Sex crimes, especially those involving children or violence, are among the most serious offenses in Illinois. If you are convicted of a sex crime, there is a good chance that you will be required to register with the state as a sex offender. Life as a registered sex offender in Chicago can be incredibly difficult. Registration will affect every aspect of your life, including the ability to keep and/or get a job.
Illinois Sex Offender Registration Requirements
One consequence of a sex crime conviction in Illinois can be the requirement to register with the state as a sex offender. Most offenders will have to register with the state every year for a minimum of 10 years. This 10-year period begins either:
- When you are formally sentenced to a term of probation; or
- When you are released from prison.
Each year, you will be required to complete a registration form and provide the state with a lot of different information. This will include details about where you live, where you work, and where you travel frequently. If you fail to comply with registration requirements, you’ll be required to complete these steps every 3 months, rather than once every year.
How Will My Status as a Sex Offender Jeopardize My Job?
If you have a job, the fact that you are a registered sex offender can put it in jeopardy. Here’s how.
1. Your Employer May Not Want to Keep You On Board
You don’t necessarily have to disclose to your employer that you’re a registered sex offender. However, the sex offender registry in Illinois is public. As a result, it won’t be difficult for your boss and/or co-workers to find out. Once your employer has this information, they may be hesitant to keep you in the office. Some companies are empathetic and may offer you a second chance, especially if you’ve been convicted of a relatively minor sex crime. However, you may need to start searching for a new job.
2. Your Professional License Could Be At Risk
Does your job require you to have a special license? If so, you may not be able to continue in your line of work. Registered sex offenders working in more than 120 professions in Illinois will be ineligible to keep and renew their license.
3. You Can’t Be In Certain Places
Registered sex offenders can’t be in or near a school in most situations. Unless you have a child enrolled in that school and/or have the permission of the administration, you’ll be prohibited from going near a place of education. If your job requires you to travel to or near schools, you will probably have to search for a new job.
4. Traveling Can Be Difficult
As a registered sex offender, you are required to notify the state of any changes in your life or living situation. In fact, if you spend more than 3 days in a specific location, you’re required to notify the local police. If you travel a lot for work, this can make your job very difficult.
How Will My Status as a Sex Offender Make It Tough to Find a Job?
If you don’t currently have a job, the fact that you are a registered sex offender will make finding one difficult. Here’s how.
1. Employers Will Be Hesitant to Hire You
While job applicants are covered by many anti-discrimination protections, the fact that you’re a registered sex offender won’t be one of them. Employers who run a background check will certainly see that you’re registered as a sex offender in Illinois. Most will be hesitant to offer you the job. You will probably have to search for a long period of time until you find a company that offers second chances to sex offenders. Make sure that you are prepared to discuss your past and explain why you are a great candidate for the job, regardless of your status as a sex offender. Make sure the employer knows that your criminal past is in the past and that it will not affect your job performance.
2. Social Media May Be Off Limits
Did you commit a sex crime on or after January 1, 2010? Are you currently on probation, parole, or supervised release? If so, you are prohibited from using social media. Today, social media and networking platforms are essential in the hunt for a job. You won’t be able to access job-finding resources on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. This can make finding a job, let alone getting a job, incredibly difficult.
Do you want to learn more about how being registered as a sex offender in Chicago may affect you? Call our Chicago office today to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.