Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in North Carolina


One of the most serious results of being convicted of a sex-related crime is the requirement that you must register as a sex offender. Once on the sex offender registry, there are numerous rules that you must follow, failure to follow these rules may lead to you being charged with the new crime of failure to register as a sex offender. If you are charged with a sex offense or you have been charged with failure to register as a sex offender call the experienced lawyers at Jetton and Meredith today!

The charge of failure to register as a sex offender is a class F felony. Depending on your prior record this can carry an active sentence in prison of up to 59 months.

While failure to register may seem straightforward and limited, the charge is not. While failing to register or to submit your name to the registry will lead to this charge that is not the only requirement that you must stay in line with to avoid this new charge.

Under the law you must comply with the following restrictions to avoid being charged with failure to register:

  1. You must register as required in the county of your residence.

    This means you must contact the local sheriff and must fill out the appropriate verification and documentation showing that you are a registered sex offender.
  2. You must notify the sheriff of any or all changes of address once you are registered.

    If you are a registered sex offender and you move, you have to let the local sheriff know what your new address is, even if it is temporary.
  3. You must return the verification notice as required by North Carolina law, and you may NOT forge, falsify, or submit false information on the verification.

    Once you are on the registry you will receive a verification to the address you have listed, failure to return this will result in you being charged, and failure to respond truthfully will result in you being charged.
  4. You must inform the sheriff in the county you reside in of any enrollment or termination from enrollment as a student.

    If you enroll in any kind of educational classes whether at a major university or at a community college you must tell the local sheriff. Furthermore, it does not matter if it is on-campus or off-campus classes, you must still inform the local sheriff.
  5. You must inform the sheriff if you are hired or fired from employment at an institution of higher education.
  6. You must periodically report in person to the sheriff’s office in the county in which you reside to check in with the sex offender department.

    If you are a registered sex offender, at least annually you will be required to go to the local sheriff’s office and check in with the department in charge of the registry. Failure to show up for this meeting can lead to you being arrested.
  7. You may not tell the sheriff in the county of your residence that you are leaving the state or that county and then stay there and not tell them.

    Another common mistake that is made that leads to these charges is when you tell the local sheriff that you are moving out of their jurisdiction and then do not do so.
  8. You must provide the sheriff with any and all online identifiers, screen names, profile names, or other information that you use or have access to.

    The law here states that you have to turn over to the local sheriff a complete list of all online identifiers that you use. This means all log-in names, screen names, social media profiles, and everything. The law also states that it includes profiles that you have access to not just to ones that you create, so if you have access to a social media profile for work purposes, you must report that as well.
  9. You may NOT fail to tell the local sheriff of out-of-county employment if it lasts long enough to qualify as a temporary residence.

    Finally, if you are going to be outside of the county that you live in for longer than a period of a day or two, you should tell the local sheriff in both the county of your residence and the county you are working in, in order to avoid being charged with this crime.

If you are found to be in violation of the registration requirements, you will be arrested. This is one of several crimes in North Carolina where law enforcement does not have a choice, they must either arrest you immediately or seek a warrant for your arrest. If you have been arrested for the charge of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, please call the experienced legal team at Jetton and Meredith today.