Anne Arundel Sex Crimes Lawyer
A sex crime is a term that refers to a whole array of criminal offenses that involve unlawful touching or sexual penetration. Sex crimes include rape, statutory rape, pornography, unlawful touching, and touching of minors.
An experienced Anne Arundel sex crimes lawyer understands the nuances and processes of this serious accusation. Sex crimes have a unique subset of legal statutes with a variety of serious consequences that an attorney can help a person understand and navigate.
Sex Crime Charges
There are many different kinds of sex crimes. The most widely known are rape cases, which are violent in nature. There are also sexual offenses of a less violent nature. For example, statutory rape occurs when a person has sex with a minor who is significantly younger, and doesn’t necessarily involve violence.
Sex offenses involve many of the same elements as rape and all are considered very serious offenses. Sex crimes are divided into different categories depending on the nature of the crime. Elements that decide the nature of the crime can include forcible sex versus a touching related offense and the inclusion of a minor. The varying degrees of sex crime offenses have varying punishment levels in Anne Arundel.
An Anne Arundel sex crimes lawyer is helpful because the accused may not fully understand the seriousness of the offense. For example, statutory rape could involve a young man and his high school girlfriend. The young man could be looking at month or years in jail, and decades on the sex crimes registry, for something he did not realize was a crime.
Sexting: Is it a Crime?
Yes, sexting can be considered a sex crime. However, it is not a codified crime in every state. In Anne Arundel County, sexting is not considered a crime. Sexting is commonly considered lewd commentary texted to another person. If the accused has sent a text with pictures to a minor, even states without a sexting law will probably prosecute these cases as child pornography.
In Maryland, if the behavior involves a picture with text, it is prosecuted under child pornography laws. A person may be prosecuted for receiving a sext; but generally the law recognizes that an individual cannot control what they receive.
Serious Nature of Sex Crimes
Sex crimes cases in Anne Arundel are very serious. Typically, when people think of criminal acts, they think of battery, or someone punching or stabbing another person. Sexual crimes indicate a very personal violation and can sometimes involve child victims.
The victims may not always exhibit physical signs as a result of being a victim of the crime. But often, they suffer great psychological scars. Sex crimes also put defendants in a very different position because they are exposed to the criminal penalties and sexual registries, which make them a much more public example.
The penalties can range from 25 to 35 years in prison depending on whether the crime is a first or second conviction. When someone is convicted for a sex crime a second time, the penalty increases. There are guidelines that dictate the range; generally, the active penalty is from six months of probation to 25 to 35 years in prison. The sentence can be a life sentence when the charge is a violent rape crime.
The other component of the penalties of a sex crime is the sex offense registry. A person convicted of a sexual offense is required to register themselves as a sexual offender that becomes public record. The length of time someone spends on the sexual offender registry is statutorily determined based on the seriousness of the conviction.
Importance of an Attorney
Hiring an attorney early in the process is important because people charged with a sexual offense face serious penalties including being put on the sexual offense registry. A sex crimes attorney in Anne Arundel can quickly assess the situation and contact the appropriate authorities to mitigate any charges filed.
It is important to remember that even if someone is innocent of a charge, the fact that they are charged follows them for the rest of their lives. An attorney can defend somebody against awful accusations. When there is a basis for an accusation that results in a person being charged, an attorney can work with a person charged with a sex crime to shepherd them through the process.