While a fourth degree sexual assault is a misdemeanor in Baltimore, it is a serious charge and a conviction could have long-lasting negative consequences, including a year in prison. An individual charged with any sexual misconduct charge will have their personal and professional reputation severely damaged. The ramifications could adversely affect their spouse, children, and other family members.
If you are facing fourth degree sexual assault charges, you need our experienced attorney. The Baltimore fourth degree sexual assault defense lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have the knowledge and resources to aggressively defend you. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Fourth Degree Sexual Assault Defined in Baltimore, MD
Classified as a misdemeanor, a fourth degree sexual offense carries a maximum prison sentence of one year and a potential $1,000 fine. If you have a previous conviction for a sex crime, the prison sentence could be as long as three years. Additionally, the conviction of a sex crime could require registering as a sex offender for up to 15 years.
A fourth degree sexual offense includes the intentional, intimate touching of another individual without their consent. This does not include consensual, friendly, affectionate touching. Additionally, it does not include vaginal penetration, which would give rise to a more serious offense.
Conduct that constitutes fourth degree sexual assault includes:
- Non-consensual sexual contact with another individual.
- A 19-year-old committing a sexual act with an individual who is 14 or 15 years old.
- A person over the age of 21 and in a position of authority engaging in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor when in a position of authority. For example, a coach, teacher, or camp counselor.
Conviction of fourth degree sexual assault charges requires proving two elements, “sexual contact” and “lack of consent.” Sexual contact includes multiple behaviors including, touching another person’s genitals or an intimate area such as breasts. This touching could be with the defendant’s hand or another body part.
Penalties for Fourth degree Sexual Assault
A conviction of fourth degree sexual assault charges carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a potential fine of $1,000. If there are prior convictions for attempted rape, rape, or sexual assault of a minor, the maximum sentence rises to three years and a potential $1,000 fine. Additionally, an individual convicted of a sexual offense in the fourth degree could be required to register as a sex offender for fifteen years.
Defending Fourth degree Sexual Assault Charges in Baltimore
If the evidence presented in your case is questionable or circumstantial, our experienced defense attorneys will seek to cast doubt towards the case presented against you. We will pool together disputing evidence based on expert testimony from medical, psychological, and forensic professionals. By thoroughly reconstructing the circumstances related to the incident, we will work to craft a persuasive argument in favor of your innocence, including finding contradicting or false witness testimony or calling other evidence into question.
Maryland Sex Offender Registry
Conviction of a sex crime in Baltimore will result in being registered in the Maryland sex offender registry. Depending on the crime and the age of the victim, a convicted individual will be subjected to a specific amount of years on the registry according to three tiers.
Tier 1 offenses include fourth degree sexual assaults, possession of child pornography, internet crimes, and sex trafficking.
More serious crimes are considered tier 2 and require 25 years on the Maryland sex offender registry. These include distribution of child pornography, using or abducting a minor for prostitution, operating a brothel, and sexual solicitation of a minor.
The most serious sex crime offenders are placed on the registry for life. These are generally felonies such as rape, attempted rape, incest, sexual assault, and the sale of a minor.
Being listed on the Maryland sex offender list will adversely impact where you can live and work. Our Baltimore fourth degree sexual assault defense lawyers are committed to providing you the best defense possible, helping you avoid a conviction and all of the negative consequences that follow.
Call Our Baltimore Fourth Degree Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you are facing fourth degree sexual assault charges, you need our experienced attorneys. The Baltimore fourth degree sexual assault defense lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have the knowledge and resources to aggressively represent you. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.