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Failure to Register and the Improper Joinder Demurrer

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by: Ryan • April 12, 2011 • no comments

As noted earlier, an excellent opinion on venue and the charge of failure to register came out today. It said, in part:

"The gravamen of the offense of failure to report as a sex offender under ORS 181.599 was the failure to take a specific action-reporting-within a finite time period-in this case, 10 days of a change in residence-not, as the state's argument suggests, the absence of action from that point forward. That failure occurred literally at midnight on the tenth day after defendant changed his residence. In short, it is at that point in time that defendant 'fail[ed], as required by * * * ORS 181.596' to '[r]eport following a change of residence.' ORS 181.599(1)(c)."

This will help with the MJOA in many of these cases, but perhaps just as importantly, it will help pre-trial. If the defendant is charged in the same indictment with FTRSO and PCS or ID Theft (or any other crime), arising out of the same traffic stop, those counts are improperly joined.

And if crimes are improperly joined, then the remedy is a dismissal, via a demurrer, not severance. Severance only applies when the counts are properly joined but it would be too prejudicial to try them together.

See the discussion and demurrer here and -0 here.