The Maryland Sex Offender Registry: A Brief Guide

Criminal convictions have long-term consequences. If you want to avoid being listed on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, Scrofano Law P.C. could help. Call us!

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What Is the Maryland Sex Offender Registry?

The Maryland Sex Offender Registry is run by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in conjunction with the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center and Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The registry is a public database containing the names, addresses, criminal records, and other information of individuals convicted of sex offenses in Maryland.

It is designed to provide the public with access to information about registered sex offenders to keep communities safe and informed. Using this registry, citizens can learn about potential threats in their neighborhoods and take measures to protect themselves and their families.

Those who land on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry find it difficult to pass background checks, making them ineligible for specific jobs and other opportunities. They may also have limitations on where they are allowed to live. These restrictions are intended to protect the public from convicted sex offenders and discourage them from committing similar crimes in the future. 

Being on the sex offender registry is just one consequence of a sex crime conviction apart from the regular criminal law penalties such as jail time. As such, if you’re facing sex crime charges, it is essential that you defend yourself and do all that you can to avoid a conviction and your name on the register.

The information provided here can help you understand the implications of being a registered sex offender and motivate you to avoid such an eventuality. Continue reading to learn more about sex offender registration and how a Maryland sex crimes attorney can help with your case.

Who Is Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Maryland?

By Maryland sexual offense laws, everyone who is found guilty and convicted of sexual offenses such as rape, sexual assault, or child molestation is required to register as a sex offender in Maryland. This also includes:

  • Those who may have committed a sex crime but are found not criminally responsible due to insanity or other mental health issues

  • Those who plead ‘no contest’ during their trial

  • Those who are found guilty but are granted probation before judgment (if the judge makes registration a condition for probation).

Everyone who is registered as a convicted sex offender is also required to notify their local law enforcement unit of any change to the following:

  • Name

  • Residence

  • Employment 

  • Student status

Failure to register as a sex offender or update your record is a criminal offense. It could lead to a term of imprisonment for up to three years.

How Long Do Sex Offenders Remain on the Registry?

The length of time a sex offender is required to remain on the registry depends on the severity of the offense and the risk of the offender committing another crime. For this purpose, Maryland classifies sex offenders into three categories as follows:

  • Tier I Sex Offenders: These offenders are generally considered the least dangerous. Their convictions are usually for offenses such as possession of child pornography, solicitation of a minor, sex trafficking, or travel with intent to engage in illicit conduct.

  • The length of registration for these offenders is 15 years. They are also required to report to the sex offender registry unit of the designated authority every six months.

  • Tier II Sex Offenders: Tier II offenders have been convicted of mid-level crimes in Maryland or another jurisdiction. Offenses in this category include the abduction of a child under 16 for prostitution, distribution, and manufacture of child pornography, and human trafficking of a minor. 

  • This designation requires the offender to register with the registry for 25 years and report to the designated authorities every six months.

  • Tier III Sex Offenders: Offenders in this category have been found guilty of the most serious sex crimes, including child kidnapping, rape, attempted sexual assault, incest, and forcible sodomy. Those in this category remain on the sex offenders register for life. They must also report to the local authorities every month.

How to Get off the Sex Offender Registry

Being on the sex offender registry can be a difficult and life-altering experience. It can limit your ability to find employment, housing, and even travel for as long as you remain registered. 

The only ways to get off the registry are if:

  •  You receive an official pardon for the sex crime for which you were convicted.

  • You complete the term of your registration.

  • Your Maryland criminal records are expunged.

  • Your sex offense conviction is overturned.

Otherwise, unless you relocate out of Maryland (in which case you’ll likely need to register as a sex offender in your new location), you will remain on the registry for the duration set by your conviction or till death.


How an Attorney Can Help 

If you are facing sex-related charges, a criminal defense attorney can take charge of your legal defense in court and use their criminal law knowledge to help you avoid a conviction where possible. Your lawyer’s goal in such cases is to ensure that you come out of your trial unscathed or with minimal liability.

While deciding on an attorney to represent you, remember that, in most cases, it is better to work with an attorney whose practice focuses on defending the specific crime for which you’ve been charged. Hence, a skilled Maryland sex offense lawyer would likely serve you better as you fight sex crime charges.

For those who are already registered as Maryland sex offenders, a skilled attorney might be able to help get your name off the register if you qualify for expungement or if your conviction is overturned. You can contact your lawyer immediately to assess your case and explore your options so you can quickly leave your past behind and move on with your life.

Contact us at Scrofano Law PC if you have further questions about sex crimes and sex offenders. Having dealt with a wide range of sex crimes, we can answer your questions and defend you vigorously throughout your case. Contact us today for a free consultation with a prostitution lawyer.


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