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Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Sex Offender Registry Laws as Constitutional

 Posted on October 12, 2016 in Sexual Offenses

Illinois criminal defense attorneysWhile most people are aware that sex offenders must register, few really know what this means. They do not realize that it goes beyond simply having your name on a website that anyone can view. Several other restrictions are imposed. A sex offender cannot go within 500 feet of a school/daycare building or property, or near public parks. They must also report their internet activity and are banned from social media during parole, probation, and mandatory supervised releases.

Unconstitutional or a Necessary Evil?

Some might say such impositions are necessary to protect the public. Others believe the restrictions go too far and, in some cases, may be unconstitutional. For now, the law upholds all aspects of the sex offender laws as constitutional, including the mandatory reporting of all internet activity. Yet, as outlined in the following points, there are reasons to believe that both offenders and the public might benefit greatly from a more personalized criminal justice system.

The Truth About the Sex Offender Registry

Despite popular belief, you do not have to actually commit a sex offense to be forced to register as a sex offender. For example, one may be forced to register if they receive three counts of indecent exposure. One who is found guilty of luring a child to their car with sexual intent can also be forced to register. Yet, how do you truly prove intent? It is a slippery slope, to say the least.

It should also be noted that minors, who typically have a much lower recidivism rate than adults, can also be forced to register as sex offenders for things like date rape. At first thought, this might sound like an act worthy of criminal charges. Yet, when you consider two highly intoxicated teens who engaged in sexual acts, the lines begin to blur. Neither could legally give consent. Yet, if one presses charges on the other, the path of the “offending” party may be irrevocably altered.

Should All Offenders Be Treated Equally?

Sex offenders are viewed by society as deplorable human beings who prey on children and other vulnerable individuals. Yet, as previously evidenced, this is not always the case. So the implications for one who may not have committed a sexual act, or for one that has done so but not with intent, will receive the same treatment by the law as someone who has, in fact, committed the acts that most consider to be worthy of a sex offender status. They will also receive the same treatment from society, which is a response of fear and trepidation. Yet, in reality, this person may not be a threat at all. Could this be seen as an injustice, not just on the part of the offender, but also the community? Could it not be seen as fearmongering for little to no reason?

An individualized legal approach could protect those that have committed acts without intent as well as the community. Though, as clearly evidenced by the recent ruling from the Supreme Court, this approach is unlikely to ever be taken. As such, it is critical that anyone being charged with a sex crime contact experienced legal representation for their case.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we recognize the fear and worry that defendants often experience when they are facing criminal charges for a sex crime. We give your case the respect and reverence it deserves. Our Joliet criminal defense lawyers will fight for your rights and pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your situation. Schedule your consultation with us by calling 815-666-1285 today.


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