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Ocean City does not have a city ordinance or rule that deals with sex offender registration. Rather, it adheres to the state laws that deals with the registration of people convicted of sex crimes. An individual must register as a sex offender under most circumstances if convicted. The state registry is the registration required under the Criminal Procedure Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Registration is a complex law because there are different offenses that require registration.

With some offenses, registration is within the discretion of the court and there are different levels of registration as well. The main question is  whether a person must register and if so, what level of registration applies to them.

For example, if the person is a Tier 1 sex offender, they must register for 15 years. If the person is a Tier 3 sex offender, they must register for the rest of their life. The frequency with which they must register depends on the Tier they are in which an Ocean City sex crimes lawyer can assist in determining.

Length of Registration

The criminal conviction dictates the length of time that someone must register and under what Tier they must register. The judge may have some discretion when someone is convicted of a crime that is not necessarily a sex offense and the crime has certain nuances to it that are sexually related. For the most part, it is very clear under the sex offender registry law who must register and when.

There are three different levels to the sex offender registry. Tier 1 is the lowest, Tier 3 is the highest. Someone on Tier 1 must register for 15 years; someone registered as a Tier 2 sex offender must register for 25 years; and a Tier 3 sex offender must register for life. It is possible that for a Tier 1 sex offender, their registration under certain circumstances could be reduced to 10 years.

The frequency of their registration varies also because if a person is a Tier 1 sex offender or a Tier 2 sex offender, they must re-register in person every six months with the police department that is their law enforcement unit. By contrast, person who is a Tier 3 sex offender must re-register in person every three months.

Once they no longer have to register, that removes the requirement that they constantly check in periodically or check in when they change their address.

Public Nature of the Registry

The registry is available to the public so that people who live in the community are alerted as to the presence of a sex offender within their neighborhood or within a certain distance of their child’s school.

There are websites where a person can look for information about sex offender registrants. Some websites even provide a map that shows how many sex offender registrants are located within a specific range or neighborhood.

Impact of Being Listed

Being listed on the sex offender registry has consequences for the entire length of registration. An individual who is on the registry, depending on their Tier, may be required to register every 90 days. They must check in with the law enforcement unit responsible for maintaining the registry. If they change their address, they need to notify their law enforcement unit almost immediately. The person’s registration is public knowledge and that has a significant impact on their life because everybody can see that they are on the registry.

It can impact a person’s ability to go into a school or a daycare. It limits their employment options. A registrant is not allowed to enter onto to the property of a public or non-public school. They cannot enter any child care facility including in-home daycares. There are consequences and so many restrictions.

A person should assume that their employer will find out that they are on the sex offender registry. The law enforcement unit may decide that they are going to make public that a particular person is registered. With these websites that tell the public about where sex offender registrants reside, a person should assume that their employer is going to find out.

How An Attorney Can Help

The consequences of a conviction can be long lasting and severe. If you are facing charges, or suspect you may be the subject of an investigation, it is important that you reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney is made aware of the situation, the sooner they can begin to gather evidence and build a case in your defense.

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