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New North Carolina sex offender law: too broad?

Anyone seeking a bit of confirming evidence as to why any individual in North Carolina facing a sex-crime charge might reasonably want to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately need simply take a look at the state's new sex offender law.

As noted by one national news outlet examining the legislation (which was passed earlier this month), it "will do nothing to stop sex crimes while continuing to isolate, penalize, and ostracize fully rehabilitated offenders who are attempting to rejoin society."

Here's why. For starters, it bars offenders from visiting libraries, amusement parks, swimming pools, fairgrounds and any other place where minors are present and "frequently congregate."

Such a law, contends the publication Slate, doesn't really promote public safety and, moreover, "only satisfies our misguided desire to push [convicted offenders] to the margins of society."

And here's the thing: The law's provisions are actually an attempt to make offender restrictions less severe and more constitutionally friendly than a predecessor North Carolina law that was shot down by a federal court for being impermissibly vague and broad. That law -- which Slate states was a "constitutional monstrosity" -- actually barred those to whom it applied from going to any place visited by kids -- even to church or a public park.

Slate predicts that the new legislation will fare no better than the prior law, with it being likely it will also fail to pass federal judicial scrutiny.

Clearly, dire and long-term repercussions attach to any registered sex offender in North Carolina. An experienced criminal defense attorney intimately understands what's at stake for an individual facing state power and resources in a sex-crimes case, and can provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation aimed at mitigating an adverse outcome to the fullest extent possible.  An experienced attorney can also evaluate whether an individual may be eligible to be removed from the Sex Offender Registry and advocate for this relief. 

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