Sex crimes in Maryland can lead to having you registered as a sex offender. Sex crimes encompass illegal acts that have a sexual motive such as rape, child pornography, statutory rape, solicitation of a minor and sexting.
Sex crime cases are generally complicated and intricate, and they are prosecuted on both, federal and state level, depending on the severity of the crime.
A conviction for a sex crime can lead to harsh penalties such as a prison sentence of as long as a lifetime. Besides that, a sex offender also may have to register on the state and national sex offender’s registry.
In Maryland, there is an individual record of the sex offender within the borders, like most states. Apart from having to register on the national registry, all sex offenders are required to register on the Maryland registry (Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ sex offender website).
Maryland Sex Offender Registry Laws
While individual states can make their own laws regarding what is considered a sexual offense, the federal law states that every state is required to make and maintain an individual sex registry to monitor offenders of sexual crimes. The sex offenses are categorized into three tiers, where the third tier encompasses of the crimes that are considered the most severed.
According to the federal registry requirement, in 2011, Maryland put the statewide sex offender registry into action and it breaks down different sex crimes into the mentioned three tiers:
Tier 3 offenses that require the offender to register every 3 months throughout their lifetime:
- rape (all degrees)
- sexual offenses (first, second and aggravated 3rd-degree sex offenses)
- sexual abuse involving a minor
- murder with intent to rape, molest or sexually abuse a minor
- nonconsensual sodomy or a forced perverted act
Tier 2 offenses that require the offender to register every 6 months for 25 years:
- abducting of a minor for prostitution
- distribution or production of child pornography
- solicitation of a minor
- human trafficking/pandering
- third-degree sex offenses (that did not involve force, threats or incapacitation)
- offenses involving prostitution or selling children’s bodies
Tier 1 offenses that require the offender to register every 6 months for 15 years:
- fourth-degree sex offenses
- possession of child pornography
- visual surveillance with a perverted intent
- there are certain federal crimes that aren’t considered felonies in Maryland
In Maryland, the sex offender registry laws are put into effect when the offender receives a “conviction”, which occurs if:
- The defendant is found culpable by the jury or a judicial officer
- The accused enters plea of nolo contendere
- The defendant is given probation before the trial after a discovery of guilt for the crime
- The indicted is considered not legitimately responsible for the crime because of mental incapacity
In some cases, the defendant can also get removed from the sex registry if an appeal caused their convictions to get overturned or become subject to a pardon.