How will a prior sex crime conviction affect my case?

How will a prior sex crime conviction affect my case?

Previous convictions for sex offense crimes can have a significant impact on a similar, new charge if you are found guilty or plead guilty. According to Maryland state law, there are several sex crimes charges where a previous conviction can bring about much harsher punishments; however, not every sex crime offense qualifies.

According to §3-313 of the Maryland Code, Prior Conviction Sentencing, a possible sentence of up to life in prison may be handed down for a subsequent conviction for:

— Rape in the Second Degree

— Sexual Offense in the Second Degree

— Sexual Offense in the Third Degree

— Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree

— Attempted Rape in the Second Degree

— Attempted Sexual Offense in the Second Degree

The most current conviction cannot come from the same violation or instance of:

— Rape in the First Degree

— Rape in the Second Degree

— Sexual Offense in the First Degree

— Sexual Offense in Second Degree

The prosecution must comply with Maryland Rules if they intend to seek such sentencing, including those that deal with the indictment and trial of the defendant.

As you can see, subsequent convictions for the listed sex offenses are very serious. It is vital that you start on your defense as soon as possible after being charged. While other sex offenses have possible sentences that run into decades, understanding how to approach such a possible defense is vital. An experienced criminal defense attorney — especially one experienced in sex crime defense — can prove valuable in building a strong defense against the charges.

Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, “§3–313. Prior conviction – Sentencing,” accessed Sep. 01, 2015

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