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New Law in Maryland Changes How Rapes Are Investigated and Prosecuted

Posted on : September 12, 2017

Have you or someone you know recently been accused of rape? This is a serious crime that can carry life-changing penalties if you don’t hire a dedicated criminal defense attorney immediately. With so much on the line, make sure you understand the basic elements of a rape allegation and how to protect your future. 

New laws in Maryland change what state prosecutors are responsible for proving in court in rape cases and further eliminates challenges that prosecutors faced in the past. The old law made prosecutions more difficult so this change in how cases like this are handled should prompt you to contact an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney. In the past, the state was required to show that there was no consent by the victim as well as the fact that the victim resisted the rape attempt and was ultimately overcome by the perpetrator. Talk to your lawyer as soon as possible about any potential rape charges to ensure you understand what’s ahead of you. 

This often presented challenges to the state in proving their case in which a victim submitted to an assailant in order to avoid violence or due to fear. The new law, however, eliminates the requirement of showing that the victim physically resisted the assailant.

This could make it easier for prosecutors to pursue rape charges and the corresponding consequences in these cases more aggressively. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Maryland is strongly recommended if you find yourself in this situation. One of the biggest reasons that this law was ultimately updated had to do with a recent article on Buzzfeed.com looking at the rates at which police officers and departments generally dismissed rape charges. In some cases, police departments or detectives may declare rape charges to be unfounded and this leads to no further investigation of the event.

Baltimore County had one of the highest national averages of dismissed investigations coming in at more than one-third. If you or someone you know has recently been accused of rape in Maryland, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to protect yourself.