Being charged with any sex offense is serious. If you are charged with 4th Degree Sex Offense Maryland, here are 3 things you should know in Maryland.

Sex Offender Registration is NOT Mandatory in Some Cases.

In most cases, if your 4th Degree Sex Offense Maryland charge sticks, you will be forced to be on the sex offender registry for 15 years.

Depending on your background, the facts of the case, and the skills of your attorney, you may be able to get a Probation Before Judgment. In some instances, a “PBJ” will help you avoid otherwise mandatory sex offender registration.

Before accepting any negotiation from the prosecutor, you should make sure your attorney has explored any possible avenue where you might not have to be on the registry.

Even without jailtime, registering as a sex offender has a huge social and economic impact on your life. It will limit what you can do, where you can go, and likely make future employment difficult.

Know the 4th Degree Sex Offense Statute.

Even the most experienced attorneys go back to look at the statute before examining any case. That’s no different for a sexual offense case. Here is the statute for 4th Degree Sex Offense Maryland:

 Article – Criminal Law
§3–308. Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree

(a) In this section, “person in a position of authority”:
(1) means a person who:
(i) is at least 21 years old;
(ii) is employed by or under contract with a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school; and
(iii) because of the person’s position or occupation, exercises supervision over a minor who attends the school; and
(2) includes a principal, vice principal, teacher, coach, or school counselor at a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school.


Prohibited–In general
(b) A person may not engage in:
(1) sexual contact with another without the consent of the other;
(2) except as provided in § 3-307(a)(4) of this subtitle, a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim; or
(3) except as provided in § 3-307(a)(5) of this subtitle, vaginal intercourse with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.


Prohibited–Persons in a position of authority
(c)(1) Except as provided in § 3-307(a)(4) of this subtitle or subsection (b)(2) of this section, a person in a position of authority may not engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor who, at the time of the sexual act or sexual contact, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed.
(2) Except as provided in § 3-307(a)(5) of this subtitle or subsection (b)(3) of this section, a person in a position of authority may not engage in vaginal intercourse with a minor who, at the time of the vaginal intercourse, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed.

4th Degree Sex Offense Maryland

What are the Penalties for 4th Degree Sex Offense?

Knowing your potential penalties is one of the first things to learn when charged with an offense. Here are the penalties for this offense:


Penalty
(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of sexual offense in the fourth degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.


(2)(i) On conviction of a violation of this section, a person who has been convicted on a prior occasion not arising from the same incident of a violation of § 3-303, § 3-304, §§ 3-307 through 3-310 of this subtitle, § 3-311 or § 3-312 of this subtitle as the sections existed before October 1, 2017, § 3-315 of this subtitle, or § 3-602 of this title is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.
(ii) If the State intends to proceed against a person under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, it shall comply with the procedures set forth in the Maryland Rules for the indictment and trial of a subsequent offender.

Here is a case, State v. Frasier, that discusses the offense in more detail.

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