Continuing Course of Conduct with Child Charges in Maryland

When the State charges an individual with criminal activity, it must be specific in its allegations. Suspects charged with robbing a bank, for example, have an indictment that details a specific time, a specific place and a specific date.

A glaring exception to this rule is permitted in cases of child sexual abuse that allegedly occurred over a long period of time. For example, a defendant may be charged with participating in a continuing course of unlawful sexual conduct with a child over an expanded time frame. The prosecution does not have to charge a particular date or even a particular year. The jury is only required to find that the acts occurred during that time span. The continuing course of conduct charge means the defense is more difficult.

§ 3-315. Continuing course of conduct with child

“A person may not engage in a continuing course of conduct which includes three or more acts that would constitute violations of § 3-303 [1st degree rape], § 3-304 [second degree rape], or § 3-307 [3rd degree sexual offense] of this subtitle, or violations of § 3-305 or § 3-306 of this subtitle as the sections existed before October 1, 2017, over a period of 90 days or more, with a victim who is under the age of 14 years at any time during the course of conduct.”

In determining whether the required number of acts occurred in violation of this section, the trier of fact (judge or jury) must determine only that the required number of acts occurred, and need not determine which acts constitute the required number of acts. Additionally, as mentioned above, the trier of fact need only determine that the sexual abuse occurred over a period of 90 days or more, and is not required to match the sexual acts with specific dates.

If a person is charged with Continuing course of conduct with child, he or she may not be also charged with a violation of § 3-303, § 3-304, or § 3-307 involving the same victim unless the violation charged occurred outside the time period charged under this section. However, a sentence imposed for this offense may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence under § 3-602 (Sexual abuse of a minor).

Penalty

A person who is found guilty of this felony offense is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 30 years. Multiple convictions and sentences per victim is prohibited regardless of the duration of the abuse or the type of sexual acts committed (see State v. Bey, 452 Md. 255).

Your Defense Must Be Aggressive and Experienced

As experienced child sex abuse attorneys, we know very well what specific motions must be filed to take away the advantage the prosecution has in these cases. We will thoroughly reviewing the facts of the case, the police reports and other evidence, and will mount a vigorous defense against your continuing course of conduct charges.

We will seek an explanation as to why the child made a false allegation. Perhaps the child was coerced into making statements suggested by others. If the child’s testimony has been tainted by suggestive or coercive interview techniques, we will strongly challenge the testimony.

Did a teenager with an ax to grind knowingly and maliciously make these false accusations? Everyone knows how malicious an unthinking teenager can be, particularly if he or she is involved with drugs, alcohol or a bad peer group. We will strive to uncover the real reason behind these claims and will fight to clear the charges against you.

We Know How to Help

Tom Pavlinic and each lawyer affiliated with Premier Defense Group has extensive experience in defending against child sex abuse and other sex crimes charges. They are seasoned veterans of the courtroom with the ability to go to trial and present an aggressive, cogent defense, when ever and wherever the case demands.

They analyze the evidence, follow the rules of evidence and procedure and work together as a team, capitalizing on each attorney’s strengths so that you receive the most competent representation possible. This pool of dedicated legal talent is derived from jurisdictions across the country, not just from a single geographic area.

Contact Us Now

Do not hesitate to contact us if you or one of your loved ones could even possibly be facing child sex abuse or other sex crimes charges. We’re here to help, but we can only do so if you will let us. Don’t make the huge, regrettable mistake of acting without legal representation, the most foolish course of action when dealing with the criminal justice system.

Acting promptly and aggressively is the key to protecting your freedom and ultimate well being. Call us at (800) 993-0632 . We’re here for you 24 hours a day. We know how important your case is, and we want to protect you from the very outset.

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