There is no question that of all the crimes a person can be charged with in Maryland, rape is one of the most serious. When Maryland residents face these charges not only are they going to face determined and meticulous efforts on the part of the prosecution, but they will also likely be dealing with a significant, negative public perception, as sex-based crimes are among the worst that society has categorized.
Juveniles may face the same sentences, including life imprisonment, as adults for serious crimes such as homicide. Some courts have questioned these punishments.
Criminal charges can have major penalties for defendants in Maryland. For example, many offenses carry mandatory sentences upon conviction. The negative consequences can be further compounded when the accused are immigrants. State prosecutors earlier this month dropped rape charges against two immigrant teenagers in a case that received attention from the White House and international community.
As mentioned previously, first-degree murder charges in Maryland have various elements that need to be fulfilled in order to be proven. Even though the death penalty was abolished in Maryland, the punishment imposed for a conviction in this violent crime is the most severe that can be imposed and therefore it needs to be treated seriously.
People often-reasonably-- equate murder charges with killing someone-therefore, if someone has not physically committed the act of murdering someone, they do not understand how murder charges can follow. However, under the legal concept of felony murder rule, a person is charged with first-degree murder even if a murder results during the commission of certain violent crimes.
When Maryland residents are convicted of committing a crime they may receive a prison sentence. Upon release from prison, they have paid their debt to society and usually try to go on with their lives in as productive a manner as possible, trying to put their past behind them. However, in Maryland and other states where the Three Strikes Law operates, a conviction for a previous felony may count towards increasing the penalty in future convictions.
It is everyone's right to defend themselves against accusations of a violent crime and try their best to avoid the penalties that come with a criminal conviction. When facing such situations, individuals may be overwhelmed without the aid of a guide by the possibility of severe punishment. An exceptional defense may be essential and could prove to be the key element to avoid prison sentences when facing murder or homicide charges.
Someone facing criminal charges may be aware they have the right to counsel, but they may not be aware their constitutional right is for effective assistance of counsel. What happens if counsel provides ineffective counsel and what exactly constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel? Maryland residents who have been following the post conviction relief trial of fellow Maryland resident Adnan Syed may not be aware of a few key points of the law regarding this.
As mentioned in last week's post on the Silver Spring Criminal Defense Law Blog, just because someone has been convicted of a crime, they should not give up hope of clearing their name. In some situations and with the right assistance, it may be possible to receive post-conviction relief through various measures, including a habeas corpus motion.
When someone is arrested, charged and then convicted on charges related to violent crimes, such as murder, they may feel that the case is closed and they have no legal recourse afterward. However, as a recent case in Maryland has demonstrated, this is not always the case.