If you are convicted of a sex offense in North Carolina, you could face a lengthy prison sentence and large fines. In addition, you could be required to register as a sex offender on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry after you serve your sentence.

Being listed as a sex offender can have devasting consequences on your ability to find a job, housing, and more. Here's what you need to know about when you have to register and how long you will have to be on the registry.

Who Is Required to Register on North Carolina's Sex Offender Registry?

Sex Offender Computer Screen With a Gavel and Scales of JusticeIndividuals convicted of a "reportable conviction" are required to register as sex offenders in North Carolina. They must immediately register with the sheriff in the county where they live if they are placed on probation or within three business days of being released from prison or jail. The sheriff would enter their information in the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. Crimes requiring registration include:

  • Offenses against minors
  • Sexually violent crimes
  • Attempts to commit a sexual offense against a minor or sexually violent crimes

Nonresidents who were convicted of an offense in another state are also required to report to the local sheriff's department in certain situations. They include:

  • Nonresident offender. A nonresident offender must report their status as a sex offender within three business days of establishing residency in North Carolina or within 15 days of being present in our state, whichever comes first.
  • Nonresident students. A student convicted of a "reportable offense" is required to register in the state where they reside immediately after being enrolled in a school in North Carolina.
  • Nonresident workers. Nonresident workers will be required to register if they were convicted of a "reportable offense" or are required to register as a sex offender in the state where they live.

What Crimes Require Registration on the Sex Offender Registry?

There are many crimes that are considered "reportable offenses" requiring registration as a sex offender. The requirements are different for crimes against minors and adults. Some common crimes against minors that require registration on the registry include:

  • Committing felonious restraint of a minor
  • Kidnapping of a child
  • Taking indecent liberties with a minor
  • Allowing a sexual act on a minor to be committed by a parent or guardian
  • Using a computer to solicit a child to commit an unlawful sexual act
  • Committing statutory rape
  • Committing another sexual crime where the victim was 15 years old or younger and the perpetrator was at least six years older

In addition, defendants who commit or attempt to commit violent sexual offenses can be required to register on the Sex Offender Registry. Here are some common crimes that must be reported:

How Long Must a Person Remain on the Sex Offender Registry?

The amount of time an individual must be listed as a sex offender will depend on their crime's seriousness and past convictions. A person convicted of a "reportable offense" must register on the Sex Offender Registry for 30 years. However, they can petition the court to be removed from the registry after 10 years of registration.

A defendant can be required to register for life if they were convicted of an aggravated offense, have multiple convictions, or are considered a sexually violent predator. These individuals also must verify their address every 90 days. They can only be removed from the registry if they are pardoned, or their conviction is overturned.

Restrictions That Must Be Followed While Listed on the Sex Offender Registry

There are many restrictions that an individual must follow when they are listed on the Sex Offender Registry. They include:

  • Being prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or childcare facility.
  • Not being able to go to a place within 300 feet of a location that is intended for the care of children, such as a school, daycare facility, and playground unless a limited exception for a parent applies.
  • Their residence cannot be used to take care of children.
  • They cannot be employed or volunteer in any place where a minor is present and the offender's duties would include the instruction, supervision or care of them.
  • They may also be prohibited from getting and renewing certain commercial licenses, EMS credentials, or a funeral license.

Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, NC?

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.


C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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