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Can Illinois' convicted sex offenders use social media?

If you find yourself facing a sexually based criminal charge in Illinois, there is a lot at stake. Sex crimes have the potential to turn your life upside down in numerous ways, and the financial, social and professional consequences can prove harsh and severe. In addition to any time behind bars you may have to serve if convicted as a sex offender, you will also have to register as one upon release every year for a 10-year period. Illinois' convicted sex offenders face additional restrictions as well, such as an inability to use social media.

Illinois' sex offender social networking law

A social networking law went into effect in Illinois in January, 2010, that prohibits sex offenders from using social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, for any purpose until they are off parole, probation or mandatory supervised release. In addition to the social frustrations such a restriction can cause if you are convicted of a sex crime, it can hinder your chances of finding employment, and it may cause difficulties in your ability to stay connected with family members and other connections because of related sex-offender restrictions and limitations.

Additional repercussions of sex offender registration

Some types of sex offenses carry additional repercussions, such as those perpetrated by people convicted of sexually based crimes against children. Illinois sex offenders cannot enter any public school buildings or properties without first obtaining permission to do so from the school board or school superintendent. Furthermore, child sex offenders cannot live within 500 feet of schools, education centers, playgrounds and any businesses or facilities that cater to those under the age of 18 (with the one exception being if the offenders already owned the residence before July 7, 2000). Such limitations can make finding a residence after a sex crime conviction particularly difficult, and they can also strain relationships by limiting where an offender can go and who he or she can visit. Child sex offenders and those who are considered sexual predators in the state must also avoid setting foot in public parks and recreation facilities.

Sex offender laws are designed to protect citizens, but some critics argue that many of them are too vague in nature and unfair to those who are convicted of certain types of crimes. Finding someone experienced with your charges can help you determine the best course of action. If you have been charged with a sex crime or an internet-based sex crime, consider getting in contact with an attorney.

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Chicago, IL 60602

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