Maryland Sex Crimes Trials
Although some things may vary depending on the case, including the evidence presented, sex crimes trials generally follow a similar path. With this said, having a Maryland sex crimes lawyer who knows these issues, particularly involving child victims, is especially important. An experienced attorney can help an individual through the trial process, serving as an advocate and support system, while working diligently to build a robust defense and fight for the defendant’s freedom.
There is a little variation state by state, but generally, all felonies, and just about every single sex crime, will be heard in front of a jury. That does not mean every aspect of the case is heard in front a jury. Instead, trials are heard in front of the jury, but everything else, such as what evidence can be admitted at trial, is determined by a judge.
However, there are circumstances in which, with the advice of their attorney, an individual may choose to go in front of the judge and not choose to go in front of the jury at all. This is why it is so important for a defendant to have a knowledgeable attorney counsel them as there are situations where it would be better to choose not to be in front of a jury.
Are Violent Crimes Treated Any Differently?
Violent sex crimes are treated differently because of the nature of the crime. Not only is someone accused of a violent offense, they are also being accused of a violent offense involving a sexual type of crime. It is a crime involving a sexual predator which is considered particularly dangerous, so these case are treated particularly carefully, bails are usually set much higher, and there is a great deal of extra care given to these kinds of cases and how they proceed through the court system.
Evidence and Testimony
There is a great deal of physical evidence for these cases, and there may also be some actual witness testimony. If the victim is present and is able to testify, they will be there telling what happened. Their testimony can be quite compelling, because the nature of the crime is not something that a jury would hear or read about.
Scientific evidence that is presented consisting of physical samples. Sex crimes are very scientific types of cases and there are very scientific ways of proving the elements of the crime. For example, you would hear about consent, what it means, and that it can be determined in a way that does not involve only what the victim says.
While the use of witness testimony is unique in sex crimes, it can be traditional as well. The person takes the witness stand and explains what happened to them. They are cross examined as in any other kind of case. The testimony tends to be a very dramatic testimony which is different in many ways than other types of cases.
The other aspect of sex crimes cases that is very different is when children are victims. When children are victims, there are different situations. Sometimes the testimony is not actually given by the child by instead by a psychologist, doctor, or someone else who spoke with the child. There are ways of presenting that evidence in lieu of the actual witness on the stand. With cases involving children as victims, there is a tension surrounding the case that is different in cases where children are witnesses and not victims of offenses.
Prosecutors push for the maximum sentence while being mindful of the fact that there are also victims involved. These types of cases, and all cases that involve victims, have a great deal of emotion. The prosecutors are mindful of the fact this is going to be a very emotional experience for everybody concerned.