On March 4, 2013, the Court of Appeals of Maryland, this State's highest Court, held that Article 17 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights provides greater protection to its citizens than the United State's Constitution. The Court held that the Maryland Sex Offender Registration requirements violate Maryland's prohibition against
ex post facto laws; a law that applies a punishment to an act that was not a crime at the time of committing the act. The Court of Appeals found that this prohibition against ex post facto laws extends to any law passed after the commission of an offense which . . . in relation to that offense, or its consequences, alters the situation of a party to his disadvantage.
The Court of Appeals found that it is an extension of punishment to require retroactive registration on the Sex Offender Registry in Maryland. The Court found that persons who are subject to registering suffer the same negative effects as being on probation. In Maryland, it is well-settled that probation is a form of a criminal sanction. Corbin v. State, 428 Md. 488, 502 (2012). As a Registered Sex Offender, persons are required to report to law enforcement and give notice of any change of address and notify law enforcement before being away from home for more than 7 days. A Registered Sex Offender must also disclose a significant amount of highly personal information including their employment address, information about their conviction, social security number, email address and computer-log-in names. A registered offender is required to provide information about vehicles he uses, even if not titled to him, and submit finger prints and palm prints, a physical description and an updated image of himself pursuant to Criminal Procedure Article 11-706.
This personal information is then displayed on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry website (http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/sorSearch/,; last accessed March 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM). The information collected at the Maryland Sex Offender Registry website has been used and published by other sources, such as by the partnership between the Department of Corrections and Towson University, in the development of the Sex Offender Registry Map (http://sorm.towson.edu/mapview/; last accessed March 5, 2013 at 11:17 AM). The result is that the dissemination of information about registrants is the equivalent of public shaming. Problems with obtaining or keeping housing results with eventual expulsion of offender from community. Additional negative consequences include employment problems for the registrant because of negative publicity that some employers receive by having the employers address posted on the Department of Corrections website.
Because of the Court of Appeals' recent opinion, you may be eligible to challenge the Department of Corrections determination that you must register as a Sex Offender. At the Law Office of William F. Riddle we have implemented a procedure for challenging these determinations. It begins with the filing of a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections in the County in which you were convicted of the offense. The process involves taking depositions and issuing subpoena to gather documents which show the requirements of your Registration. This process of Discovery is all about preserving and building your case against Registration.
Contact the Law Office of William F. Riddle today to challenge the Sheriff's Office and Department of Corrections requirement that you must register as a Sex Offender, and begin living your life.