Maryland law defines sexual assault as engaging in any sexual act with another person by force, threat or without the consent of the victim. The charges are broken down into first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree.
Section 3-305 states that first degree sexual assault is when a dangerous weapon is used, harm to the victim such as suffocation is used, a threat is made to the victim which causes fear such as fear of death, serious physical injury or kidnapping, if the crime was aided by another person, or if the crime is connected with a burglary.
Normally, this crime or attempt to commit this crime can be punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In the event, this crime was committed after a previous conviction of sexual assault or rape, if sexual assault was committed to a kidnapped minor under the age of 16 or if the defendant is over 18 and has sexually assaulted a victim under the age of 13, then the maximum sentence is life imprisonment without parole.
The concept in rape cases is usually applied in sexual assault cases in Maryland.
The defendant is not eligible for parole and has a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence if he or she is over the age of 18 and has sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13. In this case, under Maryland’s laws, the court does not have the power to suspend the 25-year mandatory prison sentence.
Section 3-306 regulates second-degree sexual assault. This involves force or threat of force, lack of consent and the defendant taking advantage of the victim’s mental and physical state. For example, the defendant may be aware that the victim is unaware of his or her surroundings (drunk, high or unconscious) yet decides to go ahead with sexually assaulting the victim. Also whether or not the victim is under 14 and if the defendant is at least 4 years older than the victim may be charged as a second-degree sexual assault.
Usually, the offence of a second-degree sexual assault act in Maryland is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison including attempted sexual assault. In the event that the defendant is over the age of 18 and the victim is under the age of 13, then the minimum conviction is 15 years in prison and the maximum is life imprisonment.
Section 3-307 discusses third-degree sexual assault in Maryland. This includes any engagement in sexual contact without the victim’s consent in any of the following situations:
- Using a dangerous weapon, seriously injuring the victim or threatening the victim.
- The victim is physically or mentally incapacitated while the defendant is aware.
- The victim is under 14 years old and the defendant is at least 4 years older.
- If the defendant is 21 years or older and sexually assaults a 14 or 15-year-old victim.
The penalty for sexual offences in the third degree do not usually exceed over 10 years of imprisonment.
Section 3-308, states that anyone over the age of 21 and is in an authority to supervise over minor children such as a teacher that engages in sexual conduct with a minor has committed fourth-degree sexual assault. The penalty for such assault is imprisonment for a maximum of one year, a fine of up to 1000 dollars or both. If the defendant has a prior sexual assault or rape conviction in Maryland then the maximum imprisonment time rises up to 3 years.
Sexual assault is defined as “sexual offense” in Maryland and it states that sexual offense is the act of engaging sexual intercourse with an individual without consent along with the use of force and intimidation. Moreover, the law breaks down sexual offense into 4 different degrees. These degrees are outlined below:
First Degree: a person is charged with 1st degree rape when the individual uses strangulation, a dangerous weapon and intimidates the victim with the possibility of being abducted, seriously injured and death. Moreover, this charge also comes into play if the rape is connected with a robbery and if the offender is helped by another individual. Additionally this charge as age considerations because if the victim is a minor, harsher penalties will implement. 1st degree rape typically has a mandatory 25 year prison sentence, however, if a minor is the victim then the offender is charged with life without parole.
Second Degree: a person is charged with 2nd degree rape if the individual has sexual intercourse without consent along with the use of force and intimidation on a victim that is under the age of 14 while the offender is 4 or more years older. Moreover, it also applies if the victim is mentally and physically challenged. The 2nd degree rape charge has a penalty of a minimum 15 year incarceration that can increase to life in prison depending on the severity of the charge.
Third Degree: a person is charged with 3rd degree rape when the individual has sexual contact with a person without consent along with the use of force and intimidation on a victim that is mentally challenged. Additionally this charge as age considerations in case the victim aged 14 or 15 suffers sexual contact or vaginal intercourse with an offender aged 21. This charge has a 10 year prison sentence as a penalty.
Fourth Degree: a person charged with 4th degree rape usually has to be at the minimum 21 years of age and holds a position in authority such as a principle, a teacher or any position that supervises minors. This individual then uses their position to engage sexual assault with a minor under the age of 14. Moreover, the penalty this charge carries is 1 year incarceration with the possibility of this increasing to 3 years if the offender has a prior Maryland sexual charge. Additionally, the offender is also charged a $1,000 fine.
Furthermore, Maryland Sexual Assault laws also covers Sexual abuse, the differences between sexual assault and sexual abuse include the age of the person, the consent and any other crime that corresponds with sexual abuse and understanding them is very essential because it can mean between restraining order and spending decades up to life in prison thus it is imperative for an individual that is accuses of such crimes to find an experienced legal representative straightaway in order for them to make sure that a full investigation of these accusations is carried out and study the information of the suspected crime. Moreover, when searching for a sexual assault lawyer you have to make sure that they will go through all the legal process and use all available resources in order for them to protect your name and freedom.
If you need a Maryland Sexual Assault Lawyer to help you with your Sexual Assault case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Sexual Assault Attorneys can help you.