Sex Offender Registry Removal in Maryland
Experienced defense attorney in Bowie and Crofton helping clients move forward
As soon as a person who has been convicted of a sex crime leaves the custody of the corrections department, and resumes private life, he or she is required to register with the local county law enforcement, or the agency affiliated with parole and probation. The individual is required to provide his or her name and address and keep that information updated whenever he or she relocates. A person who is on the sex offender registry might expect random home visits to monitor his or her whereabouts, and to make sure that he or she is not in contact with people with whom he or she is forbidden to be in contact. This is a challenging burden for someone who feels as if he or she has paid his or her debt to society after having served time in jail or on probation.
In some cases, it is possible to get your name removed from the Maryland sex offender registry. If your name is on the Maryland sex offender registry and you would like to try to get it removed so that you can get on with your life, contact the sex crimes defense lawyers at Carey Law Firm right away. You are welcome to schedule a confidential consultation so that we can discuss your case. Put our experience to work on your behalf.
What is the Maryland sex offender registry?
The Maryland sex offender registry is a database with information about individuals who have been convicted of various types of sexual crimes. This database is published on the internet and the information is freely available to law enforcement and the public. Information about a registrant is available by looking up his or her name or zip code.
Sex offenders are required to register, or they face penalties. The length of time a person’s name is listed on the registry depends on the type of crime committed. There are three tiers within the registry:
- Tier I: Crime convictions for tier one includes possession of child pornography, sex trafficking, and fourth-degree sexual offenses. Tier I offenders remain on the registry for 15 years, and must re-register with local law enforcement every 6 months..
- Tier II: Conviction of distribution of child pornography and some third-degree sexual offenses requires registration on tier II. Tier II offenders remain on the registry for 25 years.
- Tier III: Tier III is reserved for the most violent sex crimes such as rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and certain first, second, or third-degree sexual offenses. Tier III offenders are required to re-register every 3 months with local law enforcement, and remain on the registry for their entire lives.
Exceptions to the rule
There are two exceptions to the rules regarding how long a person must remain on the registry.
- Certain juvenile offenders may only have to register for up to 5 years; and
- Tier I offenders may be eligible to reduce their time on the registry to 10 years, instead of 15, if the registrant:
- is not convicted of any offense for which a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year may be imposed;
- is not convicted of any sex offense;
- successfully completes, without revocation, any period of supervised release, parole, or probation; and
- successfully completes an appropriate sex offender treatment program.
How long do I have to register as a sex offender in Maryland?
If you are convicted of a sex crime and have to register as a sex offender, you must do so with a “supervising authority,” such as local law enforcement, before your release from jail or prison, you are granted probation, or you are granted a suspended sentence. If you have moved to Maryland from another state, and you were registered as a sex offender in that other state, you have 7 days from when you established your residence or applied for a driver’s license.
If you have been convicted of a sexual offense against a child, you must register with local law enforcement within 7 days of being released.
How does registration work?
The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) governs the procedures for the administration of the Maryland Sex Offender Registry: COMAR 12.06.01.01 through 12.06.01.18. These regulations, while not statutes, have the force and effect of law.
You will have to meet face-to-face with a supervising authority in order to register. You must submit the following information in a registration statement:
- Your full name
- Your address
- The name of the institution granting you work release (if applicable)
- Your fingerprints
- The name of your school or employer (if a non-resident)
- Your signature, with a date
Once your information has been submitted, the supervising authority to whom you reported will explain to you what you must do if you wish to move, if you get a job, or if you need to reregister in 3 months of 6. The unit will also make sure you get a copy of your statement, and that the victim is notified of any changes.
The Maryland Sex Offender Registry Unity is also the unit in charge of removing you from the registry, when the time comes.
What information does the Maryland sex offender registry share with the public?
The sex offender registry provides the following information to the public including:
- A photograph of the individual
- Place of employment
- School if applicable
- The nature of the criminal charges
- Status (i.e. absconder, compliant, non-compliant, out of state, incarcerated)
- Age and date of birth
- Email address
Each state maintains its own sex offender registry, which is an online database with information that is available to law enforcement and to the public. Typically, to get information about who in their neighborhood might be on the sex offender registry, people would have to go to the sex offender registry website and look up their location using the offender’s name or a zip code. Now, a website called Offender Watch, is making it much easier for the public to remain informed about changes to their local sex offender registry by providing push notifications when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood, and a “safe virtual neighborhood” app, which pushes notifications if a registered sex offender communicates with that person’s child on digital platforms.
Jurisdictions in Maryland participating in Offender Watch
Sherriff’s departments in:
- Cecil County
- Charles County
- Frederick County
- Harford County
- Somerset County
- Wicomico County
The Montgomery County Police Department also participates.
What is the penalty for failing to register?
The penalty for failing to register as a sex offender or failing to update your registration if you move is a misdemeanor, a possible three-year prison sentence and/or a $5,000 fine. It is the individual’s responsibility to know what he or she is required to report and when.
Removing your name from the registry
In order to have your name removed from the sex offender registry, you must have either completed your required term, or obtain:
- A true test copy of the court order reversing, vacating, or setting aside the conviction underlying the registration;
- A copy of a governor’s pardon for the conviction underlying the registration;
- A true test copy of a court order for expungement of the conviction underlying the registration
Getting a name removed from the sex offender registry is difficult in Maryland, but it is not impossible. However, you will need an attorney to help you, especially if you are seeking to have your record vacated, or seeking a pardon.
Why you need a defense lawyer with experience in sex crimes cases
If you are facing criminal charges, working with an experienced Bowie criminal defense lawyer can be helpful because he or she may be able to negotiate the charges, which would result in a tier I or tier II listing as opposed to a tier III.
Learn more about removal from Maryland’s sex crime registry
An experienced Bowie sex offender attorney from Carey Law Office in Bowie and Crofton can guide you through the process of getting your name removed from the list. For almost four decades, we have served the legal needs of our community. You may call 301-464-2500 or fill out this contact form to learn more about our services now.