The truth does not always “set you free” in defending sex offense allegations in Maryland
Truth may play a part in the outcome of any criminal sexual case. However, perception, judicial system preconceptions and society as a whole try to convict a person before one ounce of evidence is presented!
Many times individuals who are charged with sex offenses in Maryland come to me with tears in their eyes and indicate that the events never occurred. It’s very difficult for people to understand that anyone can go to a commissioner or call the police, and allege that an illegal sexual touching or rape transpired.
The defendant charged with these allegations immediately faces major impediments and obstacles in life. As soon as the ink is dry on the charging documents, the mechanisms of our judicial system spring into automatic action. More likely than not an arrest warrant is issued, and the defendant is abruptly taken into custody. That means that armed police officers or deputy sheriffs and in some cases, federal agents, physically go to the defendant’s home or place of business and take him or her into custody via handcuffs. The defendant is then taken to the station, booked and within a reasonable period of time (it’s supposed to be 24 hours), is taken to see a commissioner.
A commissioner is not a Judge but simply a judicial officer. The Commissioner has the ability to release the defendant, but very often when a sex offense is charged, such as rape, third-degree sex offense, abuse of a minor or even 4th degree sex offense, the Commissioner is more likely than not to recommend that the defendant remain in custody. That means, that the defendant will then have to spend the night, or if it’s a Friday they wait until Monday, to have a bail review in front of an actual judge in the District Court. The problem is, depending upon the nature of the allegations, a district court judge may or may not release the defendant. The defendant always has the option of filing a habeas corpus motion for a bond review in the Circuit Court of the County upon which he or she resides. This usually takes several days and sometimes weeks.
PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING
Most state’s attorney’s offices once they decide to charge an individual with a sex offense realize that there are extreme consequences potentially in the making against the defendant. Although judges, prosecutors, police and detectives may be interested in truth, the reality is that evidence is the only way that someone can beat or conquer a sex offense charge. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon what side of the aisle you’re on, truth tends to weave into perception. What I mean by that is an individual who makes a sexual allegation may actually believe that the contact was unwanted. The defendant’s perception may be completely different and usually is. The unveiling and stripping down and getting to the bottom of whether or not either party’s perception is correct, takes great deal of skill or behalf of an attorney to shake out the truth.
The real question is not about truth in my opinion. Truth varies in many different degrees and sagacity. The real issue is whether or not the defendant actually crossed the line and broke the law regarding the alleged events themselves. How this is accomplished , takes a lot of elbow grease and skill in making that determination. Judges and juries are quite fallible when it comes to these cases. An incident where it appears to be obvious that something illegal occurred sometimes changes dramatically during the course of a trial.
HOW DO I FOCUS AND LOOK AT MY CHARGES
In my opinion the way to look at a sex allegation in Maryland is as follows. If you or someone you know is charged with a crime, look at it from the perspective that there have been two books written and both will be presented to the judge or jury. Some of the language in each book may overlap and be consistent with the other, but you can be pretty sure that there are major differences in the language and perceptions between the two.
CALL A LAWYER WHO CAN HELP
If you are charged in Maryland with rape or any other type of sex offense, do not talk to any police officials or anyone else about the case until you consult a qualified attorney. It is very important that you find an attorney who has the background and skill to break down the elements and facts to put the defendant in the position where they have an opportunity to be successful! Contact us today!