Perhaps. A conviction for indecent exposure could have an impact on your security clearance because of a bill that was introduced in the 2023 legislative session to increase the penalties for those convicted of indecent exposure when the target is a child.
The state legislator who introduced the bill said the measure was introduced in part to beef up the penalties when the accused has a security clearance. The current penalties under Maryland law do not trigger an investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense. Supporters also say the crime demands more substantial penalties when witnessed by a juvenile.
The bill sponsor said that in one instance, even though the convicted individual was given a maximum sentence, the punishment wasn’t enough to trigger an investigation to remove the individual’s security clearance. The increased penalties being proposed would cause an internal investigation and the loss of the security clearance.
As of mid-April 2023, the bill is still being processed by the legislature but having passed both the House and Senate, it is expected to go on to the governor’s desk for signature. Maryland’s Democratic governor is expected to sign the measure.
Currently, the penalties for indecent exposure under Maryland law, regardless of who witnesses the crime, are:
- Up to three years of jail time and
- A fine up to $1,000 and
- Possible registration as a sex offender (generally in instances of repeat convictions)
If the governor signs off on the bill, sanctions for those who intentionally expose themselves to a minor would increase to imprisonment up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Interestingly, while the bill had bipartisan support, the public defender’s office has opposed the proposal, reportedly explaining there is no additional harm when a minor is involved.
If you are facing charges over indecent exposure, an Ocean City indecent exposure lawyer can help. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh indecent exposure matters.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.