Maryland Sex Offender Registry
The court can order a person to register for the sex offender registry depending on the circumstances of the sentence of the case. It can have long-term impacts on someone’s career opportunities, reputation, and housing location. The sex offender registry is public data, so anyone can access the list of individuals within the registry.
If you are facing sex crime charges and have been ordered to register with the sex offender registry, you should learn more about the sex offender registry and the impact of the Maryland sex offender registry. It is important to have sex offense legal representation during a sex crime trial because there are serious consequences associated with sex crimes.
What is the Sex Offender Registry?
The Maryland Sex Offender Registry is a database that keeps information on file of sexual offenders and their location for the community around them. The sex offender registry in Maryland is no different from the National Sex Offender Registry. It keeps the records only of Maryland residents along with their location. The National Sex Offender registry is a compilation of all of the state sex offender registry information. The data is put into one database that covers the entire country.
There are several circumstances that would warrant a court to order the person to register as a sex offender. Depending on the charge brought against someone that results in a conviction, the court can order as part of the sentence of that case that the person registers on the sex offender registry. In some cases, the judge has the discretion to determine whether a person should be on the registry and for how long. In other cases, the judge has no discretion; the registry is mandatory and is required by law in much the same way as mandatory minimum sentences.
Length of Time on the Registry
Once it is determined that an individual needs to be put on the registry, the length that they need to stay on the registry is at the discretion of the judge. A person stays on the registry according to the charge brought against them from 10 years up to a lifetime. Judges have the discretion to make modifications under some circumstances to reduce the amount of time. However, statutes list 15 years as the minimum (with some exceptions) and a lifetime as the maximum regarding the registry.
Three Different Tiers
Within the registry, there are three levels depending on the person’s offense. Each tier has different registry periods. Tier 3 is the most serious classification with Tier 2 being in-between with varying offenses involved and varying categories depending on the severity. Tier 1 is the least restrictive of the three levels.
The most serious sex offender is one who is convicted of first-degree rape. That person is on the sex offender registry for the rest of their life regardless of their jail sentence. An example of someone on the Tier 1 level of the sex offender registry is a person convicted of a fourth-degree sex offense. They could be required to register for 15 years as required by the court. That could be reduced to 10 years or less depending on a judge’s determinations.
Consequences of the Maryland Sex Offender Registry
When someone is listed on the sex offender registry, there are impacts for the rest of somebody’s life. Being listed on the registry has many consequences from the neighborhood that one lives in to the kinds of jobs they can hold. Even the custody of children can be affected when a parent is on the registry. While there are many things that being on the sex offender registry can affect, the most significant thing is the social stigma associated with being on the registry.
In fact, when people move into specific neighborhoods, some states and neighborhoods require that the person promptly reports to neighbors that they are a sex offender so the neighbors can be on alert. This is especially important when there are children living nearby and the neighbors may have safety concerns that may need to be addressed regarding the person moving into that particular location. There is a long term impact of the Maryland sex offender registry.
Steps to Be Removed From List
There are ways to petition the court as well as the Governor’s Office to remove someone from the registry. In most circumstances with a mandatory requirement to be registered, only a governor can take a person off of the registry. When a court agrees to expunge charges against a person, the judge can make the person eligible to be removed from the registry. The President of the United States can pardon a person for the crime that required them to be on the registry.
Contacting an Attorney
When someone is facing sex crimes, depending on the case, they may be ordered to register on the sex offender registry. There are effects of the Maryland sex offender registry and the person should be aware that once they are registered, they could have trouble finding employment, housing, and rebuilding their reputation.
If you are facing sex crime charges and could be ordered to register with the sex offender registry, it is critical that you contact a skilled sex offense attorney. The sex offender register can impact your life.