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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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What Does It Mean to Be an IL Sex Offender?

Sex crimes, unfortunately, happen quite often. And maybe more often in Illinois than other places.

A study from SafeHome.org found that the state of Illinois has the fifth-highest number of people listed on their sex offender registry in the United States. That means that the state has more registered sex offenders than 45 other states out there.

This begs a salient question: what does it mean to be an Illinois sex offender? What types of crimes can put you on the state sex offender registry and how does being on that registry impact your rights? Read on to find out.

What Crimes Can Put You on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry?

Any crime that is sexually violent or exploits minors sexually can land you on the sex offender registry in Illinois. This includes crimes such as:

  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Kidnapping
  • Indecent exposure
  • Abuse of a minor

This is not a comprehensive list, but it can give you an idea of the types of crimes that can result in being added to the registry – which will have a huge impact on your life.

The Impact of Being on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry

In Illinois, you are required to register as a sex offender if you are:

  • Convicted of a charged sexual offense
  • Found not guilty by reason of insanity to the sexual offense
  • Subject to a finding that doesn’t result in an acquittal for the sexual offense

How long you must register as a sex offender depends on how the law classifies the charges that resulted in your requirement to register.

The two classifications most often used in Illinois are:

Sexual Predator

A sexual predator classification is one that will require sex offender registration for life.

Sexual Offender

A sexual offender classification is one that will require you to register as a sex offender in Illinois for at least 10 years. However, the actual time period during which you must register can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.

The Legal Restrictions

Registering as a sex offender can limit your life in many ways, including the stigma faced in your community.

The legal restrictions experienced by Illinois sex offenders include:

Where You Can Work, Live, and Visit

You will not be allowed to visit, work, or live within 500 feet of any school building or property. You also cannot be within the boundaries of a public park or any building in that public park.

For schools, some exceptions may be granted, but only by the school board or superintendent if you have a child enrolled in the school. You can only be present at school for the academic purposes of the child.

Social Media Restrictions

The Impact of Being on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry

Under Illinois law, any person who commits or is convicted of a sexual offense after 2010 cannot use online networking sites or social media sites while they are on mandatory supervised release, probation, or parole.

Advanced Notice If Living with Children

As a registered sex offender in Illinois, you cannot legally live in a household with a child. In some situations, you will have to provide advanced notice if you’re moving into a residence with a person who is younger than age 18 if they’re not legally your child. The local police department must be notified of this at least three days before you move in.

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. 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.

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