Oregon Relief from Sex Offender Registration and the Tier System
Oregon's laws permitting relief from sex offender registration are in a state of change. Oregon is moving to a tier-system that will allow many more applicants to be relieved from registration. The tier-system has the potential to positively affect thousands of previously ineligible applicants.
The Old WayThe current way to seek relief from registration is by petitioning the court of conviction, or the court in the county of residence, if the conviction is an out-of-state conviction. Persons may be relieved in one of two ways:
1) By waiting 10 years from the end of supervision, if the crime is a Class C Felony or Misdemeanor, and the person has only one conviction for a sex-crime.
2) If the crime is a statutory rape-type offense, such as Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, Rape in the Third Degree, Sodomy in the Third Degree, or Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor, and the person is within 5-years of age of the victim (who was also at least 14 years old at the time of the offense), then the person can petition the court once supervision is complete, or at anytime thereafter. The requirement of a single conviction does not apply in this context, so long as each conviction involved the same victim. In addition, the victim's lack of consent must have been due to age, and not force.
The New WayThere are many offenders who do not qualify under the above statutory-scheme. However, Oregon is moving away from the above scheme to a tier-system, which will allow many more offenders to seek relief from registration. Each offender on the registry will be given a tier classification; 1, 2, or 3.
If classified on tier-1, the person must wait 5 years from the end of supervision to petition the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision for relief.
If classified on tier-2, the person must wait 10 years from the end of supervision to petition to get to tier-1, and if granted, must wait an additional 5 years to seek relief off the registry.
If classified on tier-3, then the person must wait 10 years from the end of supervision to get to tier-2, but can go no further. Tier-3 is reserved for those persons determined to be predatory, and/or who have been convicted of Oregon's most serious sex-crimes: Rape in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree, Kidnapping in the First Degree when done for a sexual purpose (or the victim is under 18), and Burglary in the First Degree when done for the purpose of engaging in any sex crime.
My Conviction is from Another State. Can I Still Qualify Under the New System?The answer is potentially. In order to get relief under the tier-system for an out-of-state conviction, the crime of conviction must qualify for relief from registration in the State of conviction. Otherwise, the person cannot be relieved under the tier-system.
When Can I Petition the Board for Relief?If you qualify under the tier-system, then you will still have to wait until the system is totally in effect. The Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision is not holding hearings on petitions until every person on Oregon's Sex Offender Registry is classified and given a tier designation. The rough estimates we currently have is that petitions can begin to be held in 2019, but we hope it can be sooner.
Give a criminal defense lawyer a call to find out any updates on timing. Overall, we expect the new system to be beneficial to many previously ineligible applicants, and give persons new hope that they can have their "scarlet letter" removed.