If you are a registered sex offender in Illinois, then you likely know how registered as a sex offender can detrimentally impact your life. The requirements for annual registration alone is enough to disrupt life. Each year, you must arrive in person to register, bringing proof of your current address and employment, among other detailed information. Apart from the process, the collateral consequences can make finding a job and housing and other things more difficult. Not having to register would be a great relief as would removal from the registry.
Sex crime defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of removal – if it applies to you. Below is a brief overview of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry requirements and removal qualifications. If you still have questions and need legal guidance, contact our office to set up a free initial consultation.
How Long Must you Register in Illinois as a Sex Offender?
If you are convicted of a sex offense, you may have to register annually as a sex offender for ten years. This means from the date you register, you have one year to register again, and you do this for ten years. If you move from one city to another city, however, you must register in the new city within three days after the move.
The ten-year mark begins immediately after release from incarceration or upon receipt of a probation sentence. To note, if your ten-year registration period begins upon the start of probation and you violate probation, the ten-year period will restart.
Also, if you fail to register, you commit the crime of failure to register as a sex offender. You could then be required to register every three months for the remainder of your registration period, and your registration period could be extended for another ten years.
Are Some Illinois Registered Sex Offenders Required to Register For Life?
There are some persons who must register as a sex offender for life. These persons include those who have been:
- convicted of first-degree murder; or
- adjudicated as a sexual predator.
Registration for these sex offenders, however, is not on an annual basis but is required every 90 days for the rest of their lives.
How Do You Go About Getting Your Name Off the Illinois Sex Offender Registry?
Just because you no longer have to register as a sex offender does not mean your name is automatically removed from the Illinois sex offender registry. In fact, the opposite is true: your name will likely not be removed even when you no longer must regularly register.
Who Qualifies for Name Removal from Sex Offender Registry?
Adults required to register as a sex offender are typically ineligible to petition the court to have his or her name removed from the sex offender registry. The only persons who qualify are sex offenders who were tried and convicted as minors in juvenile court – minors who are tried as adults do not qualify.
If, however, you are an adult who was wrongfully convicted or was pardoned, you can petition the court to have your name removed from the registry.
What Factors Does the Court Consider to Determine Whether or Not to Grant Name Removal?
According to 730 ILCS 150/2, the court considers specific factors to determine whether or not to allow removal of a name for the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. These factors include:
(1) a risk assessment performed by an evaluator licensed under the Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment Provider Act;
(2) the sex offender history of the adjudicated juvenile delinquent;
(3) evidence of the adjudicated juvenile delinquent's rehabilitation;
(4) the age of the adjudicated juvenile delinquent at the time of the offense;
(5) information related to the adjudicated juvenile delinquent's mental, physical, educational, and social history;
(6) victim impact statements; and
(7) any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
The court will make a decision based on the above information. That decision is also appealable to an appellate court.
Does a Qualifying Person Have to Wait Before Filing a Petition to Remove Name from the Sex Offender Registry?
Qualifying persons must wait a certain period before filing a petition to remove sex offender registration. The time period is dependent on the classification of the offense.
- When a minor is found delinquent of an offense that an adult would have been charged with a felony, the waiting period is five years. During those five years, the juvenile must register as a sex offender.
- When a minor is found delinquent of an offense that an adult would have been charged with a misdemeanor, the waiting period is two years. During those two years, the juvenile must register as a sex offender.
Ultimately, in order to have your name removed as a sex offender, you must be able to show the court by a preponderance of the evidence that you no longer pose a threat to the public. This burden of proof is not necessarily a straightforward nor easy task. It takes evidence and support provided in a meaningful and persuasive manner. Only the help of an experienced sex crimes attorney can do that for you.
Contact a Sex Offender Defense Attorney in Chicago for the Legal Guidance You Need
Cases of sex crimes are always some of the most difficult to defend. A conviction leads to serious penalties, including sex offender registration. These have a detrimental impact on the quality of your life well after you have paid your debt back to society by successfully completing any incarceration or probation sentences.
Retaining an aggressive and experienced sex crimes defense attorney can make a serious difference in the outcome of your case. At Dolci & Weiland, we are here to listen to your case, to outline for you honest and clear options, and to provide you a path to move forward with your life.
We have offices conveniently located in the Chicago metropolitan area. Contact Dolci & Weiland today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about how we may approach your sex offense case.