Maryland Sex Crimes Lawyer
Maryland law regarding crimes of a sexual nature focuses primarily on rape in §3-303 and §3-304, and sexual offense in §3-305, §3-306, §3-307 and §3-308. Successive sections touch upon attempts of these crimes, as well as variations of the two, including incest and solicitation of a minor. Both rape and sexual offense may be considered a felony, and result in imprisonment for life, fines and other restrictions.
The state law in Maryland goes into great detail about sexual crimes in relation to varying levels of criminal activity, sexual conduct between correctional employees and inmates or children, sexual crimes involving family members and perceived unnatural sexual acts. For example, vaginal intercourse with someone a person knows they do not have the right to marry under §2-202 of the Family Law Article û can lead to a felony conviction and up to 10 years of imprisonment.
Rape has increased in the state of Maryland in recent years, with 1,228 reported instances in 2010. This was an increase from 2009, and is in contrast with other crime rates in the state, which have seen steady decline in recent years. If you are involved in a sexual crimes case, talk to our Maryland sex crimes attorneys about scheduling a free initial consultation to discuss your options. Visit our DC and Virginia page if you have sex crimes case relating to those states.
Maryland Rape Law
Subtitle 3 of Title 3 “Other Crimes Against the Person” details the degrees of rape and attempted rape charges, as well as the penalties for such acts in §3-303, §3-304, §3-309 and §3-310. Specific sex acts are listed and described, and receive separate handling when weapons are involved.
Rape in the first degree is covered in §3-303. It states that an individual may not force another, or use the threat of force, to engage in vaginal intercourse. A person must not use or show a weapon, or something perceived as a weapon by the victim, to assist in a rape. If the victim is under 16, or the accused is 18 or older with a victim under 13, a more serious crime is indicated.
Rape in the first degree is a felony. Sentencing can include imprisonment of 25 years to life. In certain cases, the accused may not be eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence.
Second degree rape has more to do with the personal situations of the accused and the victim. It states in §3-304 that an individual may not engage in vaginal intercourse with another through the use or threat of force, if the victim is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, or if the victim is under 14 and the accused is at least four years older.
Violating these laws can result in conviction of second degree rape, which is a felony. The jail sentence may be 15 or 20 years, and not include parole eligibility.
Persons who attempt either first or second degree rape can be charged with a felony, and face a jail sentence of 20 years or even life in prison.
If you are facing rape charges of any degree, a qualified Maryland sex crimes lawyer can help you determine an approach to the case.
Maryland Sexual Offense Law
Sections §3-305, §3-306, §3-307, §3-308, §3-311 and §3-312 of Subtitle 3 of Title 3 discuss the degrees of sexual offense and attempted sexual offense. Acts that are considered sexually offending include oral and anal sex.
In §3-305, a first degree sexual offense includes using force or the threat of force and displaying a weapon or an object perceived to be a weapon for the sake of a sexual act. When a victim of sexual offense is under 16, or the accused party is 18 or older with a victim under 13, the charges may be more serious.
A guilty charge of sexual offense in the first degree can see the accused with a sentence of 25 years to life.
As with second degree rape, second degree sexual offense, as outlined in §3-06, discusses sexual acts in the context of force or the threat of force, victims that are physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, or victims under 14 with a violator that is four years their senior.
Being accused of this felony could result in a jail sentence of up to 20 years
In §3-307, third degree sexual offense is explained with many of the same details of first and second degree offenses. However, the language in this section discusses the age of minors in greater depth. If a victim is 14 or 15, and the offender is 21 or older, the offending party is considered guilty of violating the law. Penalties for third degree sexual offense can include 10 years of jail time.
Fourth degree sexual offense, as discussed in §3-308, occurs in school settings, and involves sexual conduct between a figure of authority and a minor. These authority figures, such as teachers and counselors, must be over 21 years old and employed by a public or private primary or secondary school.
Those accused of fourth degree sexual offense may face one year of jail time and a $1,000 fine. A second offense can mean more time in jail.
Attempted Sexual Offense
Attempted sexual offense occurs in either the first or second degree. A person who attempts sexual offense in first or second degree can, according to §3-311 and 3-312, be convicted of a felony and serve 20 years to life in prison.
Sexual offense charges of any degree may be much more easily dealt with through the help of sex crimes defense lawyers in Maryland.
Sexual Conduct Between Correctional Employees and Inmates or Children
When it comes to §3-314, the purpose is to protect citizens who are being held either as criminals or confined minors. ôCorrectional employeesö may be sheriffs, wardens or other facility supervisors. Sexual acts, contact or vaginal intercourse is not allowed between correctional employees and inmates or confined minors under any circumstances. Guilty parties can expect up to three years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines.
Rape and Sexual Offense Information
In order to secure a warrant, indictment or information regarding an accusation of rape or sexual offense, the following must be stated on the document:
- Name of the defendant
- Date of offending incident
- County where offense took place
- Name of victim
- Section of Subtitle 3 that was violated
When these are provided, the defendant is entitled to a bill of particulars detailing the allegations against them. Our sex crimes attorneys in Maryland are prepared to see that your rights are observed during this process.
Depending on the circumstance, legally married persons may or may not be prosecuted under the sections of Subtitle 3.
The use of information regarding the victim’s sexual history may not typically be used in prosecution. In some cases, however, the information may be relevant.
Your rape or sexual offense case will receive detailed attention from one of our Maryland sex crimes attorneys, ensuring that you are fairly and accurately represented.
Unnatural Sexual Acts
While actions such as sodomy, oral sex and other ôperverted sexual practicesö are deemed illegal under §3-321 and §3-322, you are perhaps more likely to face charges for actions like incest and sexual solicitation of a minor (§3-323 and §3-324).
If you find yourself up against any of the charges outlined in Subtitle 3 of Title 3, “Other Crimes Against the Person,” contact a Maryland sex crimes lawyer for the advice and representation you deserve.