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North Carolina Court of Appeals Rules on Sex Offender Registry

The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that the sex offender registry laws apply to out-state offenders who move into the state. The ten year period for registering requires that the offender register in North Carolina for ten years. Registration on another state's sex offender registry doesn't count towards the 10 year North Carolina requirement, the Court ruled.

The decision was unanimously decided by the justices. The Court of Appeals ruling overturned a superior court decision that permitted the sex offender to apply the years on another state's registry towards the North Carolina 10 year obligation. The initial case was held in Guilford County.

While the decision will not likely affect most convicted of sex offenses, the Court of Appeals ruling will affect sex offenders who move into North Carolina. Failure to comply with the sex offender registry is a criminal offense.

Once law enforcement officers undercover a sex offender living in the state, they will arrest the individual if they determine that the offender has not properly registered. Other requirements for the registry include updating the offenders address and contact information. The information helps other North Carolina residents take extra precautions when living near a sex offender and updates law enforcement agencies about the whereabouts of previously convicted sex offenders.

Source: News Record, "Sex Offenders and Stun Guns," Doug Clark, 11/1/2011

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