If you were convicted of a sex crime in Illinois and had to register as a sex offender, you know the long-term consequences you must face. Registration affects not only your reputation, job, and family but also disrupts your life. The Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act requires you to register after completing your sentence and update your information regularly.
Instead of making updates from a computer in the comfort of your home, you must bring necessary information to the local police department and re-register every year or sometimes more frequently, depending on the requirements under state law. When you’re trying to get your life back on track and become a productive member of society, the requirements you must meet can interfere with your daily routine.
All sex crimes don’t require lifetime registration as a sex offender. Under certain circumstances, you only have to register for up to ten years. However, just because you don’t have to register anymore doesn’t mean your name automatically disappears from the registry. You must petition the court for it to be removed. Unfortunately, not all convicted sex offenders are eligible for removal.
Eligibility for Removal from the Sex Offender Registry in Illinois
Typically, adults can’t petition the court to remove their names from the sex offender registry. However, if you were pardoned or wrongfully convicted of a sex offense, you might be eligible to pursue removal.
Under most circumstances, the only individuals eligible to ask the court to remove their name from the registry are minors tried and convicted of a sex crime in juvenile court. If you were a minor at the time of the offense and were tried as an adult, you won’t qualify.
Factors Considered for Removing Someone’s Name from the Sex Offender Registry
According to 730 ILCS 150/2, a judge will review a range of factors to determine whether they can remove a convicted sex offender’s name from the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. These factors include:
- Victim impact statements;
- Evidence of rehabilitation by the adjudicated juvenile delinquent;
- Risk assessment a licensed evaluator performed under the Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment Provider Act;
- The age of the juvenile offender when they committed the crime;
- The sex offender history of the adjudicated juvenile offender;
- Information associated with the juvenile offender’s physical, education, mental, and social history;
- Additional factors the court finds relevant to the case.
Timeframe Required to File a Petition
If you’re eligible to remove your name from the sex offender registry, you must wait a certain period of time before petitioning the court. These periods depend on the type of offense:
- A minor convicted of a sex crime that would have been a felony if an adult were convicted must wait at least five years before filing a petition.
- A minor convicted of a sex offense that would have been a misdemeanor if an adult were convicted must wait at least two years before petitioning for removal from the registry.
You must show by a preponderance of the evidence that you’re no longer a threat to public safety for a court to grant your petition. It can be complicated to find this evidence during your case. It’s critical to seek legal representation immediately if you want to have your name removed from the registry. Attempting to handle legal proceedings alone could negatively affect the outcome of your case.
Removal from Registry in Different States
Every state has a sex offender registry. Any time you move or take a vacation, you must register with the local police department in the location where you’re residing or visiting. Laws vary from state to state, so the procedure could be different if you need to remove your name from multiple registries.
Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has represented many clients charged with sex crimes in Illinois. A conviction can complicate your life and present various challenges. Unfortunately, registering as a sex offender means anyone can find your information online with an internet search. It could prevent you from finding a good job or place to live. You shouldn’t be forced to carry the weight of a conviction for the rest of your life.
Our Chicago criminal defense attorneys can refer you to someone who can help you determine whether you’re eligible to have your name removed from the Sex Offender Registry. Whether you were wrongfully convicted or were a juvenile at the time of the offense, you deserve the chance for a fresh start. Wiping the slate clean and moving forward without the stigma of being a convicted sex offender could offer you a range of new opportunities.
Our legal team assists those charged with sex crimes offenses. If you’re interested in discussing a pending case you can contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444 today for a free consultation.