How a date rape arrest can evolve into first-degree rape charges

As criminal defense attorneys, we cannot stress strongly enough how serious an arrest for date rape can become in Baltimore and other Maryland communities. In our state, the law does not distinguish date rape from any other form of rape, which essentially means defendants arrested for date rape can find themselves quickly drowning in very hot water.

In Maryland, date rape is simply a term for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred during some kind of social event such as a date or a party. In the eyes of the law, it does not matter if the alleged offender knew or had a previous sexual relationship with the alleged victim. All it takes is an allegation of force or threatening coercion for the law to take the accusations seriously. As a result, a conviction of date or any other rape can result in life-changing consequences, including prison time, reputation loss and long-lasting social stigmas.

If the arrest or rape charges include the presence of date rape drugs, it could worsen an already terrible situation. When all of the alleged elements of the charges—force, threats, coercion or date rape drugs—combine, it can mean a first-degree rape conviction. This is one of the most serious sex crimes on the books, resulting in many years behind prison bars if convicted.

The best thing a defendant can do if he or she is facing date rape or other sexual offenses is to acquire solid help building a proper defense early on. In the interests of helping you learn more about date rape charges and their possible consequences, we urge you to browse our comprehensive and educational web section on crimes involving sex.