When many people think of sentencing following criminal convictions, they think of prison sentences. Maybe they think of community service, probation or fines, too. But when it comes to a specific category of criminal offenses in Maryland, there is another highly powerful aspect of a person's sentence.
States have their own sex offender registries, and Maryland is no different. Someone who is convicted of a sexual offense must register with the system, limiting them and their freedoms and opening themselves up for public scrutiny.
There are various types and levels of sex crimes. Depending on the offense of which a defendant is convicted, the sex offense registry requirements might differ. Obviously, the more serious an offense is, such as first-degree rape, for example, the stronger the repercussions. In that case, a person must be registered as a sex offender for life.
Having to register as a sex offender not only labels people in quite a stigmatized way, but that classification sets limits on people's lives. Anyone can get online and look up whether someone is a sex offender; it is public information. This might lead to career limitations and social stigmatization.
The information on a registered sex offender is quite specific, including his or her name, picture, address and even the specific criminal offense of which they were convicted. Employers, co-workers, friends and neighbors can all find that information about a person and share it.
These are just some basics about Maryland's sex offender registry. Future posts will cover this topic and other specifics about this serious aspect of sex crime sentencing. If you have been charged with a sexual offense, a criminal defense attorney with experience in defending against sex crime allegations is an invaluable source of the information you need now.