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Removal From Illinois Sex Offender Registry

Gene Ognibene Associates Oct. 31, 2023

Crime and violence concept with handcuffsIf you are convicted of a sex offense in Illinois, the state law requires you to register as a sex offender. This requirement can make your life difficult and even unbearable in a number of ways. Each year, you will be required to arrive in person and re-register for the next 10 years, showing proof of your current address and other information that will be available online on a public registry.  

Apart from the invasive procedure, a person whose name appears on the sex offender registry can face collateral consequences that may disrupt their life, including difficulty finding housing and employment, not to mention the social stigma.  

Getting removed from the Illinois sex offender registry would be a great relief, but is it even an option? As a criminal defense attorney with more than 25 years of legal experience, Gene Ognibene can help you understand your rights and guide you through the removal process, if one is available to you. If you need guidance regarding the removal of your name from the sex offender registry in Illinois, reach out to Mr. Ognibene’s office in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. Attorney Gene Ognibene strives to provide strong and committed advocacy to each client he represents throughout Illinois, including Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County, and DeKalb County.  

What to Know About the Illinois Sex Offender Registry  

In Illinois, anyone convicted of a sex offense is legally required to register as a sex offender. Some of the examples of sex offenses that require sex offender registration include: 

  • Criminal sexual assault 

  • Criminal sexual abuse 

  • Child pornography 

  • Indecent solicitation of a child 

  • Sexual exploitation of a child 

  • Indecent solicitation of an adult 

Under Illinois law, a person convicted of a sex offense must register with the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where they reside. The registration process requires the convicted individual to show up in person and reveal a lot of personal details about their life. Information that will appear on the sex offender registry includes the offender’s: 

  • Name 

  • Photograph 

  • Current address 

  • Physical description 

  • The offenses committed 

Once this information is in the database, it will make it nearly impossible for the person to reintegrate into society or find employment or housing. In view of this, people who are registered in the database often wonder, “How do I get myself removed from the sex offender registry?”  

Eligibility Requirements for Removal from the Sex Offender Registry in Illinois  

Due to the strict sex offender registration laws in Illinois, adults convicted of sex offenses are typically not eligible to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry. The only exceptions to this rule are: 

  1. The person was tried and convicted as a minor in a juvenile court (minors tried as adults are not eligible for removal);  

  1. The person was wrongfully convicted; or 

  1. The person was pardoned.  

In any of these cases, the person can petition the appropriate court in Illinois to have their name removed from the sex offender registry. However, once the petition is filed, the removal is not automatic. Instead, the court will consider a number of factors to determine whether or not it would be appropriate to remove the information about the offender from the registry. These factors include: 

  • The risk assessment 

  • The petitioner’s rehabilitation efforts 

  • The petitioner’s age at the time of the offense (relevant in juvenile cases) 

  • Information regarding the person’s physical and mental condition and their educational and employment history 

  • The victim’s statements 

  • Any other factors deemed relevant by the court 

The court may take into account these and other factors when making a decision regarding the person’s petition to have their name removed from the sex offender registry. If the request is denied, the petitioner may be able to file an appeal in an appellate court.  

The Process of Petitioning for Removal   

The Illinois statute that addresses sex offender registration does not provide any means for removal from the registry. The law does not outline the process by which a person can petition the court to have their name removed from the Illinois sex offender registry. 

For this reason, there is very little you can do once your name is already in the database. Nonetheless, you might still want to discuss your options for removal with an experienced attorney. Even if you are eligible for the removal from the registry, you will typically be required to prove that you do not pose a threat to the public to get your request approved by the court. This may require the assistance of a skilled attorney who can help you gather the necessary evidence and present it to the court in a persuasive manner.  

Legal Representation for Removal from the Illinois Sex Offender Registry 

Having your name and picture on a sex offender registry can have a negative impact on nearly every aspect of your life. Attorney Gene Ognibene understands how frustrating it can feel to face a legal challenge alone. Mr. Ognibene can explain your options for the removal and guide you through the necessary steps and paperwork to get off the sex offender registry. Reach out now to set up an appointment with Gene.