In Maryland, sex crimes are extremely serious. Those convicted of such crimes typically face years or even lifetime prison sentences, not to mention thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, mandatory sex offender registration, and other criminal penalties. The consequences of a conviction can extend into nearly every aspect of your life, affecting everything from your ability to keep your job or obtain a new one, find housing, and more. Simply being accused of a sexual offense can cause irreparable damage to your reputation.
If you have been accused of or charged with sexual assault, rape, statutory rape, child pornography, or any other sexual offense, reach out to the team at Albers & Associates right away. Our Towson sex crime attorneys defend against all types of criminal offenses and can immediately move to protect your rights.
Examples of Sexual Offenses in Maryland
There are various sexual offenses under Maryland law. Most involve a sexual act committed by one person against another without their consent or when the victim is unable to give consent, such as in the case of minors (children and teens under the age of 18) and incapacitated adults.
Some examples of sexual offenses include:
- Attempted rape
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
- Child pornography
- Lewd acts with a minor
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual stalking/harassment
- Sex trafficking
If you have been accused of or arrested for any of these or another sex crime, you should seek the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer right away. An attorney at Albers & Associates can help you understand your legal rights and options, as well as how to proceed.
Are Sex Crimes Charged as Misdemeanors or Felonies?
Most sex crimes are charged as felonies in Maryland, though certain offenses—such as prostitution, pandering, and solicitation—may be charged as misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances. Regardless of the charges, you could face serious penalties if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony sex crime in Maryland, including extensive jail or prison time, steep fines, and more.
Common sex crimes that are charged as felonies in Maryland include:
- Rape: Rape is defined as nonconsensual vaginal intercourse with another person, regardless of that person’s age, by force or threat of force. When someone is charged with using a weapon or threatening the victim’s life in the commission of the crime of rape, they may face a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- Attempt to Commit Rape: Attempting to commit rape in the second degree is also charged as a felony in Maryland. This includes date rape, which may be charged as first- or second-degree rape. If the accused allegedly uses drugs in the commission of the crime (such as Rohypnol, or “roofies”), they may also face additional drug charges.
- First-Degree Sexual Offenses: First-degree sexual offenses in Maryland include sexual acts other than vaginal intercourse (rape) without the consent of the victim, either through force or threat of force and with a weapon. Attempt to commit a first-degree sexual offense may also be charged as a felony in Maryland.
- Second-Degree Sexual Offenses: Second-degree sexual offenses include sexual acts committed against an incapacitated individual, either with force or the threat of force. This includes acts committed against people with mental or physical handicaps. Attempt to commit statutory rape (i.e., rape of a minor, or someone under the age of 18) is also a second-degree sexual offense in the state of Maryland.
- Third-Degree Sexual Offenses: Third-degree sexual offenses include nonconsensual sexual acts besides rape with the use of a dangerous weapon. In some cases, sexual contact with a mentally incapacitated adult may qualify as a third-degree sexual offense, as well as certain statutory rape charges. Third-degree sexual offenses are typically charged as felonies in Maryland.
- Fourth-Degree Sexual Offenses: Fourth-degree sexual offenses are charged as misdemeanors and include sexual offenses in which the alleged offender maintains some position of power over the victim, such as a teacher and student or coach and athlete. If the alleged offender is four or more years older than the victim, and the victim is a minor, the alleged offender could also face fourth-degree sexual offense charges.
- Sex Crimes with a Minor: In most cases, any sexual offense committed against a minor or in the presence of a minor will carry heavier penalties. Various factors—including the age difference between the two individuals, the type of offense allegedly committed, and more—play a role in how these crimes are charged and what the penalties may be.
Our Towson sex crime defense attorneys can review the details of your situation and provide detailed information on your various legal options. We encourage you to reach out to us right away for a free and confidential consultation.
In Maryland, the age of consent is 18. This means that no one under the age of 18 can legally give consent. When an adult—i.e., someone over the age of 18—engages in or attempts to engage in sexual acts with a minor, they can be charged with statutory rape or other sex crimes. But what happens if you are under the age of 18 and are accused of a sex crime?
In Maryland, minors can absolutely be charged with and convicted of sex crimes. However, when it comes to statutory rape, the laws are somewhat different. If the sexual relationship or act is consensual, the minor (or minors, if both individuals are under the age of 18) is 15 years old or older, and the age difference between the two individuals does not exceed three years, the sexual relationship or act will not be considered statutory rape.
Minors in Maryland can be charged with all types of sex crimes, including rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, child pornography, lewd conduct with a child, indecent exposure, and more. If you or your child has been accused of a sex crime, reach out to Albers & Associates as soon as possible.
Can a Sex Crime Charge or Conviction Be Removed From Your Record?
Expungement is the process of removing an arrest, criminal charge, or conviction from your record. Having your record expunged is difficult, as you must meet very strict and specific requirements to be eligible. If you do not meet these requirements, you cannot have an offense or alleged offense removed from your record or sealed from the public.
It may be possible to have a sex crime charge or conviction removed from your criminal record in some cases. We encourage you to contact Albers & Associates to learn more, including whether you are eligible for expungement and how our attorneys can help.
How a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you have been accused of, arrested for, or charged with a sex crime, your future is at stake. The best thing you can do to protect yourself, your rights, and your freedom is to reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, like ours at Albers & Associates. Your attorney will not only be able to explain your charges and the potential penalties you are facing but also the steps you can take to fight back.
At Albers & Associates, we move quickly on sex crime cases. We work diligently to gather critical evidence to support your defense and seek the best possible outcome, whether that’s having your charges reduced or dropped, having your case dismissed, or securing a not-guilty verdict.