South Carolina Sex Offender Registry

by | Jun 17, 2019 | Blog Posts, SC Criminal Defense

South Carolina sex offender registry – We have all heard of the sex offender registry.  Every state has one, and different states have different requirements. In a previous blog, we wrote about the sex offender registry in North Carolina.  In this blog, we will discuss the sex offender registry in South Carolina.

Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

What is the purpose of the sex offender registry?

The intent behind the sex offender registry is to promote a state’s right to help ensure the safety of its citizens.  The sex offender registry will provide law enforcement with tools needed to investigate criminal offenses. Additionally, it also allows the general public information regarding whether there are people who committed crimes of a sexual nature in the areas that the live, work, go to school, etc.

Who has to register as a sex offender in South Carolina?

Any person, regardless of age, who is convicted of or found not guilty by reason of insanity in South Carolina must register.  These crimes are included but not limited to:

Method of registration

In South Carolina, “the offender shall register with the sheriff of each county in which he resides, owns real property, is employed, or attends, is enrolled, volunteers, interns, or carries on a vocation at any public or private school, including but not limited to, a secondary school, adult education school, college or university, and any vocational, technical, or occupational school.”

The information shall be given according to the rules of the South Carolina Law Enforcement division (SLED).

Frequency of information disclosure for South Carolina sex offender registration

People who are required to register have to register by annually for life.  In the month of their birthday, followed by six months after that.  This is to ensure that the State of South Carolina has accurate and up to date information at all times.
Additionally, if the person changes addresses, they are required to give notice within 3 business days of establishing that new residence.  Similar requirements apply to changes of employment, volunteer work, or school enrollment.

Note: a person who is classified as a Tier III offender according to the federal Adam Walsh child protection and safety act is required to register every 90 days.  

What happens when someone fails to register or provide required notifications?

Upon an applicable conviction, the defendant is given notice about the requirements for sex offender registration. It is up to that person to adhere to those rules, and failure to do so constitutes a separate crime.

  • A person convicted of a first offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than 366 days, or both.
  • A person convicted of a second offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be imprisoned for a mandatory period of 366 days, no part of which shall suspended or probation granted.
  • A person convicted of a third or subsequent offense is guilty of a felony and must be imprisoned for a mandatory period of five years, three years of which shall not be suspended nor probation granted.

Note: A person who registers with false information faces the same penalties listed above.

If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney in South Carolina, contact us.

DISCLAIMER – This forum is intended for general questions and comments about the particular law or topic. Comments are public and are not protected by confidentiality or attorney-client privilege; therefore, they can be used against you in court. Please refrain from revealing your identify or specifics about any actual criminal case. No attorney-client relationship is created in this forum.

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