Over the years I've handled many cases where an individual is accused of committing an illegal sex-related act. In some of these sex cases, if you are found or plead guilty to the crime, you may be required as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act. If you are registered as a sex offender, your name is entered into a sex offender database that the general public, including potential employers and landlords, can see. Depending on what the crime was, you may be placed on the sex offender registry for a significant amount of time. If you are a juvenile, you will be on the sex offender registry for at least two years for a misdemeanor and at least five years for a felony. If you were an adult at the time of the alleged crime, however, you will be required to be on the sex offender registry for ten years or for the rest of your life, depending on what specifically you were found guilty of or plead to.
If you are required to register as a sex offender but you fail to do so, there are serious consequences under the law. The first time you are convicted for failure to register as a sex offender, you will have committed a Class 3 felony, meaning you could face a prison sentence of two years, and if the court finds that your case warrants an extended term beyond the normal limit, your sentence could be as high as ten years. The second and subsequent times you fail to register, you will be charged with a Class 2 felony and can face a minimum of three years of prison time and as high as 14 years if the court finds that an extended term is justified. The sentence for any felony crime may include a fine as high as $25,000. In addition to any fines that are imposed because of your sentence, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $500 for failure to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act. Finally, the Sex Offender Registration Act requires that you serve a minimum of seven days in the county jail, meaning you cannot avoid jail time by reaching a plea agreement with the State.
There are numerous ways to avoid these consequences, the most obvious being to register as a sex offender if it is required by law. But to know if you are required to register under the law, you must understand what your sentence, and this is why it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney represent you. Not only do attorneys fight for you in the courtroom, it is also the job of the attorney to make sure that the client has all the information needed to make informed decisions, and this includes knowing whether or not the law requires you to register as a sex offender and what it means to be a registered sex offender.
The attorneys at John W. Callahan, Ltd. have many years of experience handling all sorts of sex cases including cases that may result in the client registering as a sex offender. We will explain the possible consequences of a plea deal or a guilty plea, such as registering as a sex offender, so you can make the most informed decisions and so you are in compliance with the Sex Offender Registration Act. Contact us if you want skilled representation in your case.
–Posted by John W. Callahan, sex case attorney