There are many complex and extensive laws which regulate the prosecution and sentencing of sex crimes in Illinois, and they can be quite difficult to break down and understand. Different categories of sex crimes can lead to different ranges of consequences, which are thoroughly explained in our detailed pages on sex crimes, found here.
As seasoned sex crime defense attorneys, we treat every sex crime allegation and charge brought to us with the utmost seriousness. That is because, if not handled strategically, a sex crime accusation has the potential to destroy your life. In fact, if you have been charged or accused of a sex crime in DuPage County, Cook County, or anywhere in Illinois, it's absolutely essential to understand exactly what you are facing if convicted.
Today, we will discuss a specific consequence that applies to all sex crime convictions -- Illinois sex offender registration. More specifically, we'll address how the legal restrictions of being a registered Illinois sex offender can affect your life long after the other consequences of a sex crime conviction have passed.
Illinois Sex Offender Registration And How It Can Affect You
If you have been accused or charged with a sexual offense, your life as you know it may change in every way imaginable. Illinois sex offender registration comes with a minimum registration period of 10 years, and can often last a lifetime.
Under the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150), any individual who has been charged with a sexual offense as defined by Illinois law, and meets any of the following is required by law to register as a sex offender with the state of Illinois:
- Is convicted of the charged sexual offense
- Is found not guilty of the sexual offense by reason of insanity
- Is subject of a finding which does not result in an acquittal of the sexual offense
Below, we'll answer some of your essential questions pertaining to Illinois sex offender registration and the impact it can have on your life. Don't see your question answered below? We also offer free consultations where we can analyze your case and discuss your legal options. Just contact our office at (630) 261-9098 to find out more.
What Criminal Convictions Will Require Me to Register as an Illinois Sex Offender?
A conviction of any sexual offense as listed in the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150) will require sex offender registration. Most commonly, the crimes which require Illinois sex offender registration are:
- Any crime involving child pornography
- Criminal sexual assault
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual abuse
What Determines the Length of Sex Offender Registration?
The length of sex offender registration is determined by how Illinois law would classify the defendant if they are convicted of the criminal charges. Different charges can result in different classifications, and the main two classifications in Illinois are sexual offender and sexual predator.
Individuals who are classified as sexual offenders will be required to register as an Illinois sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, although the actual amount of time can vary with each case.
On the other hand, individuals who are classified as sexual predators will be required to register as an Illinois sex offender for life.
What Legal Restrictions Will I Face After Illinois Sex Offender Registration?
The legal restrictions that registered sex offenders face in Illinois are, in all honesty, extremely limiting, and that's not even including the life-altering consequences as a result of the social stigmas associated with sex crimes.
A registered Illinois sex offender will face the following legal restrictions:
Proximity to a School
Registered Illinois sex offenders are not permitted to be within 500 feet of any school property or building.
The only exceptions to this law are if the individual is granted permission by the superintendent or school board, or if the individual is the parent of a child enrolled at the school and will enter school grounds for academic purposes such as a parent-teacher conference.
Proximity to a Public Park
Registered Sex Offenders in Illinois are also restricted from being within the boundaries of a public park, or in any building which resides on a public park. Legally, a public park is defined by Illinois law as any grounds classified as a park, conservation, or forest preserve by the jurisdiction of local or state government.
Social Media Blackout
Illinois law dictates that any individual who commits a sexual offense or is convicted of a sex crime in the year 2010 or later is prohibited from using social media or networking while on parole, probation, or mandatory supervised release.
Oftentimes, purchasing real estate and/or finding a place of residence can be difficult for registered sex offenders. The limitations above apply to residence locations, meaning that a registered Illinois sex offender is automatically restricted from purchasing residences what are in proximity to a public park or school.
Advance Notice when Residing with Children
While registered Illinois sex offenders are not legally forbidden from living in households with children, they are required to provide advance notice in certain situations. If a registered sex offender is moving into a residence with a child younger than age 18 who is not legally the sex offender's child, it is required to notify the local police department at least three days in advance of moving in.
Can I Be Required To Register as an Illinois Sex Offender Without a Conviction?
Yes, you can. Illinois law dictates that anyone who is convicted of a sex crime, found not guilty by reason of insanity, or is subject to any finding that doesn't allow the sexual offense to be acquitted is required to register as a sex offender in Illinois. That essentially means that even if someone is not convicted, they can still be required to register if either of the latter two apply to them.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Charged or Accused of a Sex Crime?
Because of the numerous consequences we described above, mandatory sex offender registration, and the social stigmas associated with sex crimes, any sex crime charge or accusation should be taken with the utmost seriousness. Many times, if you have been accused or charged with a sex crime, your future as you know it hangs in the balance. This is not a situation you want to put on the back burner.
When someone is facing an allegation or criminal charge, it's important to schedule a free legal consultation and speak with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney. Most lawyers and law firms offer free consultations, giving you a chance to explore your legal options and decide whether the attorney you're speaking with is a good fit for you.
During a consultation, a defense attorney will be able to analyze the facts of your case, recognize how Illinois sex crimes laws may apply to your case, and give you a realistic expectation of what may happen and what your legal options are. Many times, an aggressive and strategic criminal defense lawyer can fight for you and lessen the severity of your charges, if not get the case dismissed completely.
Facing an Illinois or DuPage County Sex Crime Charge? Contact Aggressive Sex Crime Defense Attorneys at Dolci & Weiland
If you or a loved one are facing a sex crime charge or accusation, it's important to make smart decisions and consult with seasoned criminal defense lawyers who know what they're talking about. With so much hanging in the balance, you deserve dedicated legal defense and attorneys who are willing to fight for you.
With decades of combined experience in Illinois criminal defense law, the seasoned attorneys of Dolci & Weiland have aided numerous individuals in Illinois who are facing difficult criminal charges, including tough sex crimes cases. We fight for our clients and provide targeted, strategic legal solutions to help achieve optimal outcomes for their cases. We can help you, too. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and discuss your legal options. To speak with a sexual assault defense lawyer and schedule your free legal consultation, simply call our office at (630) 261-9098.