Must Juvenile Sex Offenders Be Added to the Sex Offender Registry?

By Joel Hancock

Regardless of the age of the alleged perpetrator, sex crimes are taken very seriously. However, it’s important to acknowledge that how North Carolina treats juveniles fares very differently than adults despite certain similarities. So, what does this mean when it comes to registering as a public sex offender? Must juveniles who commit the same crimes as adult sex offenders register as public sex offenders? Here’s what to know. 

When Must a Juvenile Register?

In North Carolina, if a juvenile is convicted of certain sex offenses, a judge can require them to register as a sex offender. However, this is only true for certain crimes. Juvenile offenders over the age of 11 are commonly ordered to register as a sex offender if they are found guilty of any of the following offenses:

  • First-degree statutory rape
  • Second-degree statutory rape
  • First-degree forcible rape
  • Second-degree forcible rape
  • First-degree forcible sexual offense
  • Second-degree forcible sexual offense
  • Attempted sexual offense or rape
  • First-degree statutory sexual offense

It’s important to discern that the fact that a juvenile has been convicted of a sexual offense is not enough by itself to require that they register as a sex offender. They must be ordered by a judge, who has the freedom to make that decision. In making this decision he or she must look at whether the juvenile is a threat to the community. Juvenile offenders who are convicted are required to register for the public sex offender registry with the sheriff’s office. 

If a juvenile is charged as an adult for one of the sex crimes that require sex offender registration, then the child is required to do the same things as an adult offender would do. 

Requirements for Registering as a Sex Offender

When a juvenile is required to register as a sex offender in North Carolina, the court must make them aware of this requirement, have them sign a form acknowledging that they are aware that they must register, and receive all required information. The court will then file that information with the sheriff’s office. There is a separate registry for children versus adult offenders. 

If a juvenile on the sex offender registry changes their address, they must notify the court of the new address. It’s also important to note that the information on the sex offender registry must be verified as true through the court. 

The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

It can be incredibly scary to be arrested, and even more frightening to learn that you are going to be prosecuted under the criminal justice system. Not only the outcome of the case, but the experience itself can have a major impact on your life. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight these charges and obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.