A Baltimore sex crime lawyer understands the fear, uncertainty, and shame involved with a sex crime conviction. At James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we vigorously defend people facing sex crime charges, from relatively minor misdemeanors to first-degree rape and other felony charges. We’re here to help you avoid a lengthy prison sentence and a lifetime of social stigma.
Maryland Sex Crime Laws
Maryland prohibits a wide variety of sexual behaviors and acts. They include, for example:
- Attempted rape and sexual assault,
- Child sexual abuse,
- Indecent exposure,
- Internet-related sex crimes, such as:
- Creating, distributing, or possessing child pornography,
- Publishing or distributing revenge porn, and
- Sexting and other harassment.
- Prostitution and solicitation,
- Rape and statutory rape, and
- Sexual assault and other sexual offenses, including the following:
- Molestation, groping, and other inappropriate touching, and
- Sexual acts between teachers and students.
Of course, every sex crime case is fact dependent and your charges will vary, depending on your circumstances. An experienced sex crime lawyer can help you both understand Maryland’s criminal laws and how to apply them in your case.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
In Maryland, there are both felony and misdemeanor sex crimes. Depending on the nature of your case, you might face a life in prison as well as other significant penalties. Maryland’s sentencing guidelines include the following:
- Child pornography: up to 20 years and a $50,000 fine,
- Felony sexual offenses: up to life in prison without parole,
- Indecent exposure: up to three years and a $1,000 fine,
- Misdemeanor (fourth-degree) sexual offenses: up to one year and fines,
- Rape: up to life in prison without parole, and
- Solicitation: up to 10 years and a $25,000 fine.
Certain rape and sexual offense charges also carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 or 25 years.
The law also imposes higher penalties if certain aggravating factors are involved in a crime. These factors include the following:
- Collaborating with another person during the crime,
- Committing the offense in conjunction with another crime, such as kidnapping or burglary,
- Inflicting injuries on the other person,
- Using a weapon during the crime, and
- Whether you are a repeat offender.
If you have questions about sentencing, sentence modification, or appeals, contact a sex crime lawyer at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates immediately.
Maryland’s Sex Offender Registry
Convicted sex offenders must register with Maryland’s sex offender registry. This involves regular reporting requirements. You must also publish your personal information in an online database, including:
- Date of birth,
- Place of employment,
- Schools you attend,
- Type of vehicle, and
- Type of conviction.
You might remain on the sex offender registry for life, depending on the nature of your conviction. And, for purposes of the sex offender registry, convictions include when you plead guilty or no contest, receive probation before judgment or are found not guilty by reasons of insanity.
While Maryland’s sex offender registry provides important information, it can also be abused. Sometimes, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members will use the registry to identify and harass convicted sex offenders — even trying to run them out their homes or workplaces. Since sex offender registration will deeply impact you and your family, you should always hire an experienced, aggressive sex crime lawyer to handle your case. Contact us for more information about the sex offender registry, its requirements, and how to avoid mandatory registration.
Defending Baltimore Sex Crime Cases
You should contact an experienced sex crime lawyer immediately if you are the subject of a criminal investigation or facing charges. Sex crime defense is a highly technical and precise practice. And, a conviction can dramatically impact your life — even if your conduct was non-violent. When you meet with one of our sex crimes lawyers, we will:
- Listen to your side of the story,
- Fully investigate the facts surrounding the incident,
- Review medical records and forensic evidence,
- Interview witnesses and experts,
- Identify and then develop legal defenses,
- Assess the quality of the prosecutor’s case and evidence,
- Negotiate with the prosecutor with the goal of avoiding jail time and other penalties,
- File and respond to pre-trial motions,
- Attend court hearings on your behalf,
- Present evidence to the judge and jury,
- File petitions for modified sentences (when applicable), and
- Prepare appeals (when applicable).
At James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we construct personalized defense strategies and treat our clients with dignity and respect at every step in the process. We understand that sex crime allegations can be very subjective. You might have honestly believed in legal, consensual activity. In addition, evidence can wrongfully incriminate an innocent person. We will therefore work with you to protect your rights and future. Remember, the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state cannot prove each element of your criminal charges, you will subsequently be acquitted.
Speak With a Baltimore Sex Crime Lawyer
An experienced sex crime lawyer can help you avoid long prison sentences, sizable fines, and a lifetime of social stigma. Moreover, a defense lawyer can provide valuable emotional support during an emotionally difficult time. Contact us for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.