Sexual offenses in the fourth degree are codified within the Criminal Laws of Maryland under CR 3-308. Fourth-degree sex offense is one of the most commonly charged sexual crimes in Maryland. Since it is classified as a misdemeanor, the crime is not as serious as other sexual offenses in Maryland. However, if convicted, an individual could face substantial imprisonment and face years of probation. 4th Degree sexual offenses are classified as a Tier 1 sexual offense under Maryland law. The Maryland sexual offender tiers are found in Maryland Criminal Procedure 11-701.
What are Fourth Degree Sexual Offenses in Maryland?
There are numerous acts that can satisfy a fourth-degree sex offense. Those include:
- Sexual contact (see definition below of sexual contact) with another without the consent of the other person;
- A sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim;
- Vaginal intercourse (see legal definition below of vaginal intercourse) with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim;
- A person in a position of authority (see below for definition of person in a position of authority) may not engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor who, at the time of the sexual act or sexual contact, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed; or
- A person in a position of authority may not engage in vaginal intercourse with a minor who, at the time of the vaginal intercourse, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed.
How is Sexual Contact Defined Under Maryland Law?
How is Vaginal Intercourse Defined Under Maryland Law?
How is Person of Authority Defined Under Maryland Law?
- is at least 21 years old;
- is employed by or under contract with a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school; and
- because of the person’s position or occupation, exercises supervision over a minor who attends the school; and
What is the penalty for a fourth-degree sex conviction in Maryland?
If charged and convicted of fourth-degree sex offenses in Maryland, the maximum penalty is one (1) year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
If a person has been previously convicted of any crime specified in Maryland Criminal Law Article §§ 3–303 through 3–312 or § 3–315 of this subtitle or § 3–602, then the maximum penalty is three (3) years in jail or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.
Are Fourth Degree Sex Offenses a Misdemeanor Maryland?
Yes, under Maryland criminal law, a fourth-degree sex offense is defined as a misdemeanor.
Is Fourth Degree Sex Offenses a Felony in Maryland?
No, Fourth-degree sex offenses are not a felony in Maryland.
Sex Offender Registry and Fourth Degree Sex Offenses
If convicted of a sexual offense in the fourth degree, a person may be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.
If You’ve Been Charged, Our Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you have been charged with 4th-degree sex offense or any other sexual offense in Maryland, speak with our sex crimes defense lawyers. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice defends individuals arrested and booked with sexual charges throughout Maryland District and Circuit Courts. Don’t fight sexual offense crimes alone, let an experienced attorney guide you through the process.