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Sexual Registry in South Carolina

sexual registry in south carolina

A common question brought to us is: if someone pleads guilty to a charge of criminal sexual conduct, will they have to register as a sex offender? The short answer to this is, generally, yes. And in South Carolina, currently*, the requirement to register as a sexual offender is a life-sentence.

Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) is the offense of sexual assault and it has several levels. If you enter a plea to any level of CSC, or if you are found guilty at trial of any level of CSC, then you will be required to register as a sex offender. Registration takes place at the Sheriff’s Office and, for anyone who is also required to be on GPS Service, is supervised by the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services. These departments will collect the personal contact information and a photo of the registree and that information will be publicly available on the Sex Offender Registry list. Once on the list, the registree will be required to comply with all requirements, including regular check-ins, therapy requirements, and immediate notification of any change of address.

The Sex Offender Registry is designed to protect the public and it makes available the general locations of everyone who has been required to register in many, if not all South Carolina jurisdictions (certainly, it is available in Horry County). Being on the registry can change your life – it can turn what is already a terrible situation into lifetime of judgment and humiliation. Right now, there is no provision to get off of the registry*. In order to be removed from the registry the conviction itself must be overturned, reversed, or vacated on appeal.

If you are under investigation for or facing charges of criminal sexual conduct, you want to try to deal with this as early as possible. In many cases, certainly in cases where the evidence is weak or the circumstances warrant it, the prosecutors may plea-bargain and change the charge to some other type of assault so that the person does not have to register. If you have questions about this, contact us at the Complete Legal Defense Team and we can explain to you what your best options are.

*A recent South Carolina Supreme Court decision has judged the lifetime registration requirement unconstitutional, so there may be some hope in the future for removal from the registry after a certain number of years and successful proof of rehabilitation. But even if provisions do appear for the potential removal of an offender from the registry, it is still a better option to contact a knowledgeable attorney before taking a plea or going to trial.

Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team
1012 38th Ave N Suite 202,
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, US


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