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The Sex Offender Registry: Not Just a Conviction 

 Posted on September 13, 2023 in Uncategorized

Chicago criminal defense lawyerBeing convicted of a sex offense means a lot more than simply being convicted of a crime and serving jail time. Not only will convicted offenders be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and have to pay hefty fines, but they will also have to register as a sex offender. As such, hiring a skilled Cook County criminal defense lawyer is of utmost importance if you are facing charges for a sexual offense.

Sex offender registration was broadly implemented during the 1990s to increase community awareness of sex offenders to further build community safety.  The sex offender registry typically causes many collateral consequences when someone is convicted of a sex offense. 

Under the law, all sex offender registrants must register for at least ten years or the duration of their probation, whichever is longer. In addition, some registrants must register for life with no possibility of having their names removed. Convictions for failure to register can add another five years of registration. 

Potential Collateral Consequences of the Sex Registry 

Sex registries were not designed as a punishment for sex offenders. However, by their very nature, they have turned into a punishment. Many research studies have revealed that a substantial number of registered sex offenders are subject to: 

  • Social stigmatization 

  • The loss of personal and business relationships 

  • Difficulty finding employment and housing 

  • Verbal and physical assaults  

These collateral consequences tend to overlap and cause additional problems.  


Many employers will not hire sex offenders, even if their offense was decades ago. They may see them as a legal risk. Although most employers do not look back on a criminal record for more than seven to ten years, registration as a sex offender is generally considered current. As long as someone is on the sex offender registry, they will have difficulty finding employment. This leads to financial challenges. 


Likewise, landlords often turn sex offenders down for housing opportunities. Even if sex offenders can afford housing, they may find themselves unable to obtain a place to live, especially one that is safe. As such, they may end up homeless.  

Social Stigma 

These employment and housing decisions frequently arise from the social stigma attached to sex offenders. Sex offender registrants may be shunned from churches or other community groups or activities due to this stigma. Many fear their children or spouses will be harassed or denied certain opportunities. Sometimes, sex offenders wind up with broken marriages because of the increased stress surrounding jobs, finances, and social status.  

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Cook County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney 

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Illinois or think you soon might be, now is the time to act. Contact the Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro online or by phone at 312-627-9482 today to schedule a free consultation. The sooner a Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyer represents you, the better your chances of not facing a conviction and all the collateral consequences that come with it. 


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