Maryland has fairly stringent requirements for sex-offender registration. Those requirements establish tiers that determine for how long an offender must stay on the registry, offender reporting requirements, and what kinds of restrictions are placed upon the offender.
Any individual convicted of a sex offense set forth under Maryland law must register. There are three tiers of offenses, and the term of registration depends on which tier the offender falls into. Factors affecting the tier of the offense, and thus the term of registration and other restrictions, include the crime for which the offender is convicted and the age of the victim. An offense is considered a conviction regardless of whether the offender pleads guilty to the crime or is found guilty by a judge or jury, whether an offender pleads nolo contendere (no contest, meaning the accused does not fight the charges but admits no guilt), receives probation before judgement, or is found not criminally responsible for the crime (usually, a finding of mental incompetence or insanity).
What Are the Tier Levels?
- Tier I: Offenders required to register under Tier I remain on the registry for 15 years. Tier I offenders are the lowest-level violators, generally convicted of fourth degree sex offenses. These offenses include, among others, video surveillance or in-person “peeping” without permission of the victim, possession of child pornography, and sex trafficking.
- Tier II: This tier includes third-degree sex offenses, including distributing child pornography, abduction of a child younger than 16 for prostitution, and operating a house of prostitution, among other offenses. Tier II offenders must remain on the registry for 25 years.
- Tier III: Tier III offenders remain on the registry for life. Among the crimes that will land an offender on the Tier III registry are rape—statutory or any other type—incest, kidnapping, murder with the intent to rape, assault with the intent to rape, and the sale of a minor.
All offenders must register within three days of their release from community supervision, and if jail time is part of the sentences, offenders must register before release from prison. Offenders from other states must register three days before moving into Maryland.
State law requires sex offenders to report to state authorities periodically for as long as they are on the sex-offender registry. Tier I and Tier II offenders must report every six months, while Tier III registrants must report every three months.
If You Were Charged With a Sex Offense in Maryland, Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers of Alpert Schreyer
An arrest for a sex offense in Maryland can have far-reaching consequences for your future. You should consult a criminal defense law attorney to determine your rights under the particular circumstances of your arrest.