14-208.12A. Request for termination of registration requirement.

(a) Ten years from the date of initial county registration, a person required to register under this Part may petition the superior court to terminate the 30-year registration requirement if the person has not been convicted of a subsequent offense requiring registration under this Article.

If the reportable conviction is for an offense that occurred in North Carolina, the petition shall be filed in the district where the person was convicted of the offense.

If the reportable conviction is for an offense that occurred in another state, the petition shall be filed in the district where the person resides. A person who petitions to terminate the registration requirement for a reportable conviction that is an out-of-state offense shall also do the following: (i) provide written notice to the sheriff of the county where the person was convicted that the person is petitioning the court to terminate the registration requirement and (ii) include with the petition at the time of its filing, an affidavit, signed by the petitioner, that verifies that the petitioner has notified the sheriff of the county where the person was convicted of the petition and that provides the mailing address and contact information for that sheriff.

Regardless of where the offense occurred, if the defendant was convicted of a reportable offense in any federal court, the conviction will be treated as an out-of-state offense for the purposes of this section.

(a1) The court may grant the relief if:

(1) The petitioner demonstrates to the court that he or she has not been arrested for any crime that would require registration under this Article since completing the sentence,

(2) The requested relief complies with the provisions of the federal Jacob Wetterling Act, as amended, and any other federal standards applicable to the termination of a registration requirement or required to be met as a condition for the receipt of federal funds by the State, and

(3) The court is otherwise satisfied that the petitioner is not a current or potential threat to public safety.

(a2) The district attorney in the district in which the petition is filed shall be given notice of the petition at least three weeks before the hearing on the matter. The petitioner may present evidence in support of the petition and the district attorney may present evidence in opposition to the requested relief or may otherwise demonstrate the reasons why the petition should be denied.

(a3) If the court denies the petition, the person may again petition the court for relief in accordance with this section one year from the date of the denial of the original petition to terminate the registration requirement. If the court grants the petition to terminate the registration requirement, the clerk of court shall forward a certified copy of the order to the Department of Public Safety to have the person's name removed from the registry.

(b) If there is a subsequent offense, the county registration records shall be retained until the registration requirement for the subsequent offense is terminated by the court under subsection (a1) of this section.

(c) The victim of the underlying offense may appear and be heard by the court in a proceeding regarding a request for termination of the sex offender registration requirement. If the victim has elected to receive notices of such proceedings, the district attorney's office shall notify the victim of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The district attorney's office may provide the required notification electronically or by telephone, unless the victim requests otherwise. The victim shall be responsible for notifying the district attorney's office of any changes in the victim's address and telephone number or other contact information. The judge in any court proceeding subject to this section shall inquire as to whether the victim is present and wishes to be heard. If the victim is present and wishes to be heard, the court shall grant the victim an opportunity to be reasonably heard. The right to be reasonably heard may be exercised, at the victim's discretion, through an oral statement, submission of a written statement, or submission of an audio or video statement. (1997-516, s. 1; 2006-247, s. 10(a); 2008-117, s. 11; 2011-61, s. 5; 2014-100, s. 17.1(r); 2017-158, s. 22; 2019-245, s. 7(a).)