Sex crimes make up many offenses that are committed in the state of Illinois and beyond, unfortunately. A defendant may be rightly or wrongfully accused of a crime, but if you are found guilty, then you can face serious consequences – including being labeled a sexual predator.
Many people aren’t aware of the difference between a sexual predator and a sexual offender, but there is a difference in the eyes of the state of Illinois. Here is what you need to know about sexual predators and how that designation is made.
Sexual Predators: Who Are They?
On a very basic level, a sexual predator is someone who commits one or more sex crimes and is considered a person who is likely to commit these crimes again in the future. Each state has its own rules about who is labeled a sexual predator – because of the differences that can occur in the amount of violence in a case or how predatory their behavior actually is.
In Illinois, the most serious sex crimes will label a person a sexual predator. For example, anyone who is convicted of a severe sex crime or repeats the same sex crime over and over again, such as criminal sexual assault or child pornography, will be labeled as a sexual predator by the state.
So, a person can be convicted of a sex crime in Illinois but not necessarily be considered a sexual predator. That is a category reserved for those who commit very serious sex crimes or who are repeat offenders.
What Are The Consequences of Being a Sexual Predator
The designation as a sexual offender or a sexual predator directly relates to the sex offender registry in the state. Those who are considered sex offenders will be required to register for a certain number of years, depending on the crime of which they were convicted. A sexual predator, on the other hand, will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
What Happens When Your Register as a Sex Offender?
Registration as a sex offender in Illinois means that there are certain rules you must live by. If you don’t, you violate the terms of your sex registration and can face criminal consequences.
Sex offenders on the registry are required to register their residential address with local law enforcement every 12 months. Those designated as sexual predators must register with local law enforcement every 90 days. If you’re visiting another state, you must register, there as well.
Sexual predators cannot go within 500 feet of a public park or school. They are also prohibited from accessing social media, or they may face criminal charges. The identifying information on the sex offender registry is public, so anyone can look up who you are and your conviction. Schools especially have access to this information.
If you’re not classified as a sexual predator, then you can have yourself removed from the registry after a period of 10 years. Sexual predators must register for life.
As you can see, being accused of a sex crime that can result in classification as a sexual predator is serious. It’s something that can follow you around forever. That’s why if you’re accused of sex crimes, you should have an experienced criminal attorney on your side to help you understand the nature of your charges – and to craft a robust defense.
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.