September 15, 2011

Do Sex Offenders Have to Pay a Registration Fee?

9-15-2011 Oregon:

ORS 181.598 requires the assessment of a $70.00 fee for sex offender registration. Sex offenders must pay that fee in the same sense that any of us must pay money we legally owe. However, recent case law makes it fairly clear that failure to pay the fee should not prevent registration and it certainly should not form the basis of a charge of failure to register.

ORS 181.595-597 explain who is required to register as a sex offender. ORS 181.599 creates the crime of failure to report as a sex offender. It requires making the report, signing the registration form, and submitting to fingerprinting and photographing. It doesn’t mention a fee.

The fee comes from ORS 181.598, which requires the Department of State Police to assess a $70 fee. But ORS 181.599 doesn’t require the person to pay it.

In State v. Depeche, 242 Or App 147, 252 P3d 861 (2011), the defendant failed to provide proof of his address while registering. The court held that, because providing verification is not required by ORS 181.899, the defendant had not failed to register by failing to provide proof of his address. Rather, the defendant merely has to show up and try to report in order to avoid liability. Similarly, ORS 181.899 does not require payment of the fee, it just requires the police to ‘assess’ it. If the person hands over the form, signs it, and submits to photographs, I don’t think any crime arises for refusing to pay. (But I’d probably advise my own clients that they should pay anyway). ..Source.. by Rankin Johnson IV

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd actually advise against paying it. I live in SC and the fee went from $100 to $150 - I have NEVER paid.

Initially, the law specifically stated that not paying would require civil action. Now the SC law states that anyone who fails to pay the lifetime fine would be considered UN-registered. But you are not asked to pay the fine until AFTER you have had your picture taken and filled out the required forms.

Too late!