Which Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration?


There are over 30 types of crimes in North Carolina that require sex offender registration upon conviction. Being on the registry is a crippling punishment. Besides the social stigma and employment difficulties sex offenders face, they also have conditions restricting where they live, where they can go, and how close they can be to any facility used by children including parks and malls. Because of this, it is essential to know which offenses require registration and which ones do not.

Let’s start out with the shorter list of sexually related offenses that do NOT require registration (statutes in parenthesis):

  • Crime against nature (14-177)
  • Bigamy (14-183)
  • Fornication and adultery (14-184)
  • Falsely registering at hotel as husband and wife (14-186)
  • Obscene literature and exhibitions (14-190.1)
  • Coercing acceptance of obscene articles (14-190.4)
  • Preparation of obscene articles (14-190.5)
  • Dissemination of obscene material to minors (14-190.7, 190.8)
  • Misdemeanor indecent exposure (14-190.9(a))
  • Displaying or disseminating material harmful to minors (14-190.14, 190.15)
  • Misdemeanor secret peeping (14-202(c))
  • Indecent liberties between children (14-202.2)
  • Indecent liberties with student, school personnel <4 years older (14-202.4(b))
  • Solicitation of prostitution (14-205.1)
  • Patronizing a prostitute (14-205.2(a-b))
  • Promoting prostitution (14-205.3(a))
  • Stalking (14-277.3A)
  • Misdemeanor child abuse (14-318.2)
  • Felony child abuse (14-318.4(a), (a3), (a4), (a5), (a6))
  • Sexual harassment (14-395.1)

These crimes are either charged more infrequently, are lesser versions of more serious conduct, or do not involve sexual conduct against minors. If you are convicted of one of the crimes above, you may face consequences including incarceration. However, none of these offenses requires registration as a sex offender.

Below, you will find a more exhaustive table that includes all the offenses for which registration is required:

All “Sexually Violent Offenses” (14-208.6(5)):

  • First-degree forcible rape (14-27.21)
  • Second-degree forcible rape (14-27.22)
  • Statutory rape of a child by an adult (14-27.23)
  • Statutory rape of person ≤ 15 by person 6+ yrs. older (14-27.25(a))
  • First-degree forcible sexual offense (14-27.26)
  • Second-degree forcible sexual offense (14-27.27)
  • Statutory sexual offense w/ child by an adult (14-27.28)
  • First-degree statutory sexual offense (14-27.29)
  • Stat. sexual offense w/ person ≤15 by D 6+ yrs. older (14-27.30(a))
  • Sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian (14-27.31)
  • Sexual activity with a student (14-27.32)
  • Sexual battery (14-27.33)
  • Human trafficking (if victim <18, or for sex servitude) (14-43.11)
  • Sexual servitude (14-43.13)
  • Incest between near relatives (14-178)
  • Employ minor in offense/public morality (14-190.6)
  • Felony indecent exposure (14-190.9(a1))
  • First-degree sexual exploitation of minor (14-190.16)
  • Second-degree sexual exploitation of minor (14-190.17)
  • Third-degree sexual exploitation of minor (14-190.17A)
  • Taking indecent liberties with children as adult (14-202.1)
  • Solicitation of child by computer (14-202.3)
  • Taking indecent liberties with a student (14-202.4(a))
  • Patronize minor/mentally disabled prostitute (14-205.2(c-d))
  • Prostitution of minor/mentally disabled child (14-205.3(b))
  • Parent/caretaker prostitution (14-318.4(a1))
  • Parent/guardian commit/allow sexual act (14-318.4(a2))

Any of these offenses committed against a minor, and the person committing the offense is not the minor's parent (14-208.6(1m)):

  • Kidnapping (14-39)
  • Abduction of children (14-41)
  • Felonious restraint (14-43.3)

Attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation to commit any of the above crimes is a registerable offense.

An offender with a reportable conviction must register for 30 years (which can be reduced to 10 years in some cases by petition under 14-208.12A) unless lifetime registration applies. (14-208.7) Lifetime registration applies to repeat offenders, offenders convicted of an aggravated offense, and sexually violent predators. (14-208.23)

Offenses involving “Secretly Peeping” are registerable (14-208.6(4)d) only if court makes specific findings of fact:

  • Felony peeping (14-202 (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h))
  • Second/subsequent conviction of misdemeanor peeping (14-202(a) or (c))
  • Misdemeanor peeping w/ mirror or device (14-202(a1))

A good lawyer can argue against registration in this narrow category if the state lacks the necessary evidence to convince the judge that registration is required.

Consequences of registration include:

  • An offender’s address will be visible online, and they must notify the sheriff of any change of address within 3 business days or they will be charged with a felony for Failing to register as a sex offender (14-208.11)
  • An offender cannot reside within 1,000 feet of any school or child care center, or they will be charged with a felony (14-208.16)
  • An offender cannot work in any capacity where they are taking care of minors and cannot be entrusted with the care of minors at home, or they will be charged with a felony (14-208.17)
  • An offender cannot be:
    • On the premises of any place intended for the care of children such as playgrounds, parks, children’s museums, etc.
    • Within 300 feet of a location for the care of children located in malls or shopping centers
    • At any place, minors congregate such as libraries, arcades, amusement parks, or pools
    • Or else they will be charged with a felony (14-208.18)

Are you or someone you love facing registration as a sex offender or is currently on the registry and wants off? You should call one of our experienced attorneys at Jetton and Meredith immediately. We have decades of experience representing people dealing with these very serious matters. We can provide the help and guidance you need to get you the result you deserve. Call our office now at (704) 931-5535 for more information.