What Are the Employment Requirements for Sex Offenders in Illinois?Published: Sep 21, 2017, by in Legal Blog, Sex Crimes
When you get convicted of a sex crime, your biggest challenges may occur after you’ve served your time. Registration as a sex offender can affect your life in many ways, including your employment. Although Illinois law does not explicitly lay out employment requirements for sex offenders, your status as a sex offender can make it extremely difficult to find a stable job. For this reason, you should think twice before pleading guilty to a sex crime. You may be able to handle the jail time and fines, but few can manage lifelong difficulties in finding a job.
Call O’Meara Law LLC today at 312-909-0706 to find out how an experienced Chicago sex crimes lawyer can help you.
You May Lose Your Job As Your Employer Attempts to Protect its Reputation
If a court has qualified you as a sex offender, you must register with your local law enforcement department in person every year, for a period of 10 years after your release from prison or starting upon your conviction if you are sentenced to probation. When you register, you will provide a photo and an extensive amount of personal identifying information that will be publically available.
Assuming your job does not require you to disclose your status as a sex offender, it is likely that your boss will eventually find out. Your colleagues or even your clients may eventually find you on the sex offender registry and make a report to your management. This puts management in a delicate situation. Unless you work for one of the few courageous companies that makes it a policy to give sex offenders a second chance, it is likely you will be terminated once your status as a sex offender becomes known.
The Law Restricts Your Movement, Online Activities, and Eligibility for Some Licenses
If you are self-employed, your status as a sex offender can affect your livelihood because of restrictions on your movement. You must register with the local authorities of any place where you spend three or more days in a year. Additionally, you are not allowed to be present in any school building or property–or even near one–unless you have the permission of the school superintendent, principal, or board, or you are at the school because of your own child. And if you are a child sex offender or sexual predator, you are prohibited from being in a public park. Taken together, these restrictions can make it hard for you to earn your living. If you’re a contractor or landscaping worker, for example, you may find it impossible to be legally present on all of your job sites.
When it comes to looking for a job, your status as a sex offender can significantly hamper you. If you committed the sex offense on or after January 1, 2010, you are not allowed to use social networking sites while on probation, parole, or supervised release. These days, social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are powerful tools for finding jobs. But as a sex offender, you may be unable to take advantage of these opportunities.
Finally, your sex offender status can keep you from obtaining the licenses needed to exercise your profession. About a quarter of US jobs require a government license, and in Illinois, no less than 118 professions either require a license or are off limit to people with felony convictions. In many cases, these licenses are specifically off limits for people with sex crime convictions.
Will Illinois Ever Loosen These Restrictions?
It’s no secret that one of the keys to an offender’s rehabilitation is steady employment. Study after study shows that offenders who have jobs are less likely to reoffend. For this reason, the Illinois state government has begun to take steps towards loosening employment restrictions for criminal offenders, which in some cases benefits sex offenders.
For example, Illinois now allows schools and park districts to hire people who have convictions for misdemeanor public indecency or misdemeanor prostitution. On the other hand, a loosening of restrictions for criminal offenders who want to work in healthcare explicitly excludes sex offenders. Nonetheless, this incremental progress shows that, despite the negative attitude towards sex offenders, there is a growing awareness of the need to provide a path towards employment.
Contact O’Meara Law LLC Today
Until the state government creates a clear path towards employment for sex offenders, the best way to guarantee your ability to make a living is to avoid a conviction for sex crimes at all costs. O’Meara Law LLC is dedicated to giving clients the best chances possible when they face the criminal justice system.
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, do not accept a plea deal before talking with a Chicago sex crimes attorney. Call attorney Michael O’Meara today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.