Maryland Sex Crimes - What is the Sex Offender Registry?

Maryland Sex Crimes - What is the Sex Offender Registry?

A sex offender registry is essentially a database of information about convicted sex offenders that is maintained by law enforcement to monitor and track sex offenders in the community. However, the public also has access to the registry through sex offender websites.

Each state has its own registry. Maryland enacted its statewide sex offender registry in 2011. Requirements about who must register and what information they must provide and what information the public can see can varies by state.

Maryland sex offender registry laws apply to defendants who have received a conviction for rape and other sex crimes. A conviction includes instances where a defendant is found guilty by a jury or judicial officer, enters a plea of “no contest,” is granted probation before judgment after a finding of guilt for a crime or is found not criminally responsible for the crime due to mental incapacity.

Registry Requirements

Maryland sex offenders must register at the law enforcement agency in the city or town where he or she lives immediately after being released into the community. He or she usually must re-register as frequently as every three months for a Tier III offense such as rape or every six months for a Tier II offense such as distributing or manufacturing child pornography or the sexual solicitation of a minor or every six months for a Tier I offense such as possession of child pornography.

The information provided must include the name, address, date of birth, social security number, workplace or educational institution, photograph, vehicle information, offense information, fingerprints, DNA sample and more.

Offenders must re-register whenever they move to a new address.

The names and other information of Maryland sex offenders stays on the registry for 15 or 25 years or even for the length of their life, depending on the crime and the person’s criminal record.

Some of this information is available to the public.

In addition, the names of all registered sex offenders are also included in a federal sex offender database.

Failure to Register

Failure to register is generally considered its own criminal offense. Knowingly failing to register or to provide required information or notices or knowingly providing false information is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 3 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for an initial violation. Subsequent violations are felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Removal from the Sex Offender Registry

Defendants can be removed from the registry if their convictions are overturned on appeal, subject to a pardon, or expunged from their record.

If you are charged with a sex crime in Maryland, you should talk to a Maryland criminal defense attorney. A Baltimore sex crimes lawyer can get the charges reduced or work out a plea bargain, among other defense options. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.885.1775 or via our website for a free consultation.