According to a survey conducted by the United States Justice Department in July of 2012, only 15 states have met the requirements of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. The law, which was passed by Congress in 2006, aimed to create a uniform system to register and track those convicted of sex offenses across all 50 states. Though proponents of the law hoped it would make children safer and provide states with lax regulations impetus to improve their registration systems, many states have found it to be both logistically and financially burdensome.
Maryland Law Imposes Strict Penalties
In addition to creating financial challenges for states, the requirements of sex offender registration statutes can be severe, even oppressive, for those who are convicted of certain crimes. In Maryland, all those convicted of a sexual offense must register with the state. The duration and category of a person’s registration depends on the crime of conviction, the age of the victim, and the date the offense was committed.
For example, those convicted of a Tier I offense in Maryland must register with the state for 15 years. Tier I offenses include possession of child pornography, visual surveillance with prurient intent, and some sex trafficking crimes. Tier II offenses, which require registration for 25 years, include distribution of child pornography and some solicitation crimes. Tier III offenses, which require life-long registration, include sexual assault, first degree rape, and other crimes. In addition, if a person has been convicted of two Tier I crimes, he must register in the Tier II category. Likewise, if someone is convicted of two Tier II crimes, or a Tier I and a Tier II crime, he must register in the Tier III category.
Contents of the Registration Statement
The registration statement in Maryland contains comprehensive information about the registrant. In addition to a person’s name, address, and age, the statement includes:
- Place of employment
- Registration category
- Residency information
- A plain language description of the crimes committed by the registrant
- Vehicle information
This registration statement is available to the public.
Those convicted of sex offenses in Maryland face a number of requirements. Among other requirements, they must:
- Register every physical address and location where they live and must notify the local police that they live there
- Notify authorities of all changes of address, employment, internet identifiers, and vehicle
- Stay away from all buildings that are used for elementary or secondary education
Those who do not follow the requirements of the law face prison time and stiff monetary penalties.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been accused of sexual assault, statutory rape, or another sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can assess your case and advise you on how best to protect your rights. For more information about what a criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact a lawyer today.