Fifteen arrest warrants were issued last week for non-compliant sex offenders in Lake County.
The sex offenders, who reside in the suburbs of northern Illinois, have failed to follow the rules for registering with the police. In many cases, the offenders are wanted to failure to appear because they did not physically show up to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for their required registry date. In other cases, the sex offenders are wanted for escape.
Local news sources have displayed each registrant’s picture, name, age, and the crime they committed to land them on the sex offender registry. In many cases, the offenders committed crimes against victims who were under the age of 18. News sources also display the reason for the offender’s arrest and the amount of bond they will need to get out of jail. Some offenders are wanted on a quarter-million-dollar bond for failure to appear.
Officials says the arrest warrants were issued at this time because school has let out and children will be more active around their neighborhoods and out of adult supervision. Local news has been urging citizens of Lake County to look out for the offenders and alert the police with any information they might have regarding their whereabouts.
More information about sex offenders in the Lake County area can be found on the sheriff’s office’s website. When someone becomes a registered sex offender, their name and conviction history become public knowledge that can be found with a quick internet search.
The Consequences of Failing to Register
The 15 men mentioned above face arrest and a felony conviction.
That’s right. Anyone who fails to register or is not compliant with the Illinois sex offender registry will be convicted of a Class 3 felony. He or she may face 2-5 years in jail, and aggravating factors may increase that sentence to 5-10 years.
If the person continually fails to register, he or she will be convicted of a Class 2 felony. The sentence for a Class 2 felony typically includes 3-7 years in prison, and aggravating factors may increase that sentence to 7-14 years.
This is why it is so important to register if you are required to do so. And if you miss registration, do not compound the problem by continuing to delay. Contact a knowledgeable Illinois sex crimes attorney and start communicating with law enforcement together. This is your best hope at minimizing any penalties that you might face.
When Must a Sex Offender Register with the Police?
The sex offender registry aims to know where sex offenders live at all times. They make this information public knowledge so any citizen will be aware of when they are interacting with a convicted sex offender.
Law enforcement also wants to make sure that the offender is living within 500 feet of a school, playground, or any facility that caters specifically to children. If a sex offender stays at a home, motel, or apartment for more than five days, he or she must register with the police. If the offender plans on moving, he or she must let the police know of their new residence three days before they move.
There are already severe limitations placed on sex offenders, making it close to impossible to obtain a federal loan, find a decent job, or locate an apartment to rent. Registering with the police takes precious time away from offenders who are just trying to piece their life back together – and that’s just the beginning.
Regular Check-Ins Regularly Disrupt Life
Sex offenders must periodically check in with law enforcement by physically appearing at the police or sheriff’s office. This might be required once a week, once a quarter, or once a year – it all depends on the offender’s specific situation.
Continually checking in with the police can be tiresome and stressful. This can take a lot of time out of the offender’s day, especially if he or she does not own a car or lives far from public transportation.
Thankfully, in most cases offenders only have to register once a year. But offenders who violate the rules of registry, like the ones mentioned at the beginning of this post, will have to re-register once every 90 days. Any offender who is considered “Sexually Dangerous” or “Sexually Violent” is also required to re-register once every 90 days. Failing to meet these requirements will end in an arrest warrant like the ones issued to the fifteen Lake County offenders.
Your Best Protection? Avoid Conviction to Begin With
Once you are convicted of a sex crime, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Your job, housing, and financial options will become limited. It is, essentially, a deep pit from which most people can never climb out.
What should you do if you have been charged with a sex crime? Work with an experienced Chicago sex crimes lawyer to create an aggressive defense and fight for your personal freedom.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.