Maryland Rape Lawyer
If you have been accused of a sex crime in the state of Maryland, your attorney is all that stands between you, state prosecutors, prison time and being registered as a sex offender. This is why it is absolutely essential to choose legal representation that has the experience and proven results needed to properly defend you against this very serious charge.
- Rockville Man Savoring a Complete Acquittal After Nine Months in Jail Despite Videotaped False Confession
- Montgomery County jury acquits 3 men in attempted-rape of 71-year-old woman
- Charges dropped in child-abuse case. ‘I knew I was innocent,’ says Maryland counselor
Prosecution of sex crimes in Maryland is vigorous and intense. This intensity can turn ordinary citizens into hunted, desperate defendants long before their guilt or innocence is established in a court of law. It is important to understand the differences between various rape charges, because legal defense strategy will depend very much on the particulars of the situation and the charge.
Rape in the First Degree
A sexual act committed without consent of the other party using force or with the threat of force and/or physical violence, is considered an act of rape. A first-degree charge would apply when the offense is committed in tandem with the use of a deadly weapon, during the commission of another crime, or if serious physical harm has been inflicted on the victim.
A sexual act, as defined by section 3-303 of the Maryland Criminal Code includes:
- Vaginal intercourse
- Anal intercourse
- Touching or other physical contact
- Object penetration of genital opening for sexual gratification
Rape in the First Degree is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. If the offender is over the age of 18, but the alleged victim is 12 years old or younger, being convicted of rape in the first degree means a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years. The offender will be registered as a Tier III sexual offender for the rest of their life.
Rape in the Second Degree
Considered a second-degree felony, and punishable by as much as 20 years in prison, this charge refers to a sexual act committed without consent of the other party using force or with the threat of force where the victim is substantially impaired mentally or cognitively, or is 13 years of age or younger. This charge would also apply if the victim is under the age of 14 while the offender is at least 4 years older.
If the victim of a second-degree rape is less than 13, and the assailant is 18 years of age or older, the maximum sentence upon conviction is increased to life behind bars, and a mandatory minimum punishment of 15 years in prison. The offender will be registered as a Tier III sexual offender for the rest of their life.
It should be noted that second degree rape doesn’t need to involve the use of a weapon or the threat of harm or death, but it does require the use of force, or the threat of using force. This charge has a particular gravity, since this is often the charge levied against “date rape” type offenders, where a victim is functionally incapacitated from the effects of drugs and/or alcohol.
The danger of this charge is the fact that there does not have to be overt evidence of force, and the victim doesn’t have to testify to all of the details of the alleged assault. This opens the door to false allegations and wrongful convictions.
Jezic & Moyse – Maryland Sex Crimes Attorneys
Maryland’s sex offense statutes are all very specific, and while other sex crimes are codified by the Maryland criminal code, these are the offenses that rise to the level of rape, and must be handled by legal representation that is experienced and passionate about getting to the truth.
If you have been accused of rape, call Jezic & Moyse for a consultation today. Our team of experienced sex crimes legal experts will work hard to uncover the facts, establish what actually happened, and advocate for the best possible outcome for their client. Call Jezic & Moyse, criminal defense experts, today.