Over two years ago I said I would someday try to sort North Carolina’s reportable sex crimes into the tiers set out in the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Today’s the day.
When, if ever, must a person register as a sex offender in North Carolina because of a juvenile adjudication from another state?
Like most states, North Carolina has not substantially implemented the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). (Only 17 states have.) Nevertheless, some portions of the federal law wind up impacting sex offenders in North Carolina. As discussed in previous posts, as a matter of existing state law, a judge may not grant a petition for removal from the sex offender registry if doing so would violate the “federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and any other standards applicable to the termination of a registration requirement or required to be met as a condition for the receipt of federal funds by the State.” G.S. 14-208.12A(a1)(2). With that requirement in place, federal rules regarding minimum registration period effectively trump the state-law regime allowing a non-lifetime registrant to petition for removal 10 years after the date of initial county registration. The minimum registration periods under federal law are 15 years for so-called “Tier I” offenses (reducible to 10 years in certain circumstances), 25 years for “Tier II” offenses, and life for “Tier III” offenses.
That longwinded introduction brings me to the real purpose of today’s post. To apply the state law referencing federal law correctly, you need to know the tier into which the registrant’s reportable offense would fall. Federal law defines the tiers mostly by reference to federal crimes. In today’s post I will summarize the federal laws and regulations regarding tiering, including all of the relevant definitions of qualifying acts.
In my previous post I wrote about In re Hamilton, a recent appellate case involving petitions to terminate sex offender registration. In Hamilton, the court of appeals held that a trial court erred when it found under G.S. 14-208.12A that removing a person convicted of indecent liberties with a minor from the sex offender registry … Read more
A recent case from the court of appeals sheds some light on a frequently asked question about petitions for removal from the sex offender registry. The case, In re Hamilton, considered a trial court’s refusal to grant a petition because granting it would not comply with the federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and other … Read more
Back in April I wrote this post about a pending bill (H 772) that was intended to bring North Carolina into compliance with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). In its initial form, it appeared the bill would have done all the things North Carolina needed to do (and then some, perhaps) … Read more
I’ve written before about how North Carolina’s law related to sex offender registration has changed over the years in response to federal mandates. In 2006 Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Title I of which is the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA. SORNA includes a set of minimum … Read more