You’ve been charged with failure to register as a sex offender in Illinois, and you want to know is there anything that could be done to help in your case?
Failure to register as a sex offender can mean a lot of different things. In some cases it can mean you gave incorrect information while registering that’s different from a situation where you may have missed your reporting date even if it’s just by a day. Why it’s important to know the difference is that in one kind of case? The prosecution has to prove that you intended to do something wrong. That you intended to give the wrong information. In Illinois under current law you don’t have to intend to miss your registration date. What does that mean? It means that if you fall sick and you want to come in the day after, while you never intended not to register you may have fallen to follow that statute. We recently dealt with a client who was facing charges of failing to register as a sex offender now in his particular case he had gone in early for his registration date to let the person in charge of registration know that his cell phone number had changed. So he gave her the new cell phone number she told him come on back on this date and time to register. He asked if he could just update his registration right then since it was only a few months early and she said no please come back at this date. The problem was that the date she verbally gave him was different than the date on his paperwork so a couple weeks goes by past the date he was supposed to register and he gets a call from the Sheriff’s Department where he’s supposed to register who asked him, we’re you going to join us for registering? And he says, well yeah, I was going to join you on the date that I was told to come in. And of course the Sheriff’s Department said, I don’t know what you’re talking about your paperwork says you should have been in two weeks ago. To which our client said, well I’m coming in today. Sheriff’s Department asked him you be in by one, our client came in by 11am showed up, went through the whole process and then was told please have a seat. A few minutes later they came back and they charged him with failure to register as a sex offender.
In this case we were able to get the charges dropped. But it took some doing part of the reason is the statute does not require that he had any intent to fail to register