Sexual Abuse First, Second, Third and Fourth Degree in Maryland – Know Your Rights!

Written by ruxandra


Sexual abuse is a dreadful act that can leave a person scarred for life. While the psychological implications of this act are huge, according to the law there are different degrees of sexual abuse that have different penalties. Sexual abuse in the first degree in Maryland is different from fourth degree, for example. These may seem like unimportant details to a person that has been through such a traumatic event, but to a court of law, they aren’t. You need to know your rights if you want to be able to value them. And with the help of knowledge and a sexual abuse lawyer from Maryland, you can bring the responsible person to justice and begin the healing process.

The Degrees Of Sexual Abuse

First of all, you should know that the sexual assault can either be rape or a sexual offense, according to the Maryland law. The rape has two degrees, depending on certain factors.

  • First-degree rape happens when a person forces another person to sexual intercourse using weapons or physical force, usually inflicting physical injuries as well.
  • Second-degree rape would involve vaginal intercourse without the victim’s consent, with a physically or mentally incapacitated person (including the examples when the person is unconscious or drunk), if the accused knew about the condition, and with a person, under 14 years if the accused is at least four years older.

Any well-informed sexual assault attorney in Annapolis will tell you that the sexual offense law has more degrees of gravity than rape, and it can include the sexual contact without intercourse.

  • The first-degree sexual offense can be applied to the situation of a forced sexual act. This is defined by the same situations of first-degree rape (the use of weapons or physical force), but it is different because it encompasses every kind of unwanted sexual act, not only intercourse.
  • Second-degree sexual offense happens in the case of an unwanted sexual act induced by force or to a physically or mentally incapacitated person. This is also the case of a sexual act with a person under 14 years old if the accused is at least four years older.
  • Third-degree sexual offense refers to the sexual contact with the victim, meaning the touching of the private parts of the victim. This happens without the victim’s consent, if the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated or if they are under 14 years old and the accused is at least four years older. The third-degree sexual abuse also includes the statutory rape situation (sexual act or vaginal intercourse) that occurs when the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the accused is 21 or older.
  • Fourth-degree sexual offense happens when the accused engaged in any kind of unwanted sexual contact or when there was a sexual act or vaginal intercourse between a person who is 14 or 15 years old and another at least four years older. Any sexual contact with a person under 18 enrolled in a school where the accused holds a position of authority also falls under the category of fourth-degree sexual offense.

Sexual abuse lawyer in Maryland

Contacting the sexual abuse helpline in MD is recommended if you have been the victim of sexual assault, but it is not enough. Yes, the sexual abuse helpline in MD can offer you the much-needed support, but you also need to pursue justice if you want to truly begin the healing process. Contact the most experienced sexual assault attorney in Annapolis at (443) 569-3950 or send us an email at [email protected]. We are here for you to offer our support and a free consultation about your case so that you know what you need to do next.

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