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Maryland Sexual Battery Lawyer

In Maryland, sexual assault and sexual battery are separated differently. In Maryland, sexual assault or sexual battery is considered a first degree sexual offense. It is a more violent or serious form of a sex crime. Sexual assault or battery involves threats, serious bodily harm, injury, or death. It may or may not involve a weapon. Sexual battery involves forcible contact and a sexual penetration or some other penetration of the alleged victim’s body with either another body or an object. A Maryland sexual battery lawyer can help walk you through the details of your case and the severity of the charges levied against you.

Severity of The Offense

In Maryland, crimes are divided into different categories including sex crimes and violent crimes. Rape is considered both a sex crime and a violent crime. There are other cases involving victims without the involvement of a weapon or serious physical injury. Sexual battery is not a violent offense, but it is very serious offense that carries grave penalties. A Maryland sexual battery lawyer knows the level of seriousness and how each aggravating and mitigating factor affects this. Often, these kinds of cases can involve children as victims, which adds a layer of severity to the case as well.

Penalties

In Maryland, the penalties for sexual battery depend on the kind of case it is. Sex offenses have different categories for determining the severity of sentencing. The most serious cases can incur as many as 25 years in prison. The most serious cases involve the highest level of penetration, for example rape cases with sexual intercourse, and involve the most serious penalties. Cases with different types of penetration are considered less severe, but still very serious.

Second degree sex offenses can include sexual battery. A second degree sexual offense is a sexual act that means sexual touching, but no penetration. Third or fourth degree sexual offenses involve inappropriate touching, but do not rise to the level of seriousness of second degree.

With sex crimes, the sentencing ranges are broad and mitigating and aggravating factors in every case. Sex offense case sentencing involves the sex offender registry component as well. An experienced sexual battery lawyer in Maryland can help you navigate the complexities and range of sentencing and work with the judge to encourage less severe penalties.

Aggravating Factors

Each state has different guidelines in defining aggravating factors. In Maryland the factors include: use of a weapon; evidence of physical injury; age of alleged victim (ie: particularly young or particularly old); or whether the victim and accused knew each other.

Judges are given some discretion to sentence within a guideline’s range. While sentencing is fairly formulaic, judges do consider aggravating and mitigating factors at this phase.

Importance of a Maryland Attorney

It is very important to hire a lawyer in sexual battery or sexual assault cases. Experienced attorneys who have handled sexual battery cases before are familiar with the process, and can help the accused navigate through the court process, and explain sentencing guidelines.

Having an attorney early in the process gives you an understanding of what you are looking at, the range of incarceration, and other factors. The lawyer can facilitate the process and also help you through the penalty phase, if you were to get to that point. Having an experienced attorney to guide you through can work towards making the penalties less severe.