Maryland Sexual Battery Lawyer

When hearing the term sexual battery, people may be confused about what is encompassed under Maryland law. Sexual battery is the unwanted touching or sexual assault against an individual without their explicit consent. In Maryland, this is and would typically be charged as a first-degree sexual offense.

Sexual battery differs from rape because it does not include vaginal intercourse, yet it is a higher degree of sexual offense because battery typically includes a more aggressive and severe form of assault.

Being accused of sexual battery can be detrimental to an individual’s personal and public life by affecting relationships with community members, family, and career opportunities. With the help of a Maryland sexual battery lawyer. A well-versed attorney could explain your legal rights and options.

Understanding Different Sex Crimes

In Maryland, there are a variety of different charges and convictions for sex crimes, and it can be confusing to understand the difference between them. The two main categories that sex crimes fall under in Maryland law is rape and sexual offense. The largest difference between a rape conviction and a sexual offense conviction is that a rape involves forced vaginal intercourse. A sexual offense may involve sexual penetration, but also includes other forms of sexual assault such as unwanted touching.

Another easily confusing difference between a rape charge and a sexual battery charge is that while both are considered sex crimes, only rape is considered a violent crime. Even if sexual battery is not considered a violent crime, it is still a serious offense with significant penalties.

Penalties for Sexual Battery

The penalties for a sexual battery conviction depend on the degree to which the charge is brought. The higher the degree, the greater the penalty. In Maryland, a sexual offense to the first degree, the highest degree to which a conviction can be made, may result in a minimum sentence of 25 years and may go up to life in prison, sometimes without parole. The main reason a sexual battery is convicted to the first degree is if either a weapon was used, or physical force that could have resulted in death.

A sexual battery conviction may also be to the second degree which may result in a minimum of 15 years in prison up to the possibility of life. An offense may be brought to the second degree if there was a forced, nonconsensual sexual act that may not include a weapon. A charge can also be brought if an individual has a sexual relationship with a minor under 14 and is themselves four or more years older.

In subsequent sections of Maryland law, sexual battery can be prosecuted to either the third or fourth degree. In a third-degree conviction, an individual may face prison time up to 10 years. For a fourth-degree conviction, an individual may face up to a year in prison as well as a fine of $1,000.

Each conviction, regardless of the severity, holds devastating consequences for an individual’s life. Having a sexual battery attorney in Maryland as your representative may result in either lesser penalties or a dismissed case.

Contact a Maryland Sexual Battery Attorney

Sexual battery cases can be tricky to navigate, and the complexity of Maryland sex crime laws can be confusing. That is why it is beneficial to retain a knowledgeable Maryland sexual battery lawyer to gain greater insight into your legal rights and options. Contact a lawyer today to begin the process of building your defense case.