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Punishments associated with sex crime conviction, punitive and far-reaching

In a few weeks, many North Carolina children will take part in the yearly ritual that is Halloween. As children dressed as ghosts and goblins take to neighborhoods in search of candy, they will likely encounter some darkened homes where no one is passing out candy. In some cases, the darkened home may be by choice. In other cases, the resident inside the home may be legally prohibited from turning on their lights to trick-or-treaters.

North Carolina is among a handful of states that have passed so-called "No Candy" laws targeted at preventing registered sex offenders from passing out candy to children on Halloween. While proponents of the No Candy law contend it helps protect vulnerable children from sexual predators, there is no hard data to support this claim.

The law is particularly punitive in cases where an individual who must register as a sex offender has children of their own. Additionally, questions have been raised about the constitutionality of these and other laws limiting the rights of sex offenders.

Individuals who are convicted of certain crimes deemed to be sexual in nature are required under North Carolina law to register with the state as a sex offender. Individuals, who are registered sex offenders face restrictions related to where they are allowed to work, live and visit as well as the activities in which they are allowed to participate.

The negative implications associated with a sex crime conviction are numerous and can negatively impact an individual's social relationships and ability to find work and housing. 

Individuals who are facing sex crimes charges have a lot to lose. It's critical, therefore, to secure a criminal defense attorney who has experience successfully handling sex crimes cases.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Halloween Sex Offender Laws," 2014

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