Baltimore Sexual Assault Attorney

Without the help of a Baltimore sexual assault attorney, you might feel alone and overwhelmed. It can be difficult talking about sexual assault — especially if you’re facing jail time. However, you have legal rights. At James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we vigorously defend people against sexual assault charges. And, we will treat you with respect and compassion during a difficult time.

What Is a Sexual Assault Crime?

Baltimore sexual assault attorneySexual assault crimes include rape and other sexual offenses. Maryland law categorizes sexual assaults by their severity. They include:

  • First-degree rape: Nonconsensual sexual intercourse using force, a weapon, strangling, the threat of injury or death, kidnapping, or inflicting a serious injury.
  • Second-degree rape: Vaginal intercourse that was either:
    • By force or threat,
    • With a mentally incapacitated person (including someone who was intoxicated or unconscious), or
    • With someone under 14 years old and you were at least four years older.
  • First-degree sexual offenses: A sexual penetration (other than vaginal) by force, threat, or without consent while either displaying a weapon, injuring or suffocating the victim, or threatening serious bodily harm, or during the commission of a burglary, or with another person’s assistance.
  • Second-degree sexual offenses: A sexual act that was either:
    • By force or threat,
    • With a mentally incapacitated person, or
    • With someone under 14 years old and you were at least four years older.
  • Third-degree sexual offenses: Statutory rape or sexual touching (not penetration) under any of the following circumstances:
    • Without consent, while using a weapon, strangling, while threatening death or serious injury, kidnapping, or with the help of another,
    • The other person was mentally incapacitated
    • The other person was under 14 years old and you were at least four years older.
  • Fourth-degree sexual offenses: Including:
    • Nonconsensual sexual contact,
    • Sexual acts (including vaginal intercourse) with someone 14 or 15 years old and you were at least four years older, or
    • Sexual contact between someone under the age of 18 while you are in a position of authority (such as a teacher).

If you need help understanding your criminal charges, contact a Baltimore sexual assault attorney at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates immediately.

Penalties for a Sexual Assault Conviction

Most sexual assault crimes are felonies. If you are convicted of a sexual assault, you will face significant jail time and penalties. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case you might face:

  • Life imprisonment (with or without parole),
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing,
  • Lengthy prison sentences (up to 20 years), and
  • Fines, fees, and restitution payments.

Additionally, if you are convicted of a felony you typically lose your right to possess firearms. You might also risk losing your professional license (such as a medical or law license) and have difficulties finding work, housing, and educational opportunities.

Because a conviction can be life-changing, it’s in your best interests to consult with a sexual assault attorney. A Baltimore sexual assault attorney at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates can help you prove your innocence, reduce your charges, and get the best possible results under the circumstances.

Maryland’s Sex Offender Registry

All convicted sex offenders must register with Maryland’s sex offender registry. The sex offender registry publishes your:

  • Name and age,
  • Home address,
  • Place of employment,
  • Where you attend school,
  • Photograph, and
  • Sex-related convictions.

Anyone can view Maryland’s sex offender registry, including your neighbors and employers. And, if you do not meet the registry’s strict reporting requirements, you might face additional criminal charges.

Depending on the severity of your crime, you will remain on the sex offender registry for at least 15 years. Very serious crimes, such as rape, child sexual abuse, and first, second, and third-degree sexual offenses, result in lifetime registration. Additionally, your sex offender registration is removed if your conviction is overturned on appeal, pardoned, or expunged. Contact us for more information.

How Do I Defend Myself Against Sexual Assault Charges?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, your defenses might include:

  • Innocence: Sometimes, innocent people are charged with sexual assault. In these cases, we can help you prove your innocence.
  • Burden of proof: The prosecutor must prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced sexual assault attorney can help you highlight weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.
  • Lack of Intent: For certain sexual assault crimes, you are not guilty if you did not intentionally and knowingly engage in criminal conduct.
  • Statute of Limitations: While most sex offenses do not carry a statute of limitations, there are filing deadlines for certain sexual assault crimes.

Sexual assault cases are increasingly technical. You must evaluate forensic evidence, assess each witness’ credibility, and craft legal arguments. For this reason, it’s typically in your best interest to hire a skilled and aggressive sexual assault attorney. At James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we work with our clients to build a well-developed, aggressive defense strategy that focuses on you and your family’s needs.

Discuss Your Case With a Baltimore Sexual Assault Attorney

If you’re the subject of a sexual assault investigation — or facing charges — contact a sexual assault attorney immediately. At James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we believe that everyone deserves respect and tenacious legal representation. Contact us for a consultation today. We’ll help you understand your rights and ensure that they are protected.