Illinois has some of the country’s most stringent sex offender registration laws. When you are required to register with the state as a sex offender, your ability to live a normal life is severely compromised. As a registered sex offender you will be required to follow certain rules and regulations regarding where you live, work, travel, and visit. Failure to follow these rules can have severe consequences. It is important to understand the rules for sex offenders in Illinois.
What crimes require registration as a sex offender?
In Illinois, if you are convicted of a sex offense, as defined in the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act, you will be required to register with the state as a sex offender. These crimes include:
- Indecent Solicitation of a Child;
- Sexual Exploitation of a Child;
- Soliciting for a Juvenile Prostitute;
- Keeping a place of Juvenile Prostitution;
- Patronizing a Juvenile Prostitute;
- Juvenile Pimping;
- Exploitation of a Child;
- Child Pornography;
- Aggravated Child Pornography;
- Criminal Sexual Assault;
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault;
- Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child;
- Criminal Sexual Abuse;
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse;
- Ritualized Abuse of a Child;
- Forcible Detention of a child;
- Indecent Solicitation;
- Soliciting for a Prostitute, if the victim is a child;
- Pandering, if the victim is a child;
- Patronizing, if the victim is a child;
- Pimping, if the victim is a child;
- Public Indecency (for a third or subsequent conviction);
- Custodial Sexual Misconduct;
- Sexual Misconduct with a Person with a Disability;
- Permitting Sexual Abuse of a Child;
- Kidnapping, if the victim is a child and you are not the parent;
- Aggravated Kidnapping, if the victim is a child, you are not the parent, and the offense was sexually motivated;
- Unlawful Restraint, if the victim is a child, you are not the parent, and the offense was sexually motivated;
- Aggravated Unlawful Restraint, if the victim is a child, you are not the parent, and the offense was sexually motivated;
- Child Abduction if you lure a child under the age of 16 into a vehicle for a sexual motive; and
- Any attempts to commit any of the offenses listed above.
A court may also require you to register as a sex offender if you are:
- Found not guilty of a sexually-related offense on the grounds that you are insane; or
- Considered to be sexually dangerous or violent.
How do I comply with the sex offender registry?
When you are convicted of a sex-related crime or ordered by the court to register as a sex offender, you must do so in person. When you register you must provide a laundry list of information that covers various aspects of your life. Information that must be disclosed to comply with the sex offender registration process includes:
- Your name and current address;
- Recent photograph;
- Description of any distinguishing marks on your body;
- Name, address, and phone number of your current employer;
- Up-to-date phone numbers;
- List of schools you attend;
- Social media handles (including e-mail addresses, chat room names, and any other internet identities);
- Blogs and websites where you upload or contribute content;
- Signed copy of the terms of conditions of your parole or release;
- License plate information for all vehicles registered in your name; and
- Details about your sex-related offense (where the incident occurred, your age at the time of the incident, your victim’s age at the time of the incident).
If and when any of this information changes you are required to report those changes within 3 days. Sex offenders are also required to provide a DNA sample to the law enforcement agency they initially register with.
What are the rules and restrictions imposed on Illinois sex offenders?
Registered sex offenders in Illinois are forced to live under many restrictions and limitations. These restrictions can make it difficult to rent or buy a home, visit a school or park, and even use social media.
Limitations on where you can go
As a registered sex offender, you are prohibited from going within 500 feet of a school or school property, public park, or day-care center. There are very limited exceptions to this rule in regard to schools. You may be able to attend a school conference for your child if you receive permission from the superintendent or school board.
Social media blackout
Sex offenders in Illinois are prohibited from using any social networking or social media sites while they are on probation, parole, or under supervised released. This includes popular sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Duty to report changes in your life
You are required to report any changes in your life that are relevant to your registration as a sex offender within 3 days. This includes changes to your address, place of employment, and social media aliases. You are not prohibited from living with a child, but must report that you live with a child under the age of 18.
How long do I have to stay on the sex offender registry in Illinois?
The answer depends on whether you are classified as a sex offender, sexual predator, or sexually violent. Sex offenders are required to register in person with the state every year for 10 years following their conviction or court-imposed sentence. Sexual predators must register in person with the state every year for the duration of their lives. If a sex offender is classified as sexually dangerous or sexually violent they will be required to register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.
Will there ever be changes to the sex offender registry rules?
The current sex offender registry laws in Illinois are vague. In fact, they are so vague that they have been the subject of Constitutional challenges. Sex offenders, tired of not knowing exactly what the rules require of them, have filed a lawsuit asking the state to reconsider its sex offender rules. They claim that the rules provide no clear guidance and have been interpreted to keep them out of church and away from their families. The courts could decide that the rules are too vague and require the state to reconsider the regulations that are currently in place.
Have you been ordered by an Illinois court to register as a sex offender? If so, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Violating the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act can have serious consequences. As a former prosecutor, Gus Kostopoulos knows the steps you will be required to take as a sex offender and can help to make sure that you follow the rules. Contact his Chicago or Dupage County office today to schedule a free consultation.