Restrictions Faced by Illinois Sex Offenders
In Illinois, laws surrounding the prosecution and sentencing of sex crimes can be quite complex. There are so many different types of sex crimes it is difficult to break down each category to understand them.
However, the consequences that follow a conviction of a sex crime are fairly easy to understand because they apply to every sex crime for which a person must register as a sex offender. Several legal restrictions are placed on those convicted of sex crimes in the state, and they can have a huge impact on your life even after you’ve served a prison sentence. ‘
Read on to find out what you need to know about the restrictions on convicted sex offenders in Illinois.
Sex Offender Registration in Illinois
The state of Illinois has something called the Sex Offender Registration Act. If you meet the requirements, you must register as a sex offender in the state. The requirements are:
- You were convicted of a sexual offense
- You were found not guilty of a sexual offense because of insanity
- You were not acquitted of a sexual offense
Once you get labeled as a sex offender in the state, then you will be required to spend at least ten years on the registry, though some offenses will require lifelong registration.
Convictions That Require Sex Offender Registration
In Illinois, convictions of the following crimes will require registration as a sex offender:
- Child pornography
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Aggravated criminal sexual abuse
- Criminal sexual assault
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault
How long you must register as a sex offender depends on the classification of the crime you committed. You will be deemed either a sexual offender or a sexual predator. Sexual offenders must register for a period of 10 years, but how long can vary from case to case. Sexual predators must register for the rest of their lives.
The Restrictions in Place for Sex Offenders
Once you register as a sex offender in Illinois, you will have to live your life according to certain rules for the time you are on the registry. These legal restrictions include:
Vicinity to Schools
If you are a registered sex offender in the state, you may not be within 500 feet of any school building or property. You may be granted permission by the school board or superintendent to enter the ground for academic purposes, such as a meeting with teachers if you have a child at the school.
Vicinity to a Public Park
Illinois registered sex offenders cannot be on land owned by public parks or in any building that is in a public park. Under the law, a park is defined as any forest preserve, conservation, or park by the local or state government.
Social Media Restrictions
Sex offenders cannot use social media or social networking if placed on mandatory supervised release, parole, or probation after 2010 for their sex crimes.
Where You Live
All restrictions listed so far also apply to the place of residence for sex offenders. They cannot buy real estate or live near a school or park. This makes finding a place to live even more challenging for those on the registry.
Residing with Children
If you are a registered sex offender in Illinois, you must provide advance notice to the local police within three days if you plan to move into a household with a child under 18 who is not legally your child.
You Can Be Required to Register Without Conviction
While many people assume that sex offenders are convicted felons, the truth is that under the law in Illinois, more than just convicted felons must register. Those found guilty because of insanity and those who were subject to a ruling on their case that wasn’t acquittal.
That’s why, if you’re facing sex crime charges, you must meet with an experienced attorney to find out how to best defend yourself against them.
If you are facing sex crime charges in Illinois, then consult with an attorney. They can ensure that your rights are being upheld and help you work out a defense that gives you the best chances of not being required to register as a sex offender in the state, a situation that can complicate your life.
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 handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.