A recent ruling by the Maryland Supreme Court has forced certain information on the state's sexual offender registry to be removed. According to the court, sexual offender registration is unconstitutional for those that committed their crimes before 1995. Beginning last week, the state unceremoniously began removing listings that fell within that criterion.
Generally, the registry is viewed as a positive thing by the public as a means to protect individuals and children from sex criminals. But the registry has also raised numerous legal concerns about the constitutional rights of those that it lists. Since the registry does not discriminate between someone who committed sexual assault maliciously or was induced into a plea after an innocent encounter, there are numerous concerns about the harmful effects it can have on minor crimes.
According to a recent report by the Washington Post, a number of lawsuits have been challenged by registrants seeking to remove their names. From those covered by the recent ruling to those falling into a different category, these challenges are something to watch over the next few years. In the end, Maryland's registry may be forever altered.
As is stands today, however, those convicted of sexual assault or other sex crimes have to register. This automatically causes the perpetrator to be labeled with terms like "repeat offender" and "person with a criminal history". These labels can forever alter an individual's job prospects and future.
As a result, it is vital for the criminally accused to consult with local Upper Marlboro attorneys. These professionals can advise their clients on the registry and when it will come into effect. They can negotiate plea deals and determine when or if listing on the registry is appropriate. Without their help, the accused may unknowingly cement themself on a list that will hinder his or her future success.
Source: Washington Post, "Sex offender removed from MD. registry; could be first of many," Aaron Davis, June 21, 2013