Friday, November 4, 2011

AL RSO Registry Fee Law

I recently added a registry fees fact guide to my main website at www.oncefallen.com. Thus, I thought I'd take the time to review the new Alabama registry fees law to clarify the fee issue:

Alabama: From the recently enacted SB 296: Section 22. (33a) An adult sex offender shall pay a registration fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10) to each registering agency where the adult sex offender resides beginning with the first quarterly registration on or after July 1, 2011, and at each quarterly registration thereafter. (b) Each time an adult sex offender terminates his or her residence and establishes a new residence, he or she shall pay a
registration fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10) to each registering agency where the adult sex offender
establishes a new residence. (c) If, at the time of registration, the adult sex offender is unable to pay the registration fee, the registering agency may require the adult sex offender to pay the fee in installments not to exceed 90 days.  The registering agency shall waive the registration fee if the adult sex offender has an order from the court declaring his or her indigence. In the event the adult sex offender is determined to be indigent, a periodic review of the adult sex offender's indigent status shall be conducted by the court to determine if the offender is no longer indigent. Further, if the offender is determined to be indigent by the sentencing court, nothing in this act shall prohibit the offender from being placed on a payment plan where the entire fee is collected in total. (d) The fees collected under this section shall be to the registering agency to defray the costs of sex offender registration, verification, and notification. (e) Any person who willfully fails to pay the required registration fee at the time of registration, or at the time at which the installment payment is due, shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for willful failure to pay the required fee, the adult sex offender shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

 While I think the fees should be challenged in court (as discussed in my fact guide), it appears those of you who are concerned over registry fees should petition the court to be considered indigent and thus be free of paying the fees. This is something every registrant needs to pursue. 

One of my readers reminded me about the Federal "Poverty guidelines." Personally I find the numbers very low, as Alabama's poverty level is about $10,890 per year. However, I'm sure many of us hover around that line. even if you are above that line, I think you could still argue indigence, it is a matter of doing your math. For example, Gas is $3+ per gallon and most cars get maybe 20 miles per gallon on average (less in the city and if . Chances are just to go to work, you are filling up weekly at a cost of up to $100 to refill your tank. That's as much as $400 per month. You essentially have to argue your take home pay and your living expenses are so close paying for extra registration cases a financial burden.

I previously mentioned that Ohio had recently ruled their version of the Adam Walsh Act was indeed punitive. You may ant to utilize this case decision into your argument:

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/0/2011/2011-ohio-3374.pdf

1 comment:

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