Much has been said about the long-term consequences that stem from felony charges. As mentioned previously, Maryland residents may find that the whole course of their life changes if they are convicted of committing a crime. At the same time, many also believe that once they have done their time in a prison, they can move on with their lives as they have paid for their mistakes. However, that is often not the end, especially when the conviction was for sexual offenses.
Though every state defines what it means by sexual offenses and the punishment for the crime, one aspect of the punishment remains the same across the board, including Maryland: sexual offenders must register with their state’s authorities. As per the federally passed Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), if a sate convicted sexual offender knowingly fails to register with the authorities, they face additional penalties that could be up to 10 years in prison.
Under SORNA, crimes are categorized into three different tiers, based on the age of the victim, aggravating circumstances and the length of the prison sentence required by law. Under the tiers, the reporting requirement differs. Under tier III, the most serious crimes, the offender must report for a lifetime and register again every time they move. Under Tier II, the reporting requirement is 25 years and 10 years in Tier I if their record remains clean subsequent to their release, otherwise they must report for 25 years.
As this demonstrates, the life-long consequences that can result from a sexual assault conviction can be very grave and these charges should not be taken lightly. Creating a strong defense from the onset can go a far way in fighting sexual offense charges.