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Everything About Cook County Sex Offender Registry

The Sex Offender Registry in Cook County

The Illinois State Police, as the local law enforcement agency, provides an online list of sex offenders pursuant to 730 ILCS 152/115 (a) and (b)). It is possible to search the database by name, city, county, zip code, compliance status, or any combination of these criteria, and the data is updated daily. 

Most people think of pedophiles, rapists, and child traffickers when considering sex offenses. However, comparatively less serious crimes, such as public indecency, can also result in a requirement to register as a sex offender. For example, if you get drunk and decide to strip off in public, you may land up as a registered sex offender.

The consequences of being convicted of a sexual offense are far-reaching. Sex offenders are treated very harshly in Illinois and can receive severe fines and lengthy sentences upon conviction.

It is essential to treat any sexual offense charge or accusation seriously. If you find yourself under investigation for a sex offense, seek legal help immediately. The importance of consulting an experienced and skilled Illinois criminal defense lawyer can’t be emphasized enough. Having an attorney on your side can increase your chances of getting your charges reduced or dropped.

What Is a Sex Offender Registry?

The Illinois Legislature made it easier to facilitate access to information about persons convicted of sexual offenses, such as sexual assault and child pornography. This led to the creation of the Sex Offender Registry, and specific offenders are required to register with the Sex Offender registry. The Illinois statewide sex offender database is an online service that anyone can use to check whether someone is a registrant.

The database does not contain the entire criminal history of registrants. People who wish to know other details that are not on the record can seek such information from the local authorities in the area where the sex offender resides. However, people may violate Illinois criminal law if they use any information on the sex offenders registry to commit a criminal act against, harass, or threaten sex offenders or their families.

Sex Offender Registration Laws in Cook County

The following is a basic summary of the Sex Offender Registration Act, 730 ILCS 150.

Who Must Register on the Cook County Sex Offender Registry?

People charged with a crime listed under Illinois Compiled Statutes 730 ILCS 150/2(B) and 730 ILCS 150/2(C) must register as sex offenders.

The sex offense charge must result in one of the following:

  • A finding of guilt for committing the crime or making an attempt to commit the crime

  • A verdict of not guilty because of insanity when committing the crime

  • A decision made at a hearing for the alleged commission or attempted commission of the offense that did not result in an acquittal.

How Long Does Someone Stay on the Sex Offender Registry?

If you are found guilty of a sexual offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender every year for ten years. However, if a sex offender is convicted of violating the Sex Offenders Registration Act, they are required to re-register every three months.

Some people must register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. These people include convicted murders and those designated:

  • Sexually dangerous

  • Sexually violent

  • Sexual predators

These sex offenders must register every 90 days rather than once a year for the rest of their lives.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Cook County?

If you don’t register as a sex offender, you could face several penalties:

  • Revocation of your conditional release or parole 

  • A Class 3 felony charge punishable by a sentence of two to five years in prison, and an extension of the registration period may be applied

  • Second-time violators of the registration requirements could be charged with a Class 2 felony. This carries a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of seven

Failure to register can be disastrous for sex offenders and may lead to additional years in prison, longer probation, and high fines.

Are There Any Restrictions that Apply to Registered Sex Offenders?

Illinois law imposes several restrictions on sexual offenders:

  • Unless the sex offender is a parent with a child attending the school, they cannot live or be within 500 feet of a school.

  • Sex offenders cannot visit public parks, preserves, and conservation areas.

  • Sex offenders convicted after 2010 are prohibited from using social media while on probation, parole, or supervised release.

How to Get off the Sex Offender Registry?

When your registration period is completed, your name and details will no longer appear on the Illinois sex offender registry online website.

However, adults who are required to register as sex offenders aren’t allowed to ask the court to have their names removed from the registry. Only those who were tried and found guilty as minors in juvenile court are eligible. Minors who are tried as adults are not eligible.

If you are an adult who was unjustly convicted or pardoned, you can petition the court to have your name removed from the registry. In all cases, however, the judge has full discretion in deciding whether a sex offender’s name should be removed from the registry.

Hirsch Law Group Can Help You

Sex crime cases can be challenging to defend. The state often seeks maximum penalties in addition to those experienced as a result of registering as a sex offender.

The outcome of your case could change if you hire an aggressive and knowledgeable Cook County defense attorney. Don’t wait until you are charged or, worse, indicted. The sooner you get professional help, the better. The Hirsch Law Group can help you.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

FAQs

How Do I Look Up a Sex Offender in Illinois?

The Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification provides a comprehensive public record of Illinois criminal history.

You can search for a sex offender by name on the Illinois state police sex offender website. If you want to look up sex offenders by area instead, you can use the ISP sex offenders registry mapping tool.