rear-end or an unwanted kiss could fall under this statute. The penalty here is a maximum of one year in jail and a fine. Whatever the charge may be, a person who is arrested for a sexual offense should immediately seek the legal counsel of a qualified Salisbury sex crimes lawyer.
What Makes a Sexual Crime More Serious?
Most sexual offenses are felonies. This means that the available penalty for a conviction is more than one year in jail. Perhaps the simplest to understand in its contrast with a misdemeanor offense is a sexual offense in the third degree under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-307.
Here a person commits an unwelcome sexual act through the use of a dangerous weapon, through the threat of force, or with the help of a third party. These aggravating factors combine to make this offense a felony with a maximum available prison sentence of ten years.
More serious versions of sex crimes in Salisbury include incest, attempted rape, solicitation of a minor for sex, and rape. All of these are felonies that involve the use of force to accomplish sexual goals. A conviction under any of these statutes could result in a lengthy prison sentence. However, a defendant’s troubles may not end with the conclusion of their sentence.
The Registration Requirement
A conviction for any sex crime in Maryland requires a defendant to register a sex offender. This will affect almost every part of a person’s life from where they may live to jobs they may have. Maryland places sex offenders into one of three tiers. The main difference is how long that person must remain on the registry following a conviction.
Tier I registrants must remain on the list for 15 years. Examples of these convictions include peeping, soliciting sex online, and possessing child pornography.
Tier II requires individuals to remain registered for 25 years. Offenses here include the distribution of child pornography and sale of a minor for sex.
Finally, tier III offenses include rape, incest, or kidnapping for the purpose of rape. These people must register for the rest of their lives. The requirement to register as a sex offense may often be more of a burden than a jail sentence following a conviction for a sex crime. As a result, it is essential that defendants in sex crime cases protect their futures.
A Salisbury Sex Crimes Attorney Can Fight for You
The mere allegation of a sex crime is enough to throw a person’s life into chaos. These cases can often become sensationalized and a defendant may feel that they will not get a fair chance to argue their case. With the potentially life-altering consequences for a conviction, defendants need to provide themselves with every opportunity for a powerful defense.
A Salisbury sex crimes lawyer may be able to provide that defense. They work with clients to hear their side of the story, to conduct an independent investigation into the incident, and to discredit the prosecutor’s case in court. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.