Federal and state governments use the national sex offender registry to assist law enforcement and keep communities safe. They require defendants to register after a criminal court finds them guilty of specific sex crimes. The sex crimes registry separates the offenders by the severity of their offense and the likelihood of re-offense. Certain offenders may be removed from the tiered list after a specific time, depending on the specific conviction and other factors regarding one’s conduct after conviction.

The South Carolina sex offender registry includes approximately 13,000 registered criminals. If a criminal court requires that you register as a sex offender, it will likely change every aspect of your life and future. However, a skilled sex crimes attorney could help you potentially avoid those lifelong consequences. For the best chance at a positive outcome in your case, contact a lawyer experienced with Charleston sex offender registry defense.

What Convictions Require Sex Offender Registration in Charleston?

State laws specify convictions that require an offender to join the sex offender registry. However, if a judge believes that a defendant should register after reviewing the details of similar sex crimes, they can require it for convictions that do not appear on the statute.

According to South Carolina Code Section 23-3-430(C), anyone convicted of the following sex crimes must register on the state sex offender registry:

  • Criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degree
  • Criminal sexual conduct with minors in the first, second, or third degree
  • Engaging a child in a sexual performance
  • Possession, distribution, or creation of sexually explicit materials
  • Peeping, voyeurism, or aggravated voyeurism
  • Indecent exposure, depending on the circumstances

A knowledgeable local lawyer could advise an alleged defendant on the details of the sex offender registry and help them build a strong defense.

Seeking Removal from the Sex Offender Registry

Until recently, the sex offender registry was a lifetime requirement in South Carolina. However, after the passing of recent legislation, there are several ways that an offender could petition to have their name removed from the registry. According to South Carolina, there are three potential options for name removal.


If the state governor pardons a defendant after reviewing a case and finds no evidence of guilt, the alleged suspect could be removed from the registry. However, removal from the sex offender registry after receiving a pardon is the least common way to be taken off the list.


South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or SLED will remove an offender’s name upon notification from the State’s Attorney General that the state reversed, overturned, or vacated the offender’s conviction and charges.


If the governor pardons a defendant for a crime, they may remain on the registry despite being found guilty of a lesser offense. After removal, a defendant must re-register under their new conviction.

An aggressive attorney in Charleston could review the details of a conviction to determine if a person could potentially be removed from the sex crimes registry. Additionally, there are a number of appeal provisions in the new sex offender list removal law that an experienced attorney could help you take advantage of if you are on the list and feel like you qualify for removal.  This new law is quite complex and intricate, so it is best to seek the advice and guidance of a sex crimes attorney for assistance should you decide to petition for removal.

Call an Attorney Experienced with the Sex Offender Registry in Charleston

If you face sex crime charges that require you to register as a sex offender, reach out to an experienced legal professional to review your case immediately. The penalties for any sex crime that requires registration are severe.

Focus on finding a seasoned lawyer with a history of defending people against the Charleston sex offender registry. Call today to begin strategizing your defense.