We are talking about the North Carolina law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or day care center. The law went into effect in 2006 and grandfathered in any registered sex offenders that had established residences within the proscribed area before that date.
A local news outlet recently reported on that part of the law, the grandfather clause. A “loophole” in the law allows sex offenders to live within spitting distance of your child’s day care center! Of course the parents and grandparents the reporters interviewed were shocked to hear this. A person who was added to the registry 10 years ago lived right next door, and they had no idea. How could this happen?
Shouldn’t the point be that, if you carry the equation out to its logical conclusion, maybe no one knew about this neighbor because nothing has happened to make them aware of his presence? Shouldn’t it be a good thing that a decade had passed without incident?
In the story, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison explains the grandfather clause. “When they came out with this law, instead of making people who owned the home move, then they said you can stay there,” he said.
The statute is one of the few laws that respect the rights of registered sex offenders. Neither the state nor the county was going to take the property by eminent domain or try to find some legitimate way to relocate someone, to separate a citizen from his private property. That’s a good thing, when you think about it.
The story, however, is typical of reporting on registered sex offenders. When your name goes on that list, your life changes forever. The community and the law are not going to act in your best interests.
This is why experienced legal counsel is so very important if you are charged with a sex crime. You need an attorney who will act in your best interests.
Don’t count on “loopholes” in the law to lessen the impact of a conviction. Make Sparrow Law Firm your first call if you are facing charges or are concerned about your status on the list.
Source: WNCN News, “Loophole allows sex offenders to live near schools, day cares,” Jonathan Rodriguez, Oct. 29, 2014