It is crucial to enlist an experienced criminal defense attorney when fighting sex crimes charges in Maryland. Imprisonment and other penalties may be imposed for a conviction, and even a sex crimes accusation carries a heavy social stigma and can harm your personal and professional future. At Felsen & Sargent, our Rockville sex crime attorneys can provide legal advice and aggressive representation for people accused or charged with rape, sexual assault, possession of child pornography, Internet pornography, indecent exposure, public lewdness, online solicitation of a minor, or prostitution and solicitation.Facing Prosecution for Rape and Other Sex Crimes
Rape and sexual assault convictions come with heavy penalties. There are two degrees of rape. A number of situations involving vaginal intercourse by force or threat of force can result in a charge of rape in the first degree under section 3-303 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code. For example, rape involving the use of a dangerous weapon, suffocation, burglary, or threats of disfigurement or serious injury may be charged as rape in the first degree. Rape involving certain types of victims, such as those who are mentally incapacitated or children under age 14, may be charged as rape in the second degree.
The maximum sentence for rape in the first degree is life imprisonment. However, the maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole may be sought if a kidnapped child under 16 is raped, an adult rapes a child under 13, or there is a prior conviction for a sexual offense. In the case of a rape committed by someone over 18 years old against a child under 13, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years. None of these years may be suspended, and the perpetrator will not receive parole.
Section 11-207 prohibits child pornography. For a first conviction, you may face imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. The prosecution will need to prove that the defendant knowingly caused or allowed a minor to participate in the production of an obscene performance or matter that shows that the minor engaged in sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse, among other situations. You may also be charged if you knowingly promote, solicit, distribute, advertise, or possess materials in a way that reflects a belief that the material shows a minor as a subject of sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse.
At our firm, we can undertake a thorough investigation to determine a strong strategy to defend a sex crime charge. Sex crimes can often be defended through an attack on the alleged victim's credibility. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a reduction in the type of charge or a dismissal. When this is not possible, we mount an aggressive defense at trial to attack the weakest elements in the prosecution's case. For example, in a child pornography charge, the prosecution must show that the defendant acted knowingly, which may be difficult to prove without the defendant's testimony. If a confession was obtained in violation of constitutional protections, we may be able to have it suppressed.Discuss a Sex Crimes Charge with a Rockville Attorney
A common mistake made by people being investigated is to believe that if they cooperate and speak about what happened voluntarily, the whole thing will go away. However, information you give to the police can be used against you, and you should take even an accusation or an investigation of sex crimes charges very seriously. The Rockville sex crime lawyers at Felsen & Sargent provide aggressive representation to people throughout Maryland, including in Silver Spring, Frederick, Upper Marlboro, and communities throughout Montgomery County and Prince George's County. Call (301) 251-4010 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We also can represent people who need a drug possession attorney or assistance with fighting another type of charge.