In the state of Maryland, rape can be broken down into two degrees; first degree and second degree. They can be charged with very serious consequences and a person charged with rape will need to contact a Maryland rape lawyer.
Under section 3-303 there are two elements which must be satisfied in order to charge a defendant with first-degree rape. First, a person must engage in sexual intercourse with the victim without his or her consent. The second element is if sexual intercourse has taken place through the use of force or weaponry without consent. Other actions that may be considered in a first-degree rape include:
- The use or display of any weapon or physical object the victim may see as dangerous.
- Inflicting any serious injury on the victim, this may include suffocating, strangling or disfiguring the victim
- Threatening the victim or putting the victim in fear of any possible harm that may be done to the victim or another individual, such as death.
- Raping the victim while assisted by another person.
- Raped the victim during a burglary.
- Kidnapped the victim.
In Maryland, if a person violates this section then they are guilty of first-degree rape, this felony is punishable by the maximum of life imprisonment. However there are enhanced penalties if this crime has been committed as a part of child kidnapping to any minor under the age of 16, Or if the perpetrator is over 18 and the victim is younger than 13. It also includes if the person has had any prior convictions of first-degree rape. The maximum penalty for this is life imprisonment without parole. Also in the case that the person is over 18 and has raped a child younger than the age of 13 then there is a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Under section 3-304 in Maryland, the crime is also broken down into two main elements. First, the perpetrator must have had sexual intercourse with the victim. Second, the perpetrator must have sexual intercourse with the victim in at least one of the following circumstances:
- The act occurred through the use of threat and violence by the perpetrator, without the victim’s consent.
- The victim is physically or mentally incapacitated, such as being drunk or unconscious while the perpetrator is aware of the victim’s condition.
- If the victim is younger than 14 years old and the defendant is at least 4 years older than the victim.
In the event a person violates this section in Maryland, then they are guilty of second-degree rape. This act may be punishable by up to 20 years of prison time. However, if a person 18 years or older rapes a child younger than the age of 13 the mandatory minimum prison term is 15 years and the maximum is life imprisonment.
In the event of attempted first-degree rape in Maryland, then under section 3-309, the act is punishable by the maximum of life imprisonment. Under section 3-310, if a person attempts to commit rape in the second degree, then that person may be punished by up to 20 years in prison.