Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Failure to register as a sex offender is a serious felony offense in Illinois. A significant prison sentence is certainly a valid sentencing option for anyone convicted of failing to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registration laws require anyone convicted or adjudicated of certain sex offense to register as a sex offender. The Sex Offender Registration Act punishes sex offenders who fail to register as a sex offender and individuals who help a sex offender avoid arrest for a charge of failure to register as a sex offender.
What is the Penalty for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender?
Failure to register as sex offender is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. Like all Class 3 felonies, failure to register as a sex offender is punishable by 2-5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Court supervision is not available but a sentence of probation is possible. However, anyone who does get probation must serve a mandatory minimum period of 7 days in jail and pay a mandatory fine of $500 to the Sex Offender Registration Fund.
A second or subsequent violation of failing to register as a sex offender is punished much more severely. A second or subsequent violation of the failure to register as a sex offender statue is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by 3-7 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
What Court has Venue in a Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Charge?
Most crimes are prosecuted in the county where the crime occurred. For example, if an armed robbery occurs in Du Page County the crime would be prosecuted in Du Page County; likewise, a Chicago DUI would be prosecuted in Cook County. The crime of failure to register as a sex offender is different. The Sex Offender Registration Act allows for a sex offender or sexual predator to be arrested and tried in any Illinois county where the sex offender can be located not just the county where the person failed to register. Additionally, the local police department or sheriff’s office are not required to determine whether the sex offender is living within its jurisdiction prior to arresting a sex offender for a violation of failure to register as a sex offender.
What are the Penalties for Giving False Information When Registering as a Sex Offender?
The sex offender registration laws create extensive reporting requirements for all sex offenders and sexual predators. During this annual registration with the local police, the sex offender must provide detailed information about him or herself. If any of the information provided is incorrect, the sex offender faces a Class 3 felony, if the prosecutor can establish that the person knowingly or willingly gave false information.
Sex Offenders Cannot Change Their Name
Article 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure creates a mechanism for a person to legally change his or her name. However, sex offenders and sexual predators cannot change their name while they are required to register as a sex offender. The sex offender laws are so strict that any sex offender who even attempts to change his or her name can be charged with a Class 3 felony.
What are the Penalties for Aiding a Sex Offender?
The sex offender registration laws in Illinois punish people who aid sex offenders in certain situations. Aiding a sex offender is a Class 3 felony. To fall within the law, a person first must have a reason to believe that the sex offender is not complying with the registration requirements of the sex offender laws and the person must intend to assist the sex offender in eluding the police by:
1) Providing false information to the police department that is responsible for maintaining the sex offender’s registration;
2) Harboring, attempting to harbor, or assisting another person to harbor or attempt to harbor the sex offender; or
3) Concealing, attempting to conceal, or assisting another person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sexual predator.
Attorneys and other professionals who have a duty of confidentiality cannot be guilty of aiding a sex offender. Additionally, no one can be found guilty of aiding a sex offender if the sex offender is incarcerated or in a psychiatric hospital.
Failure to register as a sex offender is a charge that cannot be taken lightly. The consequences for pleading guilty to the charge of failure to register as a sex offender carries with it the potential of years behind bars and it simply doesn’t make sense to hire an inexperienced attorney.
Jaleel Law P.C. knows what it takes to properly defend a failure to register as a sex offender charge and we have the experience to make sure that the State is forced to meet its tremendous burden of proofing you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with failing to register as a sex offender, contact us to discuss how we can help.