Maryland Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crimes carry a legal and social stigma that lasts long after a defendant has served his or her sentence. Many people convicted of such crimes are required to register on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, which ensures their conviction will follow them when they try to find housing, apply for work, or even seek a bank loan. Given the potential lifetime consequences of a sex crimes conviction, it is crucial to ensure the legal system affords every accused person a fair, trial that does not succumb to the emotionally charged environment that often surrounds these types of allegations.
The Maryland sex crimes lawyers at Henault & Sysko Chartered can help ensure that police, prosecutors, and the courts respect your constitutional rights. Sex crimes cases often call for an aggressive criminal defense strategy. Remember, the burden is never on you to “prove” your innocence, no matter how heinous the charge. Rather, it is the State’s Attorney’s job to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Understanding the Different Types of Sex Crimes in Maryland
The term “sex crimes” actually covers a wide variety of offenses described in the Maryland Criminal Law Code. Some of the more common types of sex crimes we assist clients with at Henault & Sysko Chartered include:
- Rape in the first degree– This refers to engaging in “vaginal intercourse” or another “sexual act” with someone without their consent, or through the use or threat of force, provided any of the following conditions are also present:
- The defendant employed or displayed a dangerous weapon, or something the victim reasonably believed to be such a weapon;
- The defendant suffocated, strangled, disfigured, or inflicted other serious injury on the victim in the course of the rape;
- The defendant threatened or placed the victim in fear of imminent suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, or serious injury;
- The defendant acted in concert with another person (i.e., a gang rape); or
- The defendant committed the rape in connection with a burglary.
- Rape in the second degree– This covers situations where the defendant engaged in non-consensual vaginal intercourse (or another sexual act) with the victim, but the crime does not meet the threshold for rape in the first degree; second-degree rape also applies to sexual intercourse with mentally impaired or incapacitated individuals, and sexual acts between a victim who is under the age of 14 and a defendant who is at least four years older (i.e., statutory rape).
- Sexual offense in the third or fourth degree– When a defendant engages in non-consensual “sexual contact”–but not vaginal intercourse–with a victim, that is classified as a “sexual offense” in Maryland. Third-degree sexual offense requires the presence of at least one special condition, which are similar to those for rape in the first degree described above. It also covers certain statutory cases where a defendant who is 21 years or older makes sexual contact with a teenager (someone who is 14 or 15).
Contact Henault & Sysko Chartered If You Are Accused of Rape or Sexual Offense
Rape and sexual offense in the third degree are felonies. In other words, a conviction can send you to prison for a very long time. Indeed, in first-degree (and some second-degree) rape cases, a defendant faces a life sentence.
So as you can see, any sex crimes allegation must be taken seriously. And if you are accused, or even under investigation, for rape or sexual offense, your first step should be to contact the Glen Burnie sex crimes lawyers at Henault & Sysko Chartered. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation so we can sit down, review your case, and advise you on what steps to take next.