Sex offenses are very dreadful crimes and are taken very seriously in Maryland. Since there are many types of sex crimes, the court divided the charges based into four main groups.
First Degree Sexual Offense
Sexual offenses in the first degree are very similar to first-degree rape with the only difference being that sexual offense crimes involve any sexual acts while the rape charge involves actual intercourse occurring. For a person to be charged with a first-degree sexual offense, they must forcefully or by a threat of force participate in sexual acts with the victim without taking their consent and also do one of the following:
- Use of/ Display of dangerous weapon or any object that causes the victim to believe that their life is at risk.
- Cause any serious harm to the victim while engaging in the sexual act such as suffocating or disfiguring.
- Threatening the victim or leading them to fear that they may be killed, seriously injured or abducted.
- Carrying out the offense with the help of another individual.
- Carrying out the offense as part of a first second or third-degree burglary
If a person in Maryland is found guilty of the sexual offense in the first degree, they face the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison.
If the sexual offense in Maryland is carried out with relation to the abduction of a child under the age of 16 or the person charged was previously convicted of a first-degree sexual offence or rape, the expected sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole. If a person at least 18 years of age is found guilty of a sexual offense in the first degree and the victim is younger than 13 years old, then the offender faces 25 years to life without the possibility of parole.
Second Degree Sexual Offense in Maryland
To be charged with a sexual offense in the second degree, the person must engage in sexual acts with a victim under one or more of the following circumstances.
- The victim did not give consent to engage in sexual acts.
- The victim is physically or mentally helpless at the time of the offense or is mentally deficient and so could not defend themselves.
- Victim is younger than the age of 14 and there is at least a 4-year age gap between the perpetrator and the victim.
If a person is found guilty of a second-degree sex offense charge in Maryland, they face a possible sentence of 20 years in prison. If the felon is over the age of 18 and found guilty of a second-degree offense where the victim is younger than 13 years old, the sentence is between 15 years to life in prison.
Sexual offenses in the third degree differ from the first and second degree regarding sexual activity.
To be charged with the sexual offense if a person engages in sexual contact with the victim without the victim’s consent under one or more of the following circumstances
- The perp uses or displays a weapon that leads the victim to believe they may be harmed
- Inflicting any serious injury on the victim
- Threatening to harm, kill, or kidnap the victim or an individual known to the victim
- The person carries out the offence with the assistance of another individual
A person found guilty of the sexual offence in the third degree may be sentenced up to 10 years in prison.
There are a number of situations that may be considered sexual offenses in the fourth degree
- A person engaging in sexual contact with another person without their consent
- A person that is younger than 21 but is at least 4 years older than the victim engages in sexual contact with a 14/15-year-old.
The punishment for a person found guilty of the sexual offense in the fourth degree is up to 1 year in prison and a fine of $1000.
If the person was previously convicted for a sex offense the punishment may be up to 3 years in prison and a fine of $1000.
If you need a Maryland Sex Crimes Lawyer to help you with your Sex Crimes case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Sex Crimes Attorneys can help you. C