New Legislation on Sex Offender Registration for Out-of-State Offenses

In a post last year, here, I discussed some of the issues related to sex offender registration for out-of-state offenses. Among other things, I noted a federal case in which a registrant challenged the constitutionality of North Carolina’s process (or, really, lack of process) for determining whether a conviction from another state is substantially similar to a North Carolina crime requiring registration. A subsequent case prompted a legislative change that is the main subject of today’s post.

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Legislative Changes to Which Prior Convictions Can Support a Habitual Felon Charge

S.L. 2017-176 makes two important changes to which prior convictions can support a habitual felon charge. The legislation (1) clarifies the status of prior convictions from New Jersey and other states that don’t use the term “felony,” and (2) imposes a new requirement that a prior conviction from another state be for an offense that is “substantially similar” to a North Carolina felony.

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Sexual Practices and Substantial Similarity

A couple of weeks ago, the court of appeals decided State v. Davis, __ N.C. App. __ (2012). For prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges handling sex crime cases, it’s a significant opinion concerning Rule 404(b). The defendant in Davis was charged with indecent liberties and first-degree sexual offenses based primarily on his young son’s reports … Read more

Substantial Similarity of Prior Convictions from Other Jurisdictions

Under G.S. 15A-1340.14(e), a defendant’s prior out-of-state convictions count by default as Class I felonies if the other jurisdiction classifies them as a felony, or as Class 3 misdemeanors if the other jurisdiction classifies them as a misdemeanor. The State or the defendant may, however, attempt to depart from those default classifications through a preponderance-of-the-evidence … Read more