Crimes of Rape

In 2015, there were 1,666 reported rapes in the state of Maryland, including 287 reported rapes in Baltimore City.

Rape crimes in the State of Maryland can be charged in the first degree or second degree. While rape charges can involve DNA and other technical evidence, many rape cases boil down to the testimony of the alleged victim and whether the alleged victim consented to the sexual encounter. False allegations of rape do occur for a variety of reasons.

To protect yourself from life-changing consequences such as prison, extended probation, various sex offender programs and sex offender registration, you will need a lawyer who is willing to aggressively cross-examine victims to uncover inconsistencies that may turn the case around from a loss to a win.

Attorneys Defending Allegations of Rape in Baltimore, MD

At the Law Offices of James E. Crawford Jr. & Associates, LLC, our job is to stand between you and your accuser so you can get your life back. We have earned a statewide reputation for our case results, which include many dismissals and not guilty verdicts.

We defend people charged with rape in Baltimore, Catonsville, Annapolis, Bel Air and every county throughout Maryland. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Call 443-709-9999 today for a free and confidential consultation.


Analyzing and Neutralizing the Evidence Against You

One of our first steps in defending you against rape charges is to demand the state’s evidence against you. Based on the evidence the state has, I can determine what we need to do to counteract that evidence. Our Maryland sex crimes lawyers are highly trained and we use experts as needed to analyze and neutralize the evidence against you.

Please understand that if you are reading this and you believe there is a possibility that someone may have accused you of inappropriate or criminal conduct such as rape, then it is imperative that you understand how the system works. Even if you believe it is unfair or wrong, the job of a detective is to contact you and the witness very quickly before you contact a defense lawyer like me.

The authorities know that I will advise you and prevent them from obtaining information from you that could cause a conviction on accusations involving:

Various defenses may come into play when someone is accused of rape. Gathering evidence with lightning speed and putting the state or federal government in a situation in which alternative evidence is presented very quickly can sometimes halt a prosecution or even a potential indictment.


First-Degree Rape under Section 3-303

First-Degree Rape under Section 3-303 of the Criminal Law Article prohibits a person from engaging in vaginal intercourse with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other and:

  • employing or displaying a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;
  • suffocating, strangling, disfiguring, or inflicting serious physical injury on the victim or another person in the course of committing the crime;
  • threatening, or placing the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping;
  • committing the crime while aided and abetted by another; or
  • committing the crime in connection with a burglary in the first, second, or third degree.

In the state of Maryland, first-degree rape is a felony and punishable by imprisonment not exceeding life. A person convicted of committing rape in the first degree while also violating specified prohibitions on child kidnapping involving a victim who is a child younger than age 16 is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole. Under either of these circumstances, a person is subject to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole if the person was previously convicted of first-degree rape or first-degree sexual offense.

A person age 18 or older who violates the prohibition on rape in the first-degree with a victim who is a child younger than age 13 is subject to imprisonment for not less than 25 years and not exceeding life without the possibility of parole. A court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, and the person is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence. If the State does not comply with specified notice requirements, the mandatory minimum sentence does not apply.

The court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years. Additionally, with that conviction the defendant is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence. If the State does not comply with specified notice requirements, the mandatory minimum sentence does not apply.

Specified notice requirements apply if the State intends to seek a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for first-degree rape.


Second-degree Rape under Section 3-304

Second-degree Rape under Section 3-304 of the Criminal Law Article prohibits a person from engaging in vaginal intercourse with another:

  • by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other;
  • if the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual; or
  • if the victim is younger than age 14, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.

Second-degree rape is a felony and punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.

A person age 18 or older who commits any of the aforementioned prohibited acts with a child younger than age 13 is subject to imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not exceeding life. The 15-year mandatory minimum sentence cannot be suspended by the court and is nonparolable. The State must comply with specified notice requirements if it intends to seek the 15-year mandatory minimum sentence, and the mandatory minimum sentence does not apply if the State fails to comply with specified notice requirements.


Additional Resources

Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers in Maryland – Visit the website of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) to learn more about confidential services to adult and child victims as well as their families, partners, and loved ones including crisis intervention, counseling, and referral, victim accompaniment to hospitals, police interviews, and court to provide support and information about options. Find information about the 24-hour Crisis Hotline with counselors trained to listen and offer information. The non-profit organization provides individual, group, and family psychotherapy while helping the victims of rape and sexual assault navigate the legal and judicial systems. Clinical services provided by specially trained psychologists, social workers, and paraprofessionals are either free or based on a sliding scale according to individual financial resources.


Finding a Law for Rape Crimes in Baltimore, MD

If you are ever accused of rape, it’s important to not talk to police about the charges. You could inadvertently give the police information that will prevent you from using certain defenses. In cases of statutory rape, for example, the facts that you did not know the alleged victim’s age or that the sex was consensual are not defenses.

By talking to police, you could end up giving the state the evidence it needs to charge you with a crime that will affect you for the rest of your life. Even if you understand the law and are careful about what you say, what you tell police and what ends up getting written in the officer’s report can be two entirely different things. When your life is at stake, you need to have a professional managing your case from day one.

To protect your future contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for allegations of rape and sexual assault. Related charges can include statutory rape. Call Attorney Jim Crawford before you talk to police or anyone else.

James Crawford is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate four offices for your convenience, including the main office in Baltimore as well as offices in Catonsville, Annapolis and Bel Air. He represents clients charged with first-degree sexual offense, second-degree sexual offense, attempted first-degree sexual offense, and attempted second-degree sexual offense.

To contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates by calling 443-709-9999 today.