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How long a sex offender must remain registered in Maryland varies

In the state of Maryland, any person who is convicted of a crime that is sexual in nature must register with the state's sexual offender registry. However, the amount of time that this person remains on the list depends on the type of sexual offense of which they are convicted. Maryland classifies these offenses according to three separate tiers. Here is a brief look of the types of sexual offenses that are in each of these tiers as well as the length of time someone must remain on this list.

Tier I is the first level of classification for sexual crimes in Maryland. Anyone convicted of any of the crimes in this tier must remain registered with the state for 15 years. Crimes in this category include any fourth degree sexual offense as well as crimes such as possession of child pornography, sex trafficking, having a misleading domain name on the internet and conducting visual surveillance with prurient intent.

The next higher category of sexual offenses is the Tier II section. As expected, these crimes are far more serious in nature. Crimes in this tier include kidnapping a child under 16 for prostitution, human trafficking, sale of a minor and distributing child pornography. Many third degree sexual offenses are also included here. Anyone convicted of a Tier II crime must remain on the state register for 25 years.

Tier III is the most severe category of sexual crimes in the state. Any person who has been found guilty of a crime in this area must remain registered with the state for life. All first, second and some third degree sex crimes are included in this group including assault with intent to rape or sexually abuse a minor, kidnapping a child under 12 years of age, incest, forcible sodomy and murder with the intent to rape. All first and second degree rapes are part of this category as well.

Remaining on Maryland's convicted sex offender list can have a lasting impact on someone's life. Any Maryland resident who has been charged with sexual assault or any other sex-related crime may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney in order to fully understand what tier the crime is a part of and the potential punishment for it is.

Source: dpscs.md.gov, "Sex offender registry FAQs," Accessed Oct. 4, 2015

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