The Range of Consequences of a Sex Offender Conviction

For a presentation I did recently on termination of sex offender registration requirements, I decided to see what requirements and restrictions a person is subject to under North Carolina law if convicted of an offense subject to sex offender registration. The results are too long for a single blog post, but you can find the entire list of consequences of a conviction here.

The list is not intended to provide detailed guidance on how the consequences are being interpreted and applied by the courts, probation, law enforcement, and other entities. Some of the consequences—for example, restrictions on use of social media websites and participation in religious activities when children are present—are the subject of legal challenges. The list may be useful, however, in understanding and advising people about the range of consequences that follow from conviction of an offense subject to registration.

The consequences of an offense subject to registration fall into four basic categories, described in more detail in the list:

  • enhanced criminal sentences and conditions;
  • registration requirements;
  • satellite-based monitoring; and
  • residence, premises, employment, and other restrictions.

Violation of these requirements and restrictions may result in prosecution for additional offenses. For example, failing to comply with registration requirements is usually a Class F felony, interfering with a satellite monitoring device is a Class E felony, and being on certain prohibited premises is a Class H felony.

Termination of registration extinguishes most of the consequences and accompanying penalties but not all of them. For example, the record of conviction is permanent; a person ordinarily may not expunge a conviction of an offense subject to sex offender registration, whether or not the person is still required to register. (A person may be eligible for an expunction of a misdemeanor conviction if the offense was committed before age 18.)

You can also view the list of consequences as well as other reference materials on sex offender registration and monitoring (thanks to my colleague, Jamie Markham) through the School of Government’s Collateral Consequences Assessment Tool (C-CAT), a free, searchable database of the collateral consequences of a conviction in North Carolina. For those who may have visited the site before, we have removed the subscription and log-in requirements to make C-CAT easier to use.

2 thoughts on “The Range of Consequences of a Sex Offender Conviction”

  1. Women Against Registry brings much needed attention to national and state registries which are destroying American families and depriving them of the liberties and equal protection guaranteed to each and every American citizen.

    Women Against Registry gives a voice to the hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children who are being wrongly and unfairly punished because we have a family member who has been convicted of a sexual offense.

    We intend to provide clear and convincing evidence that America’s excessive, unconscionable sexual offense registries are tearing our nation’s families apart, making our communities less safe, violating our constitution, and wasting our tax dollars. Vicki Henry


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