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What it means to be placed on the state sex crime registry

If you have been convicted of a sex crime in Maryland, you may be required to submit your personal information to the state's sex crime registry. This database is designed to track those convicted of sex crimes and provide information for community members about sex offenders' whereabouts. The sex crime registry includes offenders that are sexually violent and those that target children, along with those convicted of lower-level sex offenses. The severity of the crimes determines the offender's term on the sex crime registry.

Your personal information will be made available to the general public through an online portal. Information is also provided through the postal service upon request. The information included in this database includes your name, photo and address. Further, a description of the crime and the location of the crime are included. Additional information not made available to the public includes Social Security numbers and other identifying data.

Those who are listed on the state's registry should know that community members are not permitted to harass them simply because of their criminal history. In fact, harassment is a crime that can be prosecuted. Ostracizing, shaming and berating these offenders damages their ability to build community ties. This can affect their ability to obtain gainful employment and become a productive community member.

A wide range of convictions can lead to inclusion on the sex crime registry. Defendants who have committed certain minor offenses such as violation of prostitution and child pornography laws may be required to register. Those who have committed higher-level sex offenses such as rape and violent sexual offenses are also eligible for inclusion on this list. Defendants need to understand the implications of being placed on the sex crime registry, and they should also know their responsibilities for maintaining and updating their information through the state. Maryland criminal defense attorneys may provide additional information about the sex offender registry for those who have been charged with a sex crime.

Source: Maryland Attorney General, "Understanding and Using the Sex Offender Registry" Aug. 18, 2014

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