Everyone convicted of a sex offense in North Carolina is required to register with the Department of Public Safety as a sex offender. The registration period typically requires the convicted sex offender to be listed for 30 years from the day of conviction. There is an exemption for individuals who can qualify after 10 years, but the state still has the power to deny the petition under certain situations.
Qualifications for removal
Removal from sex offender registry first requires filing a petition for removal to the original court of jurisdiction if the order was issued in North Carolina. The applicant offender becomes free from any state-imposed penalties for the particular sex offense conviction. The applicant must also have not been convicted of any subsequent sex offense. Additionally, they must qualify according to the rules of the federal Jacob Wetterling Act and not be viewed as a future danger to society in any way.
Petitioning a North Carolina court for removal from sex offender registry requires a three-week prior notification for the jurisdictional district attorney to prepare an argument against the court order. The petitioner may present evidence of good behavior and personal rehabilitation in requesting removal. The district attorney can then present a counter argument, including questioning the petitioner about any concerns they have if the order is issued. Applicants who are denied removal and registration requirements may petition again after one calendar year from the original petition submission.
It is important for all convicted sex offenders to understand this possible release from registration requirement and conduct themselves in a lawful manner through the first 10 years following their conviction. The order to release and remove is not automatic; it must be earned through observance of all North Carolina sex offense laws for the initial 10-year period.