Maryland has a very detailed sexual offense and Rape decrees mainly due to the harshness of these crimes, all of which are serious felonies. Moreover, Sexual offenses are generally divided amongst 4 degrees. Likewise, Rape is also generally divided amongst 4 degrees. Moreover, both of these sexual charges carry a much bigger negative disgrace than any other crimes, including murder. Accused rape offenders often feel that the entire justice system is against them, this includes the judge as well. Additionally just having a sexual offense charge on your record can greatly impact your reputation with the rest of the public in all manners such as taking loans, finding future housing amongst others.
- A 1st-degree rape charge is one of the most serious offenses you can face in the State of Maryland. To elaborate, a person to be guilty of 1st-degree rape has to satisfy 2 elements. One the offender must engage in sexual in vaginal intercourse with the victim through the use of intimidation and the use of force without the consent of the victim as found in the Maryland Code of Law Section 3-303(a). Two the offender has to also do one of the following charges:
- Be helped by another individual in raping the victim.
- Use either a physical object of which the victim believes is a weapon or use a real dangerous weapon such as a knife, gun against the victim.
- The rape corresponds with a robbery (either first, second or third degree)
- Cause serious injury to the victim such as disfiguration, suffocation and strangling the victim.
- Threatening the victim with disfiguration, kidnapping, suffocation, strangling and death
Moreover, the penalties of 1st degree rape will greatly increase under the Maryland Code of Law Sections 3-503(a) and Section 3-303(b) which cover if the victim is under the age of 16 and was raped as part of a child kidnapping and if the victim was under the age of 13 while the offender was at least 18 years of age, respectively.
A first-degree rape, in accordance with the laws of Maryland, has a penalty of up to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for guilty offenders. However, if the offender violated Maryland Code of Law Section 3-503(a) the penalty becomes much more sever because if the offender kidnaps a child that is under 16 years of age and then rapes the child then the penalty is life in prison without the possibility of parole. This type of penalty is also charged on felons that had a prior 1st-degree sexual offense or rape. Moreover, if the offender violates the Maryland Code of Law Section 3-303(b) where the victim is under the age of 13 while the offender is at least 18 years of age, then the penalty of this type of 1st degree rape is 25 years in prison with the possibility of a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Moreover, the minimum prison time an offender must face is 25 years.