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What does a first degree rape charge in Maryland mean?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Sex Crimes |

A first-degree rape charge is among the most serious offenses you can face under Maryland law. The ramifications may extend far beyond doing time in jail if convicted. Your reputation and career could also be negatively affected even if you aren’t found guilty.

Rape can be charged at the first or second degree in Maryland. Legally, the two degrees of offenses vary. For instance, while you can get up to 20 years if convicted of second degree rape, you may be looking at life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole if found guilty of first-degree rape.

Certain aggravating factors must be present

Several factors may aggravate your rape charges to the first degree. Under Maryland law, you can be charged with rape in the first degree if some or all of the following elements are present in your case:

  • Forceful sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with another without their consent
  • The use of force or threat of force or a dangerous weapon on the victim
  • Infliction of serious bodily harm, suffocation, or strangulation during the commission of the offense
  • Rape involved burglary or kidnapping
  • If there was more than one perpetrator involved

Keep in mind that first degree rape is considered a felony charge in Maryland, and the victim’s age can enhance the legal penalties.

Are you facing rape charges?

There is a lot to lose if you have been charged with rape, and you should do everything possible to avoid the potential consequences of a conviction. Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal assistance in formulating the best defense strategy for your charges. 

Usually, this involves a careful and informed analysis of the prosecution’s evidence against you and whether your rights were violated at any point. With the proper representation, the chances of a positive outcome to your charges will be greatly increased.