Sex crimes can cover a variety of charges including but not limited to rape, assault, harassment, and prostitution. The vast majority of sexual offenses will, in addition to jail time, be subject to the sex offender registration. Being a registered sex offender is a life altering consequence that will make it extremely difficult to hold down a job and even find housing. We understand how devastating such an accusation can be, and will work tirelessly to analyze evidence and police reports, investigate the motivations and credibility of the alleged victim and any witnesses.
The state of Maryland classifies rape in the first and second degree. A conviction of first-degree rape holds a maximum sentence of life in prison, while second-degree rape has a maximum of 20 years. Without aggressive and proactive legal defense, both condemn you to a lifetime on the sex offender registry, no matter how lenient the sentence.
Sexual offenses can be crimes not classified as rape, but are treated just as harshly by the courts. The severity of sexual offenses depends on the use of force, the use of a weapon, and threats made to an individual. Statutory rape often is prosecuted as a sexual offense. The age of consent in Maryland is 16, and intercourse with an individual under that age can receive a second-degree rape sentence or, more likely, a third or fourth-degree sexual offense sentence depending on the ages of the parties involved. Exceptions known as “Romeo and Juliet laws” are made for minors who are less than four years older than the victim.
Stalking and harassment, though less serious than charges of assault, can still be treated with severity in court. Stalking can get up to 5 years in prison with a $5,000 fee and harassment can get up to 90 days in prison and a $500 fine with the first offense, and 180 days and a $1,000 fine for the second offense. Charges of stalking and harassment are based on intent and the actions of the alleged victim. This means that the case generally rests on details of witness testimony, which we review carefully in order to avoid wrongful charges. It is important to note that individuals who are working with political or religious connections will likely not fall into this category as “legal purpose” is a requirement to prove harassment.