Maryland Sex Offender Registry
The sex offender registry is a national registry for the purpose of identifying people convicted of a sex crime. Each state has its own registry, with its own guidelines. Every person convicted of a sex crime must register in the state registry where they live and work. The registry is public information which means anyone can view it and find who is on it, where they live, and of what crime they were convicted.
Being listed on the sex offender registry can impact a person’s life in many ways due to the social stigma attached to it. It could affect a person’s relationships with others, as well as job opportunities and organizational participation. For this reason, you need an experienced Maryland sex crimes lawyer if you are facing sex crime charges to avoid having your name put on the registry.
Registering as a Sex Offender
Each state is different, but the bottom line is when you are convicted of any kind of sex crime as an adult, you are required to register as a sex offender upon the entry of a conviction.
In some states there are situations where someone does not have a conviction, but is somewhere in between, similar to a probation status. This, however, is not a true conviction. Each state determines whether you are on the registry for that kind of an outcome.
Determining Whether Someone is Put on the List
In Maryland, in most cases, there is no judicial discretion regarding the sex offender registry. The entry of conviction requires the accused to register.
Every time you move, every time you change your employment, you have to notify people and you have to put your name on this registry. The condition of any kind of release is that you are registered as a sex offender everywhere you go. There is no discretion and there is no situation where a judge can excuse someone who has a conviction from being on the registry.
Length of Time on the Registry
The length of time an individual must stay on the registry varies by state. Generally, it is at least 25 years to life depending on the state and the crime, although there are a few offenses that trigger a shorter length of time..
Impact of Being on The Sex Offender Registry
The sex offender registry is analogous to a scarlet letter. Everywhere you go people can know that you are on this registry. Additionally, you would not be allowed to be involved in organizations such as the Boy Scouts anymore.
Someone with a robbery conviction would obviously have to notify their employer that they have a robbery conviction. If someone doesn’t ask, though, you can walk down the street and no one would have any idea that you had a robbery conviction because you are not required to register for that sort of a thing.
If you are registered as a sex offender, however, this follows you everywhere you go. Anyone can look on the registry to see who in their neighborhood has a conviction, for what kind of offense and when it occurred.
Importance of Building a Defense
Much of the judicial discretion is removed as to whether someone must register as a sex offender. At one point, it was almost a bargaining chip. The registry affects the defense in many ways now, because it is not discretionary.
A conviction for a sex crime is more of a public display of a conviction than a kidnapping or robbery. The level of defense for a sex crime is more intense because you know that the outcome is much more significant and public than it would be with any other offense. Having an attorney who is trained for these kinds of cases is of particular importance because of the added penalties that go with these types of cases.