State v. McFarland, 234 N.C. App. 274 (Jun. 3, 2014)

(1) The court rejected the defendant’s argument that G.S. 14-208.11 (2011) (failure to notify of a change in address) is void for vagueness as applied to him. He argued that because he is homeless, a person of ordinary intelligence person could not know what “address” means in his case. The court noted that in State v. Abshire, 363 N.C. 322 (2009), the N.C. Supreme Court clearly and unambiguously defined the term “address” as used in the statute well before the defendant was released from prison. It further noted that in State v. Worley, 198 N.C. App. 329 (2009), it rejected the defendant’s argument that homeless sex offenders have no address for purposes of the registration statutes. It concluded:

Even assuming that the language of the statute is ambiguous, defendant had full notice of what was required of him, given the judicial gloss that the appellate courts have put on it. Certainly after Abshire and Worley, if not before, a person of reasonable intelligence would understand that a sex offender is required to inform the local sheriff’s office of the physical location where he resides within three business days of a change, even if that location changes from one bridge to another, or one couch to another. Although this obligation undoubtedly places a large burden on homeless sex offenders, it is clear that they bear such a burden under [G.S.] 14-208.9 and that under [G.S.] 14-208.11(a)(2) they may be punished for willfully failing to meet the obligation. Moreover, the fact that it may sometimes be difficult to discern when a homeless sex offender changes addresses does not make the statute unconstitutionally vague or relieve him of the obligation to inform the relevant sheriff’s office when he changes addresses.

(Citations omitted) (2) The evidence was sufficient to convict the defendant for failing to notify of a change in address. Conceding that the State presented evidence that he was not residing at his registered address, the defendant argued that the State failed to presented evidence of where he was actually residing. The court rejected this argument, reasoning that the State is not required to prove the defendant’s new address, only that he failed to register a change of address. It stated: “proof that [the] defendant was not living at his registered address is proof that his address had changed.”