Sex Offender Registration Across State Lines
Under NCGS 14-208.7, any person who has a reportable conviction is required to register as a sex offender with the sheriff of the county where the person resides. If a person moves to North Carolina from another state they must register within three business days of arriving.
The statute puts the emphasis on the reportable conviction. It is not necessary for someone to be registered in another state for North Carolina to require them to register once they arrive here. For example, Harry is convicted of First-Degree Rape in Alabama in 2002. He is not required by Alabama law to register as a sex offender. Harry moves to North Carolina and is required to register as a sex offender. Harry would have no way of knowing that he needed to register unless he consulted with an attorney. Nonetheless, if law enforcement officials were to discovery that Harry had failed to register within the required time period after moving to North Carolina, Harry could be charged with and arrested for Felony Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (NCGS 14-208.11). This is a Class F Felony that carries a maximum punishment of up to 59 months in prison depending on a person’s criminal history.
Similarly, a person may have been registered in another state and may have successfully petitioned the court to be removed from the registry in that state. In North Carolina, anyone who is required to register as a sex offender is registered for a minimum of 30 years. They may petition the Court to be removed after 10 years. As such, a minimum of 10 years of registration is required. If the registry requirements in the state of origin are shorter than those in North Carolina, North Carolina still requires that new resident to register in North Carolina. The fact that they have been removed from the registry in another state has no effect on the required 10-year minimum.
Registration requirements differ from state to state. If you have ever been convicted of a sex offense, you should consult an attorney before moving out of your home-state.