When it comes to criminal charges of sexual assault, there is nothing for a defendant to leave to chance. The punishments for a conviction or even a plea bargain may be severe enough to include the rest of a person’s life in prison. This is why suspects should always exercise their right to an attorney present when they are responding to charges.
Of course, not every defendant can speak for themselves. Recent sexual molestation charges against a Maryland man may not proceed as they were originally filed after the court has ordered an evaluation of the suspect. The 18-year-old man was charged with several offenses regarding an incident in which he was sleeping at another person’s home and found standing over an underage girl.
The suspect originally insisted he did not make physical contact with the girl, and an initial investigation of the supposed victim showed no evidence of trauma. The man in custody has a history of mental illness — although no history of criminal activity. The prosecutor has asked for the defendants to be remanded based on his lack of self-control.
Mental disease or defect is a valid defense when a suspect is not able to understand the consequences of his or her actions. It’s important to understand, however, that this defense is seldom used and subject to some very specific legal arguments.
Legal representation is always allowed and usually very important at all parts of the person’s journey through the criminal justice system in Maryland. A lawyer can represent a person’s interests during questioning as well as official interrogation after an arrest. No one should have to face the weight of criminal charges without proper help.