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How To Get Off The Sex Offender Registry In NC

The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry is a database which houses the information of any person who lives in, moves to, is a resident student in, or nonresident worker in North Carolina with a reportable conviction under the Sex Offender Registration requirements. The State requires these persons to register their information with the local Sheriff’s Office to comply with the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs.

When Must Sex Offenders Register?

Time period requirements vary based upon the residential/occupational status of the offender. Here are the time frames for each offender category:

  • Resident sex offender: Immediately upon conviction, absent a prison sentence. If a prison sentence is imposed, the individual must register within three business days after release from jail or prison. Additionally, if the offender changes residence, they must register under the new address within three business days.
  • Non-resident offender: Within three business days of establishing residence in this State, or whenever that person has been present in the State for 15 days, whichever comes first.
  • Non-resident student: Upon enrollment in any type of school in North Carolina.
  • Non-resident worker: After working in this State for more than 14 days or an aggregate of more than 30 days in a calendar year.

*All registrants must report to their respective county’s sheriff’s office to complete an initial and subsequent county registration.

Registration Period Requirements

Article 27A of the Sex Offender & Public Protection Registration Programs determines the length of time an individual must remain on the Sex Offender Registry based on these two classifications:

  • Article 27A, Part 3: The following applies any person who is convicted of (a) an aggravated offense, (b) a repeat offense, and/or (c) determined by a court to be a sexually violent predator:
    • Lifetime registration
    • Verification of residence every 90 days
  • Article 27A, Part 2: Part 2 of the article applies to all other reportable convictions under the Sex Offender & Public Protection Registration Programs. Persons in this category are bound to the following:
    • Registration of at least 30 years from initial date of county registration
    • After 10 years, these persons may petition the superior court to terminate their registration.

How To Petition The Court For Removal

Only persons with Part 2 classification are eligible for removal from the registry at least 10 years after initial registration date (exempt those with both Part 2 and 3 classifications). After a decade, these individuals may petition the superior court to terminate their registry status. Here’s how it works:

  1. If convicted in North Carolina, these individuals must file their petition through the district in which they were convicted. The district attorney in the respective jurisdiction will be given notice of the petition at least three weeks before the termination hearing.
  2. The hearing will then be scheduled. During the proceedings, the petitioner will have an opportunity to present evidence in support of removal, while the district attorney may present evidence to the contrary.

Eligibility Requirements For Removal

Once all testimony is heard and evidence presented, termination of registry status is entirely in the discretion of the court. It may grant termination if petitioner meets all three requirements below:

  1. Petitioner has NOT been arrested for any crime requiring registration under Article 27A since completing their sentence.
  2. Petitioner meets the criteria under the Jacob Wetterling Act required for a judge to vacate registry status. It is important to discuss this particular component with an experienced lawyer for sex offenders.
  3. Petitioner is not a current or potential threat to public safety.

If Removal Is Granted

Should the court grant a petition for removal from the registry, the clerk of court will forward a certified court order to the State Division of Criminal Information. The State office will then remove the name from the registry.

If Removal Is Denied

If the court denies the petition for removal, the petitioner must wait one full year from the date of the court decision to file another petition for removal.

Interested in petitioning for removal from NC Sex Offender Registry?

If you or a loved one is interested in filing a petition for removal from the Sex Offender Registry,  you need a tenacious lawyer for sex offenders. Our expert attorneys know the applicable law backward and front, and we’ll fight to give you your life back. Click below to schedule a free consultation today!

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Taylor Manning
The content on this page was reviewed by Manning Law Firm, PLLC partner Taylor Manning. You can learn more about Taylor's experience and expertise on his bio page.