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Maryland Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

It's a rowdy night out on the town in Baltimore and a friend dared you to “moon” someone. And maybe another friend took a cell phone picture and texted it to a few of your other friends. Seems innocuous enough, right? Not necessarily. Could flashing your bare bottom mean you’ve committed a sex crime? And what about the photo and the text?

Most everyone knows that non-consensual sex like a rape or sexual assault is illegal. But could consensual sexual activity get you into some hot water with the law? These laws aren’t quite as obvious or well-publicized, so here’s a brief summary of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Maryland.

Sexual Activities Laws

Each state has laws that prohibit certain kinds of consensual sexual activity. Normally these correlate with the social norms of that particular state, and tend to change with the times. Maryland’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include regulations found in most other states, like provisions for public indecency and indecent exposure. However, the state also makes it a misdemeanor for someone who is HIV positive to expose another person. There is also a provision that requires mandatory HIV testing and reporting in certain instances.

Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Maryland

The main provisions of Maryland’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed in the following chart. You can also visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for more comprehensive information on this topic.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to -
Penalty for Sodomy -
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders Health-Gen. §18-601.1 Exposure of other individuals by individual with HIV virus: misdemeanor Crimes & Punish. §11-112 Victim may request HIV testing upon conviction of crime involving a prohibited exposure
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts Crim. Law §11-107 Indecent exposure: misdemeanor

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Maryland prohibits public and non-public indecency, covering behavior from public sex to non-public nudity intended to be seen by other people. The statute also contains a broad definition of nudity, including buttocks. So if you’re swimming or getting some sun, you might want to be careful about going bare. These laws are not very well known and it is possible that someone urinating in public could even find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Maryland Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Additional Resources

If you or someone you love has been charged with a sex crime-related incident in Maryland, you probably have questions. If you want to continue your research, click on the links below to learn more.

Busted for Sexual Acts? An Attorney Can Help

Social attitudes regarding sex are often changing, and state laws often follow suit. If you have been charged with a sex crime or would like to fully understand your rights, you should contact a Maryland criminal defense attorney in your area immediately to learn more. A skilled Maryland defense attorney can explain the law, your possible defense options, and more. 

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex cases usually require a lawyer
  • Experienced lawyers can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties
  • Sexual assaults & sex crime convictions often have long sentences and lifelong consequences

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