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Understanding the Basics of the Sex Offender Registration Requirements in Illinois

Joliet LawyerSexual offenses and sexual assault charges can have lasting and significant implications for those who are convicted. Not only do you stand to face jail time, fines, and a criminal record, it is also likely that you will have to register as a sex offender. Akin to wearing a scarlet letter, the ramifications of registering can follow you around for a lifetime. Learn what it means to register as a sex offender, and how you can best protect your reputation and future, with help from the following information.

Who Registers as a Sex Offender?

Anyone that has been convicted of “sex offense” must register as a sex offender . This can include crimes such as child pornography, criminal sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and even sexual grooming of a minor child. However, not all criminal acts outlined in the Sex Offender Registration Act require you to engage in a sexual act. For example, you may also be required to register as a sex offender if you have received three convictions of public indecency, were found guilty of traveling to meet a minor with the intent to engage in a sexual act, or were found guilty of juvenile prostitution.

How Long Will You Be Required to Register?

The duration of your sexual offender registration will depend on the charge you are facing. If you are convicted of a crime that is considered predatory in nature (child pornography, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, etc.), you will be required to register for the rest of your natural life. Conviction of a sexual offense (any crime that is not considered predatory in nature) will require that you register for the next 10 years.

Duty to Register (When, Where, and How)

When required to register as a sex offender in Illinois, you must report to your local police department within the first three days of your conviction. If you move to another town or city, you must register in that new location within three days. If you leave your place of residence for three days or longer (in state), you will be required to register at the location you are staying. Furthermore, if you leave the state, you will be required to follow that state’s registration requirements. Failure to adhere to the registration requirements can lead to further consequences and is considered a Class 3 felony.

Collateral Consequences of Registration

Sex offender registration puts your information on a state registry, which is searchable by anyone. This includes members of your community, neighbors, friends, and any prospective employers. Essentially, it is like walking around with a sign on your back, everywhere that you go. Further, you will be restricted from coming within 500 feet of certain locations, including daycares, schools, parks, and playgrounds. You may also experience difficulty in finding a place to live and/or employment, due to your criminal record and registration requirements.

Protect Yourself from the Consequences of a Sexual Offense

Being listed as a sex offender can permanently scar your reputation, damage relationships, and completely upend your life, regardless of how long you are required to register. Avoid conviction and its consequences with help from a seasoned Joliet criminal defense attorney. Dedicated and experienced, Attorney Jack L. Zaremba will aggressively work toward the most positive outcome possible for your situation. Get the representation you need and deserve by scheduling a free confidential consultation with us today.

Everyday Identity Theft: Three Common Forms of Credit Card Fraud

Joliet Lawyer Marijuana Pot Possession Identity theft , in all of its various forms, is an increasingly growing problem all across the nation, causing consumers and business owners alike to sit up and take note of such troublesome trends. CBS News announced that in 2014 alone, IBM reported that more than one billion records containing personal information were leaked. Additionally, identity theft was the number one complaint to the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 and continues to be a major complaint year after year.

Are You Guilty?

With identity theft cases on the rise, more and more victims are speaking out in order to protect their money, credit, and reputation. Credit card theft is especially prevalent, and it comes as a surprise to many that serious credit card theft is not limited to seasoned criminals. In fact, many people unknowingly commit credit card theft or merely blur the lines with their actions with the hopes that a few little white lies won’t actually count as credit card theft . If you have ever even vaguely wondered if your credit card use is legally permissible, chances are you may be guilty of some form of fraudulent activity.

The Most Common Forms of Credit Card Fraud

Regardless of your intentions, if you have done any of the following , you may be in danger of facing charges for identity theft:

1. Request a refund with or without deceitful intent - Even if you forgot about a charge you indeed made to your credit card, calling the credit card company to request a refund for that charge if you actually made the purchase is considered fraud. Also known as chargeback fraud, this practice is often deliberately used by those wishing to profit twofold from merchandise purchases. They not only have the money they originally spent returned to them but they also keep the merchandise. If you ever report an unauthorized purchase and request to have the funds credited back to you, check to make sure the purchase was not one that you made.

2. Provide false information - Even the smallest lie on a credit application can land you in legal hot water if you are not careful. Many people found guilty of credit card fraud have embellished information on their applications regarding their income amounts, place of employment, and even their age. Intentionally providing false or misleading information on an application can result in a number of penalties, including up to fifteen years of imprisonment, hefty fines, and a range of criminal charges.

3. Claim Someone Else’s Pre-Approved Credit Offer - It does not matter if your brother discarded a pre-approved credit application letter he received in the mail - if you claim that pre-approval letter as your own and open the account under his information, you are committing fraud. Pretending to be someone else, even if you have that person’s permission to use their personal information, is never permissible by law. This standard also applies to other credit card activity, such as using someone else’s credit card at the store or signing on someone’s behalf.

If you have knowingly or unwittingly committed some form of credit card fraud, it is important to speak with a skilled Joliet criminal law attorney to protect your rights and minimize the damage to your record and reputation. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

Illinois Decriminalizes Low-Level Marijuana Possession

Joliet Lawyer Marijuana Pot PossessionA recent study by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch included some staggering statics about drug possession charges. According to the study, every 25 seconds , a person is arrested for a drug crime. The rates of arrest for possession or use of drugs has increased dramatically since President Nixon’s “War on Drugs” press conference in June of 1971. A significant portion of arrests made since then has been for marijuana possession . In fact, according to the Washington Post , marijuana-related arrests occur more often than all arrests for violent crimes combined.

Growing Problems

The high rate of non-violent drug crime arrests has led many around the country to question the effectiveness and the necessity of such drastic measures. Prison overpopulation has become a major concern in many states, including Illinois. Observers and advocates for change point out that those convicted of non-violent drug possession offenses continue to take up prison space that could be used to house more dangerous, violent offenders.

Changing Landscape

In the state of Illinois, the official approach to marijuana has begun to evolve in recent years, beginning with the approval of a medical marijuana program back in 2013. This summer, lawmakers made a significant statement on the matter by approving a measure that decriminalized low-level possession of marijuana. An offense that could once be charged as a misdemeanor is now the rough equivalent of a parking ticket in Illinois.

According to the new law, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal but will result in the issuance of a citation which carries fines of between $100 and $200. Individual municipalities have the freedom to add additional fines and penalties, including the requirement to attend drug counseling or treatment. Marijuana citations are also expunged automatically every six months, on January 1 and July 1, meaning that low-level possession offenses will not follow an offender forever.

DUI Standards

The new law also provides the state’s first standard for impaired driving related to marijuana. Despite studies suggesting that such standards have no scientific validity, a driver found to have 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of saliva in his or her system can be charged with driving under influence of marijuana.

Let Us Help

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or DUI related to the drug, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today. We are equipped to provide the responsible, affordable representation you need to protect your future and your rights.

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