Maryland Sex Crimes Lawyer

Are you under investigation, or have you already been charged with a sexual offense involving a minor or child? If so, now is the time to consult with an experienced Maryland sex crimes lawyer. Choosing the attorney who is going to stand between you and the prosecutors in charge of your case is a very important decision. Also known as “state’s attorneys,” the Maryland prosecutors who will work to convict you will likely be experienced with these specific types of cases. The same should be true for the attorney who is chosen to defend you.

Meet Tom Pavlinic – Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Attorney Tom Pavlinic during trialAttorney Tom Pavlinic is a criminal defense attorney who for the last 20+ years has devoted his career entirely to defending clients charged with sexual offenses, particularly those involving children and minors. He resides locally in Annapolis, Maryland where he serves as lead counsel for Premier Defense Group.

Tom has represented clients throughout the country and knows how challenging these types of cases can be, especially cases involving a child complainant. He has seen firsthand how innocent, hard-working individuals transition from being husbands, fathers, and productive citizens into ordinary “defendants” based upon the uncorroborated accusations of a child.

Tom’s passion and ability to defend individuals charged with sexual offenses is made evident by the results he has obtained during his decades-long career. In Maryland, he has obtained favorable case results for 14 clients who were wrongly accused of committing sexual crimes against minors and adults. These results include not-guilty verdicts, case dismissals and favorable pleas. If you have been charged with one of the below offenses and would like to retain Tom as your lawyer, please call today at 800-993-0632.

Rape in the First Degree

On October 1, 2017, Maryland repealed from its law § 3-305 Sexual offense in the first degree, which was reclassified as § 3-303 Rape in the first degree.

If you have been charged with the crime of Rape in the first degree (§ 3-303), then it is being alleged that you engaged in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, or without the consent of the other. Furthermore, because this is the 1st-degree rape offense, it is being alleged that said conduct was committed in conjunction with one or more aggravating factors such as the use of a deadly weapon, the infliction of serious physical injury on the victim, or other factor.

  • A “sexual act” is defined by § 3-301(d) as including analingus, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, and object penetration into another individual’s genital opening or anus for sexual gratification.
  • This crime is a 1st-degree felony, and its maximum penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
  • If the alleged victim is less than 13 years of age and you are 18 or older, a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years will be imposed upon conviction.
  • This offense carries a lifetime sex offender registration requirement (Tier III).

Rape in the Second Degree

On October 1, 2017, Maryland repealed from its law § 3-306 Sexual offense in the second degree, which was reclassified as § 3-304 Rape in the second degree.

If you have been charged with the crime of Rape in the second degree (§ 3-304), then it is being alleged that you engaged in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other, where the victim was a substantially cognitively impaired individual, or where the victim was under the age of 14 years and you were at least 4 years older than the victim.

  • A “sexual act” is defined by § 3-301(d) as including analingus, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, and object penetration into another individual’s genital opening or anus for sexual gratification.
  • This crime is a 2nd-degree felony, and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, OR
  • If the alleged victim is less than 13 years of age and you are 18 or older, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years will be imposed upon conviction.
  • This offense carries a lifetime sex offender registration requirement (Tier III).

Sexual Offense in the Third Degree

If you have been charged with Sexual offense in the third degree (§ 3-307), then it is being alleged that you:

1 Engaged in sexual contact with another:

  • without the consent of the other in conjunction with one or more aggravating factors such as the use of a deadly weapon, the infliction of serious physical injury on the victim, or other factor;
  • where the victim was a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual; or
  • where the victim was under the age of 14 years, and you were at least 4 years older than the victim.

2 Engaged in a sexual act with another where the victim was 14 or 15 years old, and you were at least 21 years old; or

3 Engaged in vaginal intercourse with another where the victim was 14 or 15 years old, and you were at least 21 years old.

“Sexual contact” means an intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s genital, anal, or other intimate area for sexual arousal or gratification, or for the abuse of either party.

This offense is a 3rd degree felony, is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, and can carry either a 25-year registration requirement (Tier II) or a lifetime registration requirement (Tier III) depending upon the factors involved in the crime.

Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree

If you have been charged with Sexual offense in the fourth degree (§ 3-308), then it is being alleged that you:

1 Engaged in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other, or

2 Engaged in a sexual act or sexual intercourse with another where the victim was 14 or 15 years old, and you were at least 4 years older than the victim, or

3 Engaged in sexual intercourse, a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor who at the time was a student enrolled at a school where you were employed and held a position of authority.

“Sexual contact” means an intentional touching of the victim’s or actor’s genital, anal, or other intimate area for sexual arousal or gratification, or for the abuse of either party.

This offense is a 4th degree misdemeanor, is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both (unless prior convictions are involved), and carries a 15-year registration requirement (Tier I).

Other Maryland Sexual Crimes

Each of Maryland’s sex offense statutes has a unique set of elements that distinguish it from every other statute, i.e., penetration, the use of force. etc. It is the requirement that each and every element of an offense be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that allows an experienced sex crimes attorney to launch a technical defense. If you have been accused of committing any of the additional crimes shown below, Tom can help.

§ 3-315. Continuing course of conduct with child§ 3-602. Sexual abuse of a minor
§ 3-324. Sexual solicitation of minors§ 3-323. Incest

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Maryland Sex Crimes Lawyer

Maryland sex crimes lawyerAs with any other specific type of case, sex crimes cases present inherent challenges to criminal defense attorneys, especially cases involving child complainants. Over the course of Tom’s career of representing individuals in these cases, he has learned firsthand how important it is to have a thorough understanding, and ability to overcome the obstacles that make these cases so professionally challenging.

Among the obstacles that such cases present is Maryland’s law, which contains numerous statutes commonly used by state’s attorneys in cases involving crimes of a sexual nature (particularly those involving minors). These statutes make exceptions to the laws that govern other types of cases, and are powerful tools for prosecutors in sex crimes cases.

Such laws in Maryland are known generally as:

  • the “Rape Shield Law” (§ 3-319) which can shield evidence of an alleged victim’s prior sexual conduct (including misconduct);
  • the “Sexual Propensity Exception” (Rule 5-404(b) which can permit evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts committed by a defendant (see also Thompson v. State, 412 Md. 497);
  • the “Evidence of Other Sexually Assaultive Behavior” exception (§ 10-923), which can permit evidence of past “sexually assaultive behavior” to prove (in the current case) lack of consent, or to rebut an allegation that a minor victim fabricated the sexual offense;
  • the “Child Hearsay Exception” (§ 11-304) which can permit into evidence out-of-court statements (otherwise considered hearsay) by children;
  • the “Prompt Complaint of Sexually Assaultive Behavior” exception (Rule 5-802.1(d)) which can permit into evidence prompt complaints of sexually assaultive behavior (otherwise considered hearsay); and,
  • the “Expanded Indictment Exception” (see Harmony v. State, 88 Md. App. 306) which provides that prosecutors are not required to prove that a certain act happened on a specific date, when the alleged victim is a child.

CALL FOR A FREE, PRIVATE CONSULTATION

Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor sex offense in Maryland or a serious felony offense involving either a child or adult, a conviction for any of these offenses could carry a lengthy prison sentence as well as sex offender registration requirements.

If you have been contacted by Maryland police, believe that you are under investigation, or simply believe that you are being accused, please call 800-993-0632 or use our contact form. Our phone is answered day and night.

Premier Defense Group
Thomas A. Pavlinic, Lead Counsel
1906 Towne Centre Boulevard, Suite 265
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 800-993-0632
Fax: 410-266-9710