For years I have handled cases where someone who is in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry is accused of not registering when they are supposed to. One group of individuals who frequently run into issues registering are people who are homeless; because they don't have a home to register as where they live, it can be a little complicated to figure out when a homeless person needs to register.
When you are in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, you have what's called a “duty to register.” You have a duty to register where you live, where you work, and where you attend school. For this post, we'll be focusing on the duty to register where you live. You are required by law to register with the chief of police in the municipality in which you live or have temporarily resided for three or more days, with two exceptions. If you live in Chicago you are supposed to register with the Chicago Police Department Headquarters, and if you live in an unincorporated area, you register with the county sheriff instead. You are required to register within three days of beginning school, establishing a residence, place of employment, or temporary domicile. Finally, you are required to re-register every year. There may be additional registration requirements based on your circumstances.
But if you are homeless, figuring out when you have to register is a bit more complicated. There are a couple of key terms to know. A fixed residence is any place that you have lived at for a total of five or more days in the past year. A bench or alley you sleep at can be considered a fixed residence under the law. If you lack a fixed residence, you are required to report every seven days to the appropriate agency (the chief of police, the county sheriff, or the Chicago Police HQ). Also, if you previously were registered at a fixed residence, you must register within three days after you no longer reside at the fixed residence. In theory, this may mean you frequently have to register every three days if you live at two locations that are considered fixed residences.
A location is considered a residence or temporary domicile if you have lived there for a three days in the past year. Even a bench or alleyway you spend the night at can be considered a residence or a temporary domicile under the law. If you have a residence or temporary domicile, you must register that location with the appropriate authorities if you reside there for a period of three days. Finally, if you leave the jurisdiction of the last place you resided, you have three days to register with the authorities where you are now leaving.
If you are in the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and are accused of failing to register, contact the skilled attorneys at John W. Callahan, Ltd. We have over a decade of experience handling these types of cases and will work hard to fight for your case!
–Posted by John W. Callahan, attorney at law