Frederick County Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you are facing allegations, charges, or investigation for a sex crime in Frederick County, Maryland, you should consider contacting a Frederick County sex crimes lawyer. Sexual offense laws in Maryland are complex and often difficult to understand. Furthermore, they often carry serious penalties that can involve life time sex offender registration.
Frederick Sex Crimes Lawyers Handle These Cases
- Two categories of felony rape
- Four types of sexual assault (three felonies and one misdemeanor)
- Sexual molestation
- Prostitution and solicitation
- Child pornography offenses, which can be charged as federal crimes. Often, human trafficking is involved in these offenses.
How Does Maryland Law Define Rape?
- First-Degree Rape [Section 3-303] – This is engaging in vaginal intercourse “by force or threat of force, without victim consent” that injures the victim. It is can punishable by up to life in prison, depending on the specifics of the case and whether the offender has previous convictions and whether a weapon is used. If the convicted suspect is over 18, and the victim is under 13, a mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years.
- Second-Degree Rape [Section 3-304] – The main differences between this and first-degree rape is that there is less serious injury, and the accused did not have a weapon. Punishment is generally 20 years in prison. Perpetrators over 18 whose victim is under 15 face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
What is Sexual Offense in Frederick County, MD?
- First-Degree Sexual Offense [Section 3-305] – This crime involves any “sexual act” excluding vaginal intercourse. Alleged suspects commit this crime without the victim’s consent “by force, threat of force, and with a weapon.” It is punishable by up to life in prison. If the victim is a child under age 16, life is possible. If the child is under age 13, and the accused, is over 18, sentences range from a mandatory minimum of 25 years to life.
- Second-Degree Sexual Offense [Section 3-306] – This charge requires allegations of engaging in a sexual act without consent (by force or the threat of force) with either a mentally incapacitated, mentally defective, or physically helpless person OR a minor under the age of 14 when the accused is at least 4 years old. This is a felony offense and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum 15 years if the accused is over 18 years of age.
- Third-Degree Sexual Offense [Section 3-307] – This crime is defined as engaging in any form of sexual contact short of rape, without the victim’s consent, but no violence occurs. It also includes non-violent sexual contact with mentally handicapped victims and those under age 14 where the accused is over 18. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
- Fourth Degree Sexual Offense [Section 3-308] – This crime is generally classified as a misdemeanor. It involves non-felonious sex offenses where the aggressor is in a position of power, such as the workplace, or in a school, or if the suspect is at least four years older than a 14- or 15-year-old victim. The penalty is up to three years in prison.
Sexual assault and the distinctions between degrees and penalties can be complex. A Frederick County sex crimes lawyer can help you understand the charges you are facing.
Are Prostitution or Solicitation Sex Crimes in Frederick County, Maryland?
Prostitution entails the “hiring” of another person to perform any sex-related act [Section 11-301(c)]. Both the person who seeks, and the one who provides, sexual favors can be charged with this offense. The facilitation crimes of “pimping” and “pandering” are also prostitution-related charges.
- Pimping (or “marketing” the services of a prostitute) can be charged under any of five conditions listed in [Section 11-306(a)(1-5). Penalties for these violations can be up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- Pandering essentially means the trafficking of a human being for the purposes of prostitution or for the victim to engage in the production or distribution of child pornography [Section 11-303].
Pandering can be charged as a felony with as much as a 10-year state prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000, or both. But if the suspect is convicted of human trafficking of a child (under 16), the penalty can be as high as a 25-year prison sentence and a $15,000 fine. There are also charges for those who receive any earnings from a prostitute [Section 11-304].
A sex crimes attorney in Frederick County can build a defense for a fact-specific case and help fight a conviction in Maryland.
Federal Sex Crime Charges
Like many local sex crime violations, most federal sex crimes are facilitated via the Internet. The most common federal sex violations involve possession, production, and distribution of child porn. There are also charges involving human trafficking across state lines, particularly minors ages 14 and under to engage in prostitution [18 U.S. Code Section 2421], and child pornography [18 U.S. Code Section 2251].
Those found guilty of any federal human trafficking violation involving minors in any sex-related industry will pay a large fine relative to the degree of the offense, and receive a prison term of 20 years (or more), or both. These penalties can be enhanced if other federal laws were violated during the commission of any trafficking or solicitation offenses (such as federal weapons, kidnapping, conspiracy or drug charges).
Those convicted of state or federal sex crimes must register with the Department of Justice’s Sex Offender Registry [42 U.S. Code Section 16913]. Depending on the violation, they could remain on the registry for the rest of their life.