Ocean City Sex Crimes Lawyer
Being charged with a sex crime can be intimidating. Even if it is only an allegation, there are many social consequences that could ruin a person’s reputation. These are types of crimes that prosecutors get very aggressive about, judges are very aggressive in their sentences, and the person faces an uphill battle from the start.
An Ocean City sex crimes lawyer can provide legal representation as you respond to sexually-related charges in Ocean City, Maryland. Sex crimes carry some of the most severe penalties in the criminal justice system, even when the offenses are non-violent. There are ways to defend yourself and options to plea bargain, and your sex crimes defense lawyer in Ocean City will help you to find the best response to your charges.
The laws that apply in Ocean City regarding sex crimes are the laws that are contained in the Annotated Code for the state of Maryland. The sex crime laws are consistent throughout the entire state including Ocean City. As to what constitutes a sex crime, there is a huge spectrum of behavior that can be defined as a sex crime.
The most minimal of those behaviors would be basically touching someone without their permission, which would be a misdemeanor. The other end of that spectrum would serious sex crime offenses, which would be first-degree rape, which is a felony and carries a significant amount of time in prison. It is also considered to be a crime of violence, which means the person would have to serve 50 percent of their sentence before they would even be eligible for parole.
Uniqueness of Charges
Depending on the alleged victim’s age or even just the circumstance, it is difficult to be able to discredit the victim in front of a jury. Being charged with a sex crime and potentially being convicted and serving a sentence, the sentences are extreme. On top of that, if and when the person gets out of prison, they then have to face all of the issues related to the sex offender registration because Maryland has very clear rules regarding the sex offender statutes and depending on the crime that the person is convicted of, they can be facing lifetime registration on the sex offender list which means constantly reporting, if the person moves, they have to re-register. Depending on a person’s point of view, even if they commit a minor sex offense, they still face registration and the minimum terms to be on the sex offender registry is 10 years.
Even for a relatively minor crime, the charge can have a life-altering effect on the person. A lot of people would consider the sex offender to be an inappropriate candidate for employment.
The penalties for sex crimes vary based on the type of offense, the age of the victim, and whether there was violence involved. While there are some minor offenses that might not require jail time or that may lead to minimum imprisonment, most sex crimes are taken very seriously. This means even if someone makes a relatively minor mistake or does something they do not realize is against the law, like receiving explicit photos from an underage person, they could face decades of incarceration. For the first violation of child pornography laws, for example, someone could go to jail for up to 10 years and pay up to $25,000 in fines.
Some defendants found guilty of sex crimes in Ocean City are also required to register as a sex offender for anywhere from 15 years to life. The Department of Public Safety and Correction has a full list of offenses that will necessitate registration if convicted. To minimize the impact of charges or to see specifically what someone could be facing, they should contact an Ocean City sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
Role of an Attorney
The attorney in a case like that is going to have several different roles. An Ocean City sex crimes lawyer is going to have to be prepared and know how to conduct the trial for something like this. An individual wants a litigator who is familiar with the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure.
An attorney needs to know how to read the report from a sexual assault nurse examiner, how to understand a serology report, and a report regarding DNA results. An attorney needs to be very familiar with the rules regarding sex offender registry when certain offenses apply, and how the registration is. Sometimes it is not unusual for an attorney in a case like this to end up in some sort of plea bargaining session and the attorney has to be prepared to get the best sentence for the client, but also understand what the registry requirements are because that can really play a role in how to handle plea negotiations.
There are a lot of different paths than an attorney has to be aware of when defending in a case like this and an accused individual wants somebody who is going to be a really good listener and is going to take in all the information from the client but who can also have those hardest conversations with the client and tell them what the potential consequences are.
Hiring a Sex Crimes Lawyer
You should carefully consider the charges against you to determine if you have defense options like false accusations, mistaken identity, or consent to the sex acts. If you can successfully defend yourself by employing these or other arguments, you can avoid being convicted. An Ocean City sex crimes lawyer can also help you try to negotiate a plea deal that reduces charges, limits penalties, or helps you avoid having to register as a sex offender.
Contact an Ocean City sex crimes lawyer today to find out the legal implications of your specific case and to discuss possible defenses.