Elgin police are asking local legislators to enact legislation that would make it easier to arrest individuals convicted of Illinois sex crimes who fail to comply with sex offender registration requirements. Illinois law requires all registered sex offenders to notify local law enforcement within three days of moving. But Elgin police complain that a 2013 Illinois Appellate Court decision makes their job harder and requires the utilization of too many resources in order to enforce the registration requirements. They are asking local legislators to create a new law that would in effect overturn the Appellate Court’s decision.
Illinois Sex Offender Registration Requirements
Illinois residents convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender:
- Every year for 10 years for a ‘regular’ sex crime;
- Every 90 days for life, if you are adjudicated sexually dangerous or sexually violent;
- Every year for life if you are classified as a sexual predator; or
- Every 90 days for the remainder of the registration period if you are convicted of violating the registration requirement.
In addition, registered sex offenders must notify local law enforcement of their residence within three days of moving. Law enforcement is required to verify each registrant’s address at least once per year.
Failure to comply with the registration requirements is a Class 3 felony for the first offense; additional offenses become Class 2 felonies.
People v. Robinson – Increasing the Burden of Proof in Sex Offender Registration Cases
In People v. Robinson, the defendant was convicted by the trial court for failing to inform law enforcement of a change in his address. Defendant appealed, arguing that the prosecution had only shown that he was not present at the address he had listed on his sex offender registration, and not that he had established a new fixed residence for more than five days, as the statute required.
The Illinois Appellate Court agreed with the defendant and reversed the trial court’s decision. In its ruling, the court stated that a conviction for failure to register under the sex offender registration law required that the defendant have a change of address AND that he lived at the new address for more than five days. The police did not fulfill its “affirmative obligation to investigate the charge,” instead assuming that because the defendant had apparently not resided at the registered address, he was residing somewhere else.
Elgin police claim that being required to prove that a registered sex offender has been living someplace other than his registered address for more than five days is burdensome. They cited one case where they expended 25 man hours to conduct surveillance and record-checking to determine where the registrant was living.
But given that a conviction for failing to comply with registration requirements may impose additional prison time and increase the burden of registration, the amount of resources expended by police in order to prove a registered sex offender has moved is a small inconvenience for them to pay.
Cook and DuPage County Sexual Assault Attorney
If you have been charged with any sex crime, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Chicago sex crimes attorney immediately. A conviction for sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse or any other Chicago sex crime carries serious consequences that extend beyond imprisonment and possible fines. Sex offender status can negatively affect your future employment and housing options, and failure to fully comply with sex offender registration requirements, even if an innocent mistake, can result in additional prison time and increased reporting burdens. The Chicago Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, P.C., has more than 17 years of experience representing Chicago criminal defendants from all types of sex crimes. Contact our office today at 312-560-7100. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.