Sex crimes in Illinois are among some of the most serious you can face, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe.
One of the gravest penalties of a conviction is being required to register as a sex offender. This type of registration can complicate your life since it can influence where you work, where you live, or even places you may want to simply visit. There’s a lot to understand about the sex offender registry in Illinois.
Here are some of the most frequently asked sex offender registry questions to help you understand what is a complex situation.
Why Would You Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Illinois?
There are certain crimes in Illinois where a conviction means that you must register as a sex offender. Quite often these are sex crimes that involve minors, such as sexual exploitation, or they’re violent sex crimes. Rape, possession of child pornography, and solicitation of a minor are all examples of crimes that can require you to register as a sex offender.
Kidnapping a minor, indecent exposure to others, and abuse of a minor are also offenses that can require it. Make sure to discuss with your attorney if the crime you are accused of can result in sex offender registration.
Does the State Identify Separate Classes of Sex Offenders?
It is true that some restrictions are placed on people who are convicted of certain types of sex offenses. For example, cases where the victim is under age 18 will have the state label you as a child sex offender. If you are convicted of a severe sex crime, then you may be labeled a sexual predator.
Finally, those who commit sexual offenses and have some sort of psychiatric disorder that would cause them to offend again are considered sexually dangerous. Each of these designations carries with it a separate class of sex offense which can impact how long you must register as a sex offender.
What Rules Do Registered Sex Offenders Have to Abide By?
If you are required to register as a sex offender, that means you have to register with local law enforcement in your area at least once per year. If you are considered sexually dangerous, you have to register every 90 days. Additionally, visiting another state will require you to register with local law enforcement when you arrive.
If you are a sexual predator or child sex offender, then you cannot come within 500 feet of a public park or school. You also cannot access any type of social media platform when on supervised release, parole, or probation. Violating the terms of your sex offender registration is a crime itself and can result in separate criminal charges.
How Long Do You Have to Register?
After 10 years, most sex offenders are eligible for having their name removed from the registry. However, that countdown does not start until they are released from prison or after they’ve completed their probation. Sexually dangerous sex offenders or sexual predators are required to register for life.
Who Can Look You Up?
All registered sex offenders have their information registered with local law enforcement agencies. This information is shared with schools and on a public database that anyone has the ability to search. So, any person can look up your status as a sex offender.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.