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Maryland Rape Lawyer

Rape is sexual intercourse, without consent, accomplished through the use of force or the threat of serious bodily injury. The force can be with a weapon, actual physical force, or the threat of force. Being convicted of rape can be negatively life-changing, both short-term and long-term, and has many negative social stigmas attached to it that can affect job opportunities and how other people think of you. Rape is much more serious than other sex crimes, and the consequences that result from a rape conviction can be much more serious as well.

Therefore, if you are facing rape charges in Maryland, it is very important to contact a knowledgeable Maryland rape lawyer as soon as possible. With an experienced sex crimes attorney and a strong defense on your side, you have a greater opportunity to minimize the penalties you would face if convicted of the crime.

Types of Rape

In Maryland, first degree rape involves a weapon, force or threat of serious bodily harm.  There is sexual intercourse; and there is no consent.

Statutory rape is when someone has sexual intercourse with a person who is a minor. There are specific degrees of this, but generally the minor is at least four years younger than the accused. Unlike in rape cases, consent is not part of the equation in statutory rape.

Within rape there are different degrees, depending on the type of sexual act.  All charges are serious, and all carry significant penalties making it important a rape attorney in Maryland is contacted as soon as possible.

Date Rape

Date rape or acquaintance rape occurs when two people have some sort of prior relationship. They are not necessarily dating or married. Perhaps they met in the bar and they had sexual relations after that. The crime is still prosecuted as rape, because the other elements of the offense are present.

Sometimes people choose not to hire a lawyer in date rape cases out of shame and confusion. Date rape can often seem like a very grey area. Sometimes it is very unclear if there will even be a criminal charge. There often is a complete lack of knowledge of how these cases work. Other times people think the situation will just work itself out and maybe it is all just a misunderstanding. People do not take these cases as seriously as they should because the moment a person is accused of raping somebody, it is a very serious situation with police and prosecutors involved. At that point anyone who has been accused will have the weight of the criminal justice system coming down on them.

Maryland does not have specific date rape charges. It is either a rape case or a sex crimes case. The state does not separate it. They will look at whether the parties knew each other as a possible mitigating factor at sentencing, but otherwise date rape will be charged and sentenced the same as a standard rape case.

Aggravating Factors

An aggravating factor is an element that makes the offense even more serious, such as the use of a weapon, drugs, or if the victim is a minor. If any aggravating factors exist, it is important to consult with a Maryland rape attorney so ensure that the offense and the related penalties are minimized as much as possible.

Difference from Other Sex Crime Cases

Rape cases are categorized as violent offenses, similar to murder, robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping. Sex crimes have their own category.  A sex crime is also a very serious offense, but it does not involve the threat of serious bodily injury or the use of a weapon in the same way as a rape case.

Sex offenses are organized similarly, depending on the nature of the sexual act, and the age or vulnerability of the victim.

Contacting a Lawyer

It is important to contact a lawyer with experience handling felony cases if you are facing rape charges in Maryland because the penalties in rape cases or serious felony cases are severe and have a lasting impact.  The potential for incarceration is high, as is the likelihood of many years on the sex offender registry.

A rape lawyer in Maryland can help in the early stages of investigation or criminal charges of this nature. For example, someone may be aware that they are going to be charged with a sexual offense such as rape or other sex crime. An investigator from law enforcement may contact the person for an interview. Having an attorney present early on is always important in any criminal case. With these types of cases, an experienced attorney has a clear idea very early on about the charges that somebody faces. The attorney is able to help guide you through the through the process and mitigate any potential charges you face.